HANOVER, N.H. – Led by a strong inside presence, Harvard women's basketball downed Dartmouth, 73-63, Saturday afternoon at Leede Arena behind 21 points from junior forward Temi Fagbenle. The Crimson (10-4, 1-0) outscored the Big Green (2-12, 0-1) by 30 points (52-22) in the paint, while shooting 45.4 percent from the field.
Senior forward Elise Gordon added 13 points for the Crimson, while classmate Christine Clark chipped in 12 points in her 99th career start. Senior Jasmine Evans gave the Crimson a fourth double-figure scorer with 10 points. Gordon and junior forward Erin McDonnell paced Harvard on the glass with eight boards apiece, as the Crimson outrebounded the Big Green 38-28, including a 17-10 margin on the offensive end.
Dartmouth was led by Nicola Zimmer with 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Fanni Szabo chipped in 10 points, but Harvard was able to keep her to 3-of-11 shooting for the game.
Harvard largely controlled the paint in the first half, outscoring Dartmouth by a 26-12 margin to help account for a 35-26 lead after the first 20 minutes of play. Dartmouth grabbed a slight 11-10 advantage at the 12:44 mark before an 8-0 Crimson run, including six-straight points from Gordon, gave Harvard some breathing room, 18-11.
The Big Green threatened with treys by Kamala Thompson and Zimmer to pull within four, 30-26, but Jasmine Evans blew by her defender for an easy two and Ali Curtis knocked down a triple with 23 seconds remaining to push Harvard's lead back to nine at the break.
The two squads traded baskets after halftime before Harvard started to run, scoring back-to-back baskets on the break – including a behind-the-back assist from Clark to Fagbenle – to inch its lead to 10, 43-33, at the 16:18 mark. After five-straight points from the Big Green, a 9-0 Crimson run stretched Harvard's lead to 14, 52-38, with 12 minutes to play. Harvard kept pace with Dartmouth the rest of the way to head home with a 73-63 win.
Harvard steps out of Ivy play for a Jan. 15 matchup at NJIT. Tip is scheduled for noon.
Game Notes: Harvard improves to 23-17 all-time in Ivy League openers and 20-12 under head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. Temi Fagbenle posted 20-plus points for the third time this season. Fagbenle has scored double-figures 31 times in her career. With 12 points, Christine Clark holds the No. 8 all-time on the Harvard scoring list with 1,442 career points. The senior scored in double-figures for the 82nd time in her career and ninth time this season. Elise Gordon neared her career high and posted her third double-figure scoring game of the season with 13 points. Erin McDonnell pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Crimson for the first time this season. Gordon also paced the Crimson in rebounding for the first time this season. Jasmine Evans notched double-figures for the sixth time this season. Harvard moves to 8-3 with the starting lineup of Curtis, Clark, Mullins, Fagbenle and McDonnell. Clark started her 99th game for the Crimson.