Photo of Miriam Rutzen courtesy of Gil Talbot.
SEATTLE, Wash. – The Harvard women's basketball team downed Seattle, 69-55, Saturday afternoon at Connolly Center in the first meeting between the two programs. Four Crimson players scored in double digits as Harvard improved to 9-6 overall.
Miriam Rutzen recorded her first collegiate double-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds and five assists – all career highs. Brogan Berry tallied 16 points and led the team with four steals. Victoria Lippert and Emma Markley joined them in double figures with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Turnovers plagued the Crimson during the first half, but Harvard managed to keep up with the RedHawks in the first 20 minutes, trailing by only eight at the break. Seattle scored first and Harvard answered with five straight points before the RedHawks played catch-up and the two teams battled back and forth for the lead for the next 15 minutes. The home team broke open a 19-19 tie with 5:43 on the clock, scoring the final eight points of the first half.
Berry and Rutzen lead the team with seven points apiece, as Harvard shot 30.4 percent from the floor.
Harvard erased a 10-point deficit in the second half using a 13-2 run to take a 32-31 lead with 15 minutes to play. Christine Matera sparked the Crimson run draining a three-pointer on a pass from Miriam Rutzen. On the next play, Rutzen rebounded on a Seattle miss and passed off to a driving a Christine Clark in the lane. Rutzen then stole the ball and dribbled in for two points of her own. Seattle hit a few shots to tie the game at 34, but the Crimson used the long ball and a series of fast break opportunities to get back on top and take create its own double-digit lead, 51-42, with nine minutes left.
The RedHawks used a pair of three-pointers and took advantage of Harvard fouls to cut the lead to 56-47 with just over six minutes to play. A three-point play from Lippert gave the Crimson a 10-point cushion with 5:24 on the clock.
The Crimson shot 45 percent for the game after hitting a 54.1 clip in the second stanza. Harvard outrebounded Seattle, 46-31, and had a season high in steals (12) and blocks (8).
Harvard dives into Ivy League action this weekend with a trip to New York for games against Columbia (Friday) and Cornell (Saturday).