Christine Clark matched her career-high with 28 points as the Crimson dropped its season opener at Iowa (Gil Talbot).
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Harvard women's basketball team put an early scare into Iowa and led by as many as 14 points in the first half, but could not sustain its pressure and fell to the host Hawkeyes 90-81 in its first game at the KCRG-TV 9 Hawkeye Challenge.
Christine Clark matched her career-high with a game-high 28 points, hitting 10-of-20 attempts from the field and 7-of-11 at the line. The sophomore also corralled six rebounds, dished out three assists and blocked three shots. Missy Mullins and Elle Hagedorn scored 12 points and 10 points, respectively, coming off the bench as the Crimson (0-1) shot 44.9 percent for the game and hit 8-of-20 from three-point range.
Jaime Printy led Iowa (1-0) with 24 points and six rebounds while Morgan Johnson and Kelly Krei added 18 points and 16 points. The Hawkeyes finished the game shooting at a 50.8 percent clip and went 21-of-27 at the line.
UNLV defeated Butler in the tournament's first game, 62-39, setting up a matchup between the Crimson and Bulldogs tomorrow at 1 p.m. in the consolation game. Fans can follow the action via live stats by clicking here. Iowa and UNLV will meet to decide the tournament champion at 3:30 p.m.
Miriam Rutzen buried a three-pointer for an early 5-3 lead and after consecutive Clark buckets the Crimson held a 9-5 advantage. Iowa evened the score at nine on a Kamille Wahlin three, but Brogan Berry answered at the other end to put Harvard back on top. Clark followed Rutzen's second three with a traditional three-point play to make it a 17-9 game just over five minutes in.
Mullins gave Harvard a 22-9 lead with her first basket of the night and an Emma Golen three with just under 10 minutes remaining put the Crimson up by 14, 28-14. Samantha Logic finished a fast break to cut Iowa's deficit to 30-22 but Clark ended the run with a three-pointer to regain a 33-22 advantage.
Harvard led 40-31 after Elise Gordon put back her own miss, but the Hawkeyes scored the final six points of the half to put the score at 40-37 at the break. Clark led all scorers with 15 first-half points and added four rebounds, two assists and two blocks. A big part of Harvard's early success was its ability to capitalize on Iowa's mistakes, as the Crimson turned six Hawkeye turnovers into eight points and its seven offensive rebounds led to nine second-chance points.
Early turnovers in the second half allowed Iowa to take its first lead since the early moments of the game, 42-40. An Elle Hagedorn three-pointer put Harvard back on top 45-44 and two possessions later her baseline drive made it a 47-46 game in the Crimson's favor. Clark scored four straight points to keep Harvard on pace with the Hawkeyes and with 11:28 to play a Mullins three tied the game at 55.
An 13-3 run over the next 4:55 allowed Iowa to open a 68-58 margin. Clark ended the Crimson's drought with back-to-back baskets in the paint and scored eight of the team's next 10 points to pull back within seven, 75-68. The Hawkeye mistakes that were prevalent in the first half were nonexistent down the stretch, though, as Iowa outscored Harvard 15-13 over the game's final 4:30 to take the 90-81 victory.
GAME NOTES: Sophomore Christine Clark matched her career-high with 28 points … Sophomore Missy Mullins scored a career-high 12 points, surpassing her previous high of two … Senior Brogan Berry moved into fifth place in Harvard history with 403 career assists (6 tonight) … Junior Emma Golen made her first career start vs. the Hawkeyes while senior Brogan Berry made her 87th … The loss drops Harvard to 19-19 all-time in season openers (17-15 under Kathy Delaney-Smith) and and 1-5 against the Big Ten.