Photo of Victoria Lippert courtesy of Gil Talbot.
ITHACA, N.Y. – The Harvard women's basketball team downed Cornell, 67-36, Saturday night at Newman Arena to remain unbeaten in Ivy League play. The Crimson which had 11 players contribute to the scoring effort improves to 11-6 overall and 3-0 in Ancient Eight play.
It was the first time since Feb. 2, 2007, the Crimson has held an opponent to 40 or less points.
Sophomores Victoria Lippert and Miriam Rutzen lead the Crimson in scoring with 15 and 12 points, respectively. Lippert went 7-for-13 from the field, while Rutzen connected on 5-of-7 shots including two from beyond the arc. Christine Clark led the Crimson on the glass, pulling down eight boards, while Brogan Berry handed out six assists.
Harvard scored eight straight points that included a pair of threes from Rutzen to turn a 9-8 deficit into a 16-9 lead after six minutes of play. The run was part of a 30-9 edge in points for the Crimson. Harvard allowed only seven points from the floor in the final 16 minutes of the first half. Seven different Harvard players found the bottom of the hoop with Rutzen totaling 12 points at the break. Lippert added nine scores as the Crimson combined to shoot 55.6 percent overall and 40 percent from beyond the three-point line.
The Crimson held the edge in rebounds at the break, outrebounding Cornell 17-11 in the first 20 minutes of play. Harvard held a 20-2 edge in points in the point and scored 14 points off 13 Cornell turnovers.
Harvard open the second stanza with a 13-2 run to give the visiting team a 30-point cushion (51-21) with 13:25 to play. Christine Matera nailed a pair of three-pointers and Christine Clark added one of her own during the stretch. Cornell cut the lead to 26 before Emma Golen free throws helped the Crimson to its largest lead of the game 32 (57-25) midway through the second half.
Cornell cut the lead to 25 with less than four minutes to play, but the Crimson pushed it back up to 31 before the final buzzer.
For the game, the Crimson shot 43.1 percent from the floor and connected on 75 percent of its free throw attempts. Harvard crashed the boards, pulling down 43 rebounds, to Cornell's 27.
The Crimson returns to Lavietes Pavilion next weekend for games against Princeton and Penn. Harvard takes on Princeton Friday night and Penn Saturday. Friday night's contest will be a battle of the only two unbeaten teams in the league.