Photo of Christine Matera courtesy of Gil Tablot.
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The Harvard women's basketball team went down to wire with Boston College Thursday night before falling 80-78 at Conte Forum. Five Crimson players reached double figures as the Crimson (6-6) shot above 50 percent for the fourth time this season.
Brogan Berry went 5-for-11 for the Crimson for a team-best 17 points and seven assists. Victoria Lippert scored 15 points, including three three-pointers, while Emma Markley (11), Christine Clark (11) and Christine Matera (10) also contributed with double figures. Miriam Rutzen grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
A Matera three-pointer put the Crimson on the scoreboard to start the game and gave Harvard a 3-2 lead. Thanks to solid defense and sharp shooting the Crimson increased its lead to 14-8 seven minutes into the game. BC chopped away at the lead, pulling to within 16-15 with 10:47 on the clock, but a trey from Lippert, her second of the game; put the visiting team up 19-15, 20 seconds later. The Eagles tied it on the next possession and the two teams traded leads over the next five minutes before three straight Harvard scores put the Crimson ahead 31-25 with 3:47 remaining in the half. Lippert gave the Crimson its largest lead of the half, 33-26 12 seconds later. The Eagles battled back in the final minutes of the half evening the score at 38, before a Jackie Alemany jumper gave the Crimson a 40-38 halftime lead.
Lippert and Matera led the Crimson with 10 points each at the half. Harvard connected on 16-of-30 shots to start the game for a 53.3 clip
Boston College used an 17-4 run to take a 55-44 lead six minutes into the second stanza. Miriam Rutzen drained with 13:49 left to play to snap a three minutes scoring draught. Another three from Rutzen, two jumpers in the paint from Markley and four Berry scores pulled the Crimson to within 60-58 midway through the half.
The Eagles extended its lead to 69-62 before the seven straight from Harvard including a three-point play from Alemany tied the score at 69 with 4:17 to play. After trading two-point baskets, Lippert nailed a trifecta to give Harvard a 74-73 lead. The Eagles answered with bucket on their end before Clark's three-point play put the Crimson up by one. BC made 3-of-4 free throw attempts in the final minute to bring the score to 78-77. Alemany made 1-of-2 free throws to tie score. Carolyn Swords grabbed a rebound under the BC basket and put it in with one second on the clock to give the home team a win.
Harvard went 30-for-60 from the floor, including a 7-for-14 effort from beyond the arc. The Crimson converted on 11-of-15 shots from the free throw line. BC dominated the boards, grabbing 42 rebounds to Harvard's 29.
The Crimson takes on NJIT at home Sunday. Game time is slated for 2 p.m.