Women's Basketball Rings In New Year at UMass

The team celebrates following its 63-56 win over St. John's (Gil Talbot).
The team celebrates following its 63-56 win over St. John's (Gil Talbot).

The Crimson will go for its fifth straight win over UMass Tuesday in Amherst (Gil Talbot).

The Storyline
The Harvard women's basketball team will open the New Year on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at regional rival Massachusetts. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. The Crimson is just 5-12 all-time against the Minutewomen but has won four straight, including an 83-70 triumph last season at Lavietes Pavilion.

Live video and stats will be available on the Web through UMassAthletics.com.

Last Time Out
The Crimson battled back from a 15-point deficit but could not complete the comeback, falling at Hartford Thursday night, 72-61.

Four Crimson scored in double-digits led by Christine Clark's 15-point, nine-rebound effort. Emma Golen and Victoria Lippert each tallied 12 points while Brogan Berry added 10, as Harvard combined to shoot 42.9 percent from the field. The Crimson held a 36-30 advantage on the glass, including 14 offensive rebounds which led to 14 second chance points.

Click here to watch highlights from the game.

Chasing History
With her next assist, senior co-captain Brogan Berry will move into 10th place on the Ivy League's career assists list. Berry currently ranks fourth in school history with 446 career helpers and is 11th in career scoring (1,207 pts.), needing just 21 more points to break into Harvard's top 10. This season she could join Emily Tay '09 (1,263 pts., 514 ast.) as one of only two student-athletes in program history to score 1,200 points and dish out 500 assists.

Click here to visit the Media Center on GoCrimson.com to access Harvard's  most up-to-date career records.

Career Scoring (Harvard)
1. Allison Feaster '98 2,312
10. Sarah Duncan '89 1,228
11. Brogan Berry '12 1,207

Career Assists (Harvard)
1. Jennifer Monti '02 558
3. Jessica Gelman '97 485
4. Brogan Berry '12 446

Career Assists (Ivy)
1. Jennifer Monti '02, Harvard 558
9. Charlene Schuessler '90, Columbia 456
10. Andrea Razi '96, Princeton 447
11. Brogan Berry '12, Harvard 446

Career Free-Throw Percentage (Ivy)
1. Angela Soriaga '06, Dartmouth 89.9
6. Brogan Berry '12, Harvard 82.0

Rollin' Golen
Junior Emma Golen has been on a tear over the last six games, averaging 11.0 ppg and 6.2 rpg while shooting 50.0 percent from the floor. Golen has scored in double-digits five times during this stretch, the only five double-digit performances of her career, and has helped her team to a 4-2 record in the process.

Nationally Known
Harvard entered the week ranked fifth in the NCAA in free-throw percentage (80.2) and was 34th with a +7.5 rebounding margin. The Crimson also ranked 10th in personal fouls (12.9) and 91st in field-goal percentage (41.0).

Individually, Brogan Berry owned the 38th best assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0) in the land while her 4.5 apg were good for 72nd.

Join the Club
Junior Victoria Lippert has scored 885 career points and needs just 115 more to become the 16th member of Harvard's 1,000 point club. Sophomore Christine Clark, meanwhile, is more than halfway there with 514 points in just 39 career games.

Brogan Berry and Emma Markley '11 both joined the club last year, becoming the second duo in program history to reach the 1,000 point plateau in the same season after Erin Maher '93 and Deb Flandermeyer '93 did so during the 1992-93 campaign. Berry, meanwhile, became just the fifth student-athlete in program history to reach 1,000 points in her junior season.

Lavietes Love
The Crimson has enjoyed a distinct home-court advantage since the 2008-09 season, posting a 33-7 record at Lavietes Pavilion in that time including three-straight wins in home openers. Harvard is 3-1 at Lavietes this season and is averaging 65.5 ppg.

They're on Fire
Harvard currently leads the Ivy League in field-goal percentage and free-throw percentage, connecting on 41.0 percent of its attempts from the floor and 80.2 percent at the line. The Crimson has led the league in free-throw percentage each of the last two seasons while finishing second in field-goal percentage over that same span.

Individually, Victoria Lippert ranks seventh in field goal percentage (42.0) while Brogan Berry ranks eighth (41.7). Christine Clark, meanwhile, is fourth in free throw percentage (86.3) with Berry ranking fifth (86.0).

Cleaning the Glass
The Crimson has outrounded its opponents in 10 of 11 games this season, including each of the last eight. Harvard had not outrebounded opponents in eight straight games since the 2008-09 season, when it went eight straight games with a rebounding advantage. Harvard's 39.9 rpg  ranks second in the Ivy League while its +7.5 rebounding margin is good for first.

Individually, Miriam Rutzen ranks  third in the conference with 6.4 rpg while Christine Clark is ninth with 6.0 rpg.

Triple Threat
Returning All-Ivy selections Christine Clark, Brogan Berry and Victoria Lippert are each averaging over 10 ppg and are among the Ivy League's leading scorers. Clark has netted 16.0 ppg, which is good for third in the conference, while Berry ranks eighth with 12.4 ppg and Lippert ninth with 11.5 ppg.

You Can Count on Clark
Christine Clark has scored in double-digits each game this season and in 13 straight dating back to last year. In 39 career games, Clark has scored at least 10 points 32 times and has been limited to under five points only once.

In the Clutch
Harvard has played several games this season which have been decided down the stretch, and two of the team's leading scorers have stood up to the challenge. Christine Clark is shooting 57.1 percent (4-7) with less than two minutes to play while going 17-of-20 from the line for a total of 25 points. Brogan Berry, meanwhile, has totaled 18 points on 62.5 percent shooting (5-8) while going a perfect 8-of-8 at the charity stripe.

A Tale of Two Halves
Harvard has thrived in the first half of games, averaging 33.3 points on 41.9 percent shooting while allowing 31.4 points on 43.2 percent shooting. In the second half, however, the Crimson is scoring 33.0 points on 40.0 percent shooting while allowing 36.0 points on 42.7 percent shooting. Additionally, Harvard has made 42-of-118 attempts from three before the break but just 18-of-98 after.

BIG Time Win
Harvard's 63-56 win over St. John's on Dec. 22 was the team's first over a BIG EAST opponent in exactly eight years, following a 73-59 win at Providence on Dec. 22, 2003. It was also Harvard's first win over a BIG EAST opponent at Lavietes Pavilion since a 79-76 triumph against Syracuse on Nov. 22, 2002, and its first over a BCS conference school since an 82-81 win over Boston College on Nov. 14, 2009.

Players of the Week
Senior co-captain Brogan Berry was named the Ivy League Player of the Week on Dec. 12 after averaging 15.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg and 5.3 apg over three games for the Crimson. Berry shot 42.5 percent from the floor for the week and an impressive 87.0 percent at the line. This was the 10th Ivy League weekly award of Berry's career.

Sophomore Christine Clark was named the Ivy League Player of the Week Nov. 28 after averaging 17.5 ppg and 7.0 rpg in a 1-1 campaign. This was the first player of the week award for Clark after having been named rookie of the week three times in 2010-11.

Harvard won three straight games between November 30 and December 9, marking the team's longest win streak since a three-game stretch between Feb. 19 and Feb. 25 last season. The Crimson averaged 69.7 ppg during the stretch and 41.7 rpg, while allowing its opponents to score just 58.0 ppg and grab 31.0 rpg.

Shooters' Touch
The Crimson shot 50.0 percent (26-52) from the field against Alcorn State, marking the first time the team has made at least half of its attempts since shooting 60.9 percent (28-46) in a 77-46 win against Columbia on Feb. 19, 2011.

Christine Clark made 29 conseuctive free throws between Nov. 22 and Dec. 10. Clark's streak included a perfect 11-of-11 performance at the line at New Hampshire, making her 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. She is shooting 86.3 percent (63-73) at the line this season, good for fourth n the Ivy League, and has made at least seven free throws seven times.

Doubling Up
Emma Golen recorded her first career double-double against Boston University, posting 10 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Miriam Rutzen, meanwhile, matched Golen on the glass with 10 boards of her own. Golen and Rutzen are the first duo from Harvard to notch at least 10 rebounds in the same game since Jackie Alemany '11 (13 rbs.) and Victoria Lippert (10 rbs.) did so at Cornell on Feb. 19, 2010. Golen's double-double was the first for the team since Emma Markley's '11 22 point, 11-rebound effort against Brown on Feb. 12, 2011.

And the Award Goes To...
Emma Golen was named the CollegeSportsMadness.com Ivy League Player of the Week Dec. 5 after posting her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against Boston University. Harvard has been recognized twice this season by the Website, as Christine Clark was named player of the week following the Crimson's appearance in the Hawkeye Challenge to open the year.

Player to Watch
Senior co-captain Brogan Berry, who has posted 15.0 ppg and 4.7 apg season, was featured on Graham Hays' list of mid-major players to watch on ESPN.com.

"The 5-8 Ohio native averaged 4.6 assists per game as a junior and ranked ninth in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio. She's not all pass, holding onto the ball often enough to lead the Crimson by averaging 13.6 points per game and shoot 39 percent from the 3-point line."

Captaining the Ship
Seniors Brogan Berry and Lindsay Louie were chosen by their teammates as captains for the 2011-12 season. Berry is a three-year starter and two-time team MVP, while Louie earned the Harvard Pride Award following the 2009-10 season.

Catch the Crimson in 2011-12
Harvard fans can watch each of the team's 12 home games in 2011-12 live online through GoCrimson.com. A women's basketball pass costs just $59.95 and this year also includes audio broadcasts for the team's games at Providence, New Hampshire and Brown. Click here to sign up today.

Inside Ivy League Basketball
"Inside Ivy League Basketball," an online radio show dedicated to talking basketball in the Ancient Eight, launched Thursday, Nov. 10 on BlogTalkRadio.com. "Inside Ivy League Basketball" takes an in-depth look at all the news and notes surrounding Ivy men's and women's basketball on and off the courts. Click here to listen now.