Women's Basketball Wins Third Straight 78-55 Over Alcorn State

Brogan Berry (Jon Luszcz)
Brogan Berry (Jon Luszcz)

The Crimson shot 50.0 percent from the field and 90.5 percent at the line for its third straight win (Jon Luszcz).

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Harvard women's basketball team shot 50.0 percent from the field and had four players in double-figures en route to a 78-55 win over Alcorn State Friday in the opening game of the Best Buy Classic in Minneapolis, Minn. The win is the Crimson's third straight and fourth in its last five games.

Brogan Berry led the Crimson (4-4) with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists, shooting 4-of-5 from the field and 10-of-12 at the line. Christine Clark and Victoria Lippert each netted 16 points, while Emma Golen netted 11. Miriam Rutzen grabbed 10 rebounds and Lippert added nine to help Harvard to a 44-28 advantage on the glass.

Harvard's shooting touch was on display all day as the Crimson combined to shoot 50.0 percent (26-52) for the first time this season. Harvard was also feeling it at the free-throw line, where the team hit 19-of-21 and went 16-of-16 in the second half. Clark was 8-of-8 at the line and has made 28 straight from the charity stripe.

Tierro Frost led Alcorn State (0-6) with 19 points. Both Renelle Richmond and Kiara Ruffin added 13.

The Crimson got down to business early, using its height advantage to pound the ball into the paint. Alcorn State held a 5-2 lead before three straight points from Berry and a Lippert jumper put Harvard in front, 7-5. The Lady Braves briefly tied the game back up at seven, but an Emma Golen three from the right wing began a 21-3 Harvard run, giving the Crimson a 28-10 advantage.

Golen followed her three with an uncontested layup two possessions later, and Lippert buried back-to-back three-pointers for a 20-7 margin. Miriam Rutzen answered an Alcorn State three with her first basket of the day, and an and-one by Lippert on the following possession made it a 25-10 game. Berry capped the stretch off by hitting 1-of-2 at the free-throw line.

The Lady Braves used a 9-2 run at the end of the half to send the teams into the locker room with Harvard in the lead, 34-26. Lippert led all scorers with 13 points at the break as the Crimson combined to shoot 46.7 percent from the floor, including an 11-of-17 performance from inside the paint for 22 points. Golen chipped in seven points while Berry added six points, five rebounds and three assists.

Alcorn State continued its momentum into the second half and twice pulled to within six, but Berry extended Harvard's margin back to 10 with a nice dish to a cutting Golen and a pair of free throws. She later converted a three-pointer and a spinning drive on consecutive possessions, and made it a 20-point game, 55-35, on a pair of free throws with 12:47 to play.

A 16-3 stretch cut Alcorn State's deficit to 58-51 with 7:29 on the clock, but it was as close as the Lady Braves would get as Christine Clark scored six straight points to make it a 64-51 game. The Crimson outscored Alcorn State 14-4 over the final six-plus minutes, and walked away with the 78-55 victory.

Harvard will return to the raised court at Williams Arena tomorrow, Dec. 10 against the host Minnesota Golden Gophers at 5 p.m. A live video stream, free audio stream and live stats will be available through GopherSports.com by clicking here.

GAME NOTES: Harvard's three-game winning streak is its longest since a three-game stretch between Feb. 19 and Feb. 25 last season … Harvard shot 50.0 percent from the field for the first time since shooting 60.9 percent (28-46) against Columbia on Feb. 19, 2011 … Harvard has shot 85.2 percent (52-61) from the free-throw line over its last three games … Christine Clark has made 28 straight free throws … Christine Clark has scored in double-digits each game this season and in 10 straight dating back to last season.