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Women's Basketball Wins Overtime Thriller at Hofstra, 70-67

Harvard knocked off Hofstra in a rematch of last year's WNIT first round matchup (Gil Talbot).

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – The Harvard women's basketball team went wire-to-wire with Hofstra for the second straight year and for the second time in a row the Crimson came away victorious, defeating the Pride 70-67 in overtime Saturday afternoon on its home court.

Victoria Lippert scored 21 points for the second straight game including seven in the extra session. The senior ended the game shooting 7-of-14 from the floor, 3-of-7 from three and 4-of-4 from the line for her 13th career 20-point performance. Christine Clark added 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and three blocks as Emma Golen notched 11 points while going 3-of-4 from three.

Harvard improves to 6-2 with the win for just the fourth time in program history and the first time since 1997-98. The Crimson shot 41.5 percent (27-65) for the game against Hofstra's (1-5) 36.2 percent (25-69), and held a 46-44 edge over the Pride on the glass.

Shante Evans scored a game-high 24 points to lead Hofstra as Anma Onyeuku tallied 12 points and 13 boards.

Lippert and Clark carried the load early and scored the Crimson's first 10 points to keep pace with Hofstra. Lippert scored five straight to make it a 6-5 game in favor of the Pride before Harvard took its first lead of the day off a pair of Clark free throws, 7-6. An and-one by Clark gave the Crimson a two-point edge, 10-8, but Hofstra went back in front, 11-10, as the teams traded the lead back-and-forth.

Harvard took the lead twice more off layups by Miriam Rutzen before Melissa Mullins stole the ball at midcourt and took it all the way to the basket for a 16-15 edge. A long jumper by Ali Curtis put the Crimson out in front by three, 18-15, and a Rutzen turnaround jumper regained the lead at 22-20. Trailing 25-24, Golen hit a three-pointer to push Harvard back on top, 27-25, and start a 12-4 run for the Crimson to close the half. Jumpers by Lippert and Clark gave Harvard a 33-28 advantage and Golen's second three sent Harvard into the locker room with a 36-29 margin.

Clark led the Crimson with nine points and four rebounds at the break as Harvard shot 51.7 percent (15-29) from the floor and 3-of-7 from three. Hofstra, meanwhile, was held to 35.3 percent (12-34) shooting including a 1-of-10 performance from three.

Hofstra opened the second half on a 7-0 run and tied the score at 36 before the first media timeout. Free throws by Lippert and another Golen triple gave Harvard back a 41-36 margin, but the Pride used a second 7-0 stretch to gain its first lead in nearly 14 minutes of game time, 43-41. The Crimson was quick to respond, however, as baskets by Golen and Mullins moved the score to 45-43.

The Pride went back in front once more with a three by Annie Payton and layup from Anma Onyeuku, before a 14-5 run by Harvard erased the deficit and opened a six-point lead, 59-53, with 2:43 to play. A Lippert three and Curtis bucket put the Crimson in front initially, 50-48, and after baskets by Erin McDonnell and Jasmine Evans Harvad was on top 54-50. A three-pointer from Clark and jumper by Lippert capped the stretch off.

Hofstra, however, scored four straight points to pull back within two, 59-57, and Shante Evans hit a pair of free throws with 0:13 remaining to tie the game at 59 and force overtime.

The Pride opened the extra session with four straight points but just as she had done to begin the game, Lippert scored five straight points to pull Harvard within one, 65-64. Rutzen's jumper with under 1:00 to play made it a 66-65 game in the Crimson's favor before Andreana Thomas put the Pride back in front, 67-66, at the charity stripe. Lippert stepped up once again and moved the score to 68-67 with a pair of free throws and Clark secured the victory at the line after drawing a charge at the defensive end.

Harvard will be back in action Tuesday, Dec. 4 as it hosts Providence at 7 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion.

Game Notes: Harvard improves to 6-2 to begin the year for just the fourth time in program history and the first time since 1997-98 … Victoria Lippert has scored 21 points to lead the Crimson in back-to-back games … Christine Clark went 5-of-5 at the line and remains perfect on the year at 28-of-28 from the charity stripe … Emma Golen shot 3-of-4 from three-point range and is 19-of-28 (67.9%) for the year.