Women's Basketball Holds Off UNH for Second Straight Win, 69-62

Christine Clark (Gil Talbot)
Christine Clark (Gil Talbot)

Berry and Clark were a perfect 8-of-8 at the line in the final two-plus minutes to secure the victory for Harvard (Gil Talbot).

DURHAM, N.H. – Victoria Lippert scored 14 second-half points and the Crimson went a perfect 8-of-8 at the free throw line down the stretch, helping to preserve a 69-62 win for the Harvard women's basketball team at New Hampshire Tuesday.

Lippert led Harvard (3-4) with 17 points, shooting 7-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 from three. Christine Clark added 16 points and seven rebounds, and was a perfect 11-of-11 at the line on the night. Brogan Berry chipped in 15 points, three steals and two assists.

The Crimson finished the game shooting 43.8 percent from the field and was 19-of-23 from the line. New Hampshire (3-4) shot just 38.6 percent but went 12-of-23 from beyond the arc. Cari Reed was 8-of-11 from three, including a 7-of-8 performance after the break, and turned in a game-high 32 points.

Clark opened the game with an old fashioned three-point play and it was off to the races from there, as the Crimson took a 15-2 lead just over four minutes in. Emma Golen sank a three-pointer for a 6-2 advantage before six straight points from Berry pushed the score to 12-2. Lippert capped the run off with a spot-up three from the left corner.

A seven-minute drought by the Crimson allowed UNH to pull within six, 15-9, until a Golen putback and Elle Hagedorn triple on consecutive possessions pushed the margin back to 11, 20-9. Harvard took a 33-19 lead with Clark at the free-throw line and led 33-21 at the half.

The Crimson hit 6-of-13 from three-point range in the first frame, helping the team to overcome its 4-of-15 performance from inside the arc. Clark led all scorers with 10 points and five rebounds at the break, marking the ninth consecutive game the sophomore has scored in double-digits. Golen chipped in eight points and four boards while Berry tallied six points and two assists.

The teams traded baskets early in the second half until back-to-back three-pointers by Abigail LaRosa and Reed cut the Wildcats' deficit to 45-39. Lippert answered two possessions later with her second three of the frame, but Reed came back with another triple to make it a 48-42 game with 10:54 to play. UNH scored on each of its next three possessions to take its first lead on Reed's baseline jumper, 49-48, capping off a 16-3 stretch which lasted just 2:24.

Trailing 52-50, Harvard embarked on a 9-0 run sparked by a pair of Clark free throws. Miriam Rutzen followed with a three-point play and hit her second straight shot the next trip down the court. Lippert ended the run with a basket in the paint to push the score to 59-52.

Denise Beliveau made it a four-point game, 63-59, with under two minutes to play and Reed sank her seventh three-pointer of the half to pull the Wildcats within one, 63-62, with 48 seconds remaining. Clark earned yet another trip to the line at the other end and hit both freebies to make it a three-point lead, 65-62. UNH was called for an offensive foul on the ensuing possession to give the ball back to Harvard, and after free throws from Berry and Clark the Crimson walked away with the 69-62 victory.

The Crimson remain on the road with a pair of games this weekend at the Best Buy Classic in Minneapolis, Minn. Harvard will first take to the court against Alcorn State Friday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. before battling host Minnesota on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 5 p.m.

GAME NOTES: Harvard has won two straight games, its first winning streak of the year … Christine Clark has scored in double-figures in nine straight games dating back to last season … Christine Clark went 11-of-11 at the free-throw line, becoming the first Crimson student-athlete to finish a game with more than 10 attempts and zero misses since Reka Cserny '05 went 12-of-12 vs. Columbia on March 1, 2003 … Brogan Berry has moved into a tie with Cornell's Patty Mills '86 for 17th place in Ivy League history for career assists (425) … Harvard has outrebounded its opponents in six of seven games this season.