Sellout Crowd Lifts Women's Basketball to 69-66 Win Over Yale

Sellout Crowd Lifts Women's Basketball to 69-66 Win Over Yale

Lippert and Clark scored 11 of the Crimson's final 15 points (OAC).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – It was another big night for Victoria Lippert as she and Christine Clark combined for 39 points and 19 rebounds to top Yale Saturday night at Lavietes Pavilion, 69-66.

A sold out crowd of 2,123 was on hand to witness the Crimson win its 11th straight game at home. Harvard led the entire way and was on top by as many as 15, but needed to survive a late push by the Bulldogs to improve to 15-8 overall and 6-3 in Ivy League play.

Lippert finished with 19 points and six rebounds one night after turning in a season-high 24 points. Clark registered her first double-double of the year with 20 points and 13-rebounds while Miriam Rutzen turned in an eight-point, 10-rebound performance.

Harvard combined to shoot 45.6 percent (26-57) from the field while holding Yale (10-14, 5-5 Ivy League) to 39.7 percent (25-63) shooting. The Crimson also went 12-of-13 from the charity stripe and outrebounded the Bulldogs by a 45-27 spread.

Sarah Halejian led all scorers in the game with 19 points on 12-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-4 from three.

Temi Fagbenle got to work early, scoring four points and pulling down two rebounds to help the Crimson to a 9-4 lead. A Victoria Lippert three-pointer moved the score to 14-6 but the Bulldogs were quick to answer back with two Megan Vasquez triples to cut the margin to 14-12. Fagbenle hit shots on consecutive possessions to reopen a six point edge, and after a pair of Christine Clark layups Harvard had regained its eight-point spread, 22-14.

Harvard began to distance itself from Yale with an 8-0 run, which included four straight points from AnnMarie Healy, and led 30-15 with 2:32 to play in the half. Yale, however, closed the frame on an 11-5 spurt and went into the locker room trailing by just nine, 35-26.

The Crimson shot 46.7 percent through the first 20 minutes and held a 25-13 advantage over Yale on the glass. Fagbenle netted eight points on 3-of-4 shooting while Lippert and Clark each added seven. Healy, meanwhile, tallied six points on 3-of-3 shooting in just four minutes off the bench.

Lippert opened the second half with her second three, but eight straight points from Yale pulled the Bulldogs within four, 38-34. Yale answered baskets from Lippert and Clark to remain within striking distance, and the Bulldogs pulled within one on Meredith Boardman's three-pointer with 12:37 to go, 45-44. Vasquez tied the game at 47-47 as she drove the lane for an and-one.

The Crimson did not relinquish its lead, however, despite back-and-forth baskets over the next four-plus minutes. Harvard finally regained the lead for good as Miriam Rutzen followed a Lippert and-one to make it a 61-56 game. Rutzen added another jumper to maintain the five-point margin, and Clark moved the score to 65-58 with a runner in the paint.

A three-pointer from Janna Graf cut Yale's deficit to four, 67-63, and a triple from Halejian with just 6 seconds remaining made it a one-score game, 69-66. Lippert was able to dribble around the defense on the ensuing inbound, however, to run out the clock for the victory.

Game Notes: Harvard improved to 8-0 in Lavietes Pavilion and has won 11 straight at home dating back to last season … Harvard has now swept both Yale and Brown in the season series for the first time since 2010 … Christine Clark registered her first double-double of the year with 20 points and a career-high 13 rebounds … Harvard +18 advantage on the glass was its largest this year … The Crimson has now outrebounded its opponent in 11 straight games … Miriam Rutzen grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds while making her 100th career appearance.