Lippert made a career-high five three-pointers en route to a 20-point performance (Gil Talbot).
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Victoria Lippert led a quartet of Crimson in double-figures but the scoring output was not enough as the Harvard women's basketball team suffered its third straight loss, 88-73, Sunday afternoon against Southern Methodist in the consolation game of the San Diego Surf 'N Slam Classic.
Lippert finished the day with 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting and was a perfect 5-of-5 from three-point range. Temi Fagbenle added 16 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, while Ali Curtis totaled a career-high 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting to go along with four assists. Christine Clark, meanwhile, added 11 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Harvard (7-5) shot 49.2 percent (30-61) on the day but committed 20 turnovers which led to 30 points for the Mustangs. SMU (9-4) connected on 48.4 percent (30-62) of its attempts from the floor and was 20-of-26 from the free throw line.
Keena Mays scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Mustangs as Alisha Filmore chipped in 22.
Harvard came out with tremendous energy and quickly took a 4-0 lead off buckets by Clark and Fagbenle. Lippert pushed the score to 7-4 after SMU had come back to tie it and Fagbenle's second basket of the day made it a 9-6 game. Fagbenle later pulled down a rebound at the defensive end and went coast-to-coast for an easy layup to put the Crimson on top by a score of 13-10.
A pair of SMU three-pointers put the Mustangs ahead, 16-13, and two free throws from Gabrielle Wilkins extended the margin to four, 18-14. A layup by Curtis made it a one possession game and Harvard evened the score up at 21 on Lippert's second three of the afternoon. Two layups by Akil Simpson, however, put SMU back in front as the Mustangs used a 14-2 run to open a 37-25 advantage.
A putback by Fagbenle ended the run and a Clark jumper pulled Harvard to within seven, 37-30. Curtis cut Harvard's deficit to five at the free throw line, 37-32, but Mays hit the final two shots of the frame to send SMU into the locker room with a 42-32 edge.
Lippert led Harvard with nine points in the first half on 3-of-4 shooting while Fagbenle totaled eight points and four rebounds. Harvard (13-31) and SMU (14-34) had similar results shooting from the field but six three-pointers helped the Mustangs build their lead.
Both teams struggled to find a rhythm early in the second half but SMU was able to extend its lead to 47-34 off a Simpson and-one. Lippert woke Harvard's offense up with back-to-back baskets, including her third three, to move the score to 47-39 and followed a Mustangs' triple with her fourth make from beyond the arc to keep it an eight-point game, 50-42. The Crimson's defense, however, was unable to put together stops at the other end as the Mustangs scored eight straight points for a 62-46 advantage.
Elle Hagedorn attempted to jump start the defense as she came up with two steals and one block on three straight SMU possessions. Harvard failed to capitalize at the other end, however, as SMU maintained a 14-point margin.
The Mustangs used a quick five-point spurt to push its lead to 75-56 and a Filmore triple made it a 20-point game, 78-58. Harvard made a late 12-4 run but it was not enough as SMU held on down the stretch for the 88-73 victory.
Harvard will return home to open the new year as it hosts UMass on Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. in Lavietes Pavilion.
Game Notes: Victoria Lippert scored 20 points for the third time this season, Harvard's fifth 20-point performance of the year … Victoria Lippert was a perfect 5-of-5 from three-point range, setting a new career-high for made three-pointers … Four Crimson scored in double-digits for the first time since Nov. 11 at North Dakota … Ali Curtis scored a career-high 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting.