Photo of senior co-captain Christine Matera courtesy of Gil Talbot.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Harvard women's basketball team put up a fight against Florida Tuesday night at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, but a fired up Gator team shot a season-best 49.2 percent from the field to remain unbeaten at home in an 86-65 win over the Crimson.
Junior Brogan Berry led the Crimson (4-3) with 15 points and five rebounds. Senior co-captain Christine Matera added 14 points, including three treys, grabbed four rebounds and handed out an assist. Emma Markley added 11 points, while Christine Clark had 10 points and handed out five assists. Brittany Shine led the Gators (8-2) with 16.
A pair of three-pointers from Matera, both from well-beyond the arc put the Crimson up 10-8 earl in the first half. A pair of free throws from Clark kept the Crimson on top 12-10 with 13:30 remaining in the first half. Florida scored on back-to-back possessions to take the lead and held a 16-12 advantage before a three from Jackie Alemany cut the Gator lead to 16-15 with 10 minutes on the clock. Back-to-back trifectas from Florida gave the Gators a 26-8 lead with 7:39 remaining. A Markley fastbreak lay-up on a pass from Berry cut the lead to six before 17-7 run by the home team over the final 5:30 of the game gave the Gators a 43-27 lead at the half.
Florida used the first two minutes of the half to pull away to a 47-27 lead before the Crimson cut it back down to 16 with a Markley lay-up and two Brogan Berry free throws. But two costly turnovers by the Crimson led to Gator scores as the home team extended its lead to 52-31 with 16:22 left in the game. A 7-2 Harvard run sparked by a Matera trey cut the lead to 56-41. The Gators used a 15-0 run to take a 71-41 lead midway through the second stanza. Markley snapped a four-minute scoring draught for the Crimson with lay-up from Clark. After Florida went back up by 30 on the next possession, the Crimson scored six of the next 11 points to cut into the deficit. Harvard outscored the home team 18-9 in the final seven minutes of the game.
Harvard shot 39.3 percent from the field and 77.3 percent from the line. Florida edged the Crimson on the glass, grabbing 40 rebounds to Harvard's 33. The Crimson scored 13 points on second chances and 15 off Florida turnovers.
Harvard returns home for a Friday night game against New Hampshire. Tip-off against the Wildcats is slated for 7 p.m.