Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot.
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Harvard women's basketball suffered a tough 72-53 loss to intrastate rival Holy Cross Sunday at the Hart Center. The Crimson (3-2) outplayed the Crusaders (3-3) in the second half but was unable to overcame its first half deficit. Sophomores Jasmine Evans and Victoria Lippert and freshman Christine Clark scored 12 points apiece for the Crimson.
Evans was 3-for-12 from the field, but connected on 5-of-7 shots from the free throw line to go along with four rebounds, two steals and an assist. Lippert went added four rebounds and a steal, while Clark also had two assists and two steals. Junior Brogan Berry, who led the Crimson with five rebounds, needed just one assist to move into seventh on the all-time Harvard list. She had two in the game giving her 287 career helpers.
Harvard struggled from the field in the first 20 minutes of the game, while the Crusaders almost didn't miss. Holy Cross took a 13-5 lead after five minutes of play. The Crimson cut the lead to just four, 15-11 when Jasmine Evans converted on a three-point play, but the Crusaders continued their hot hands, 10-0 run over a four minute span to take a 25-11 lead with 8:45 remaining in the first half. Christine Clark converted on another three-point play and an Evan's steal after the media timeout out led to two more Harvard points, pulling the Crimson within nine, 25-16, with 7:21 on the clock. A 17-0 run by the home team set up a 42-16 advantage for the Crusaders heading into the locker room at the half.
The Crimson shot just 15.4 percent in the first half, while the Crusaders made 51.6 percent from the field. Holy Cross crashed the boards as well, pulling down 26 rebounds. Harvard had 14 boards in the first 20 minutes.
Clark connected with Evans for a long-range bucket to start the second half off. Holy Cross answered with a trey of its own. Harvard opened the second stanza shooting 4-of-7 from the field, which included two baskets from beyond the arc. But Harvard was unable to stop the Crusaders as they continued to hit their shots and increasing their lead to 58-28 with 11:15 remaining in the game. Holy Cross extended its lead to 32 less than a minute later. The Crimson put together a run late in the second to close the gap, pulling to within 68-51 with 1:18 to play on a three from Berry, a Berry lay-up and two Lippert free throws.
Harvard shot 26.2 percent from the field after converting on 24-of-35 attempts in the second half. The Crimson made 16-of-19 attempts from the free throw line for a 84.2 percent showing. Holy Cross shot 50.9 percent from the field. Holy Cross won the battle of the boards, outrebounding the Crimson 44-34.
Harvard plays its home opener Friday, Dec. 3 against Hartford. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion.