Clark's Double-Double Leads Women's Basketball to 3rd Straight Win in Ivy Opener

Clark's Double-Double Leads Women's Basketball to 3rd Straight Win in Ivy Opener

Clark's double-double led the way as the Crimson opened Ivy League play in victorious fashion (Gil Talbot).

HANOVER, N.H.  – Christine Clark's 17-point, 10-rebound effort helped lift the Harvard women's basketball team to a 71-63 win at Dartmouth Saturday as the team opened its 38th season of Ivy League play.

Clark's double-double was her first of the season and second of her career. The sophomore converted 4-of-8 attempts from the floor, including 2-of-4 from three, and was a perfect 7-of-7 at the line. Brogan Berry also notched 17 points and was 8-of-8 on freebies, and dished out eight assists to jump into seventh place in Ancient Eight history with 465 career helpers.

Four Crimson (8-6, 1-0 Ivy League) reached double-digits with Victoria Lipper and Emma Golen adding 12 points and 10 points, respectively. Harvard matched its season-high with nine three-pointers, and combined to shoot 46.0 percent from the floor, 40.0 percent from three, and was 16-of-20 at the line.

Harvard has now won three straight on the road to match its longest winning streak of the year. The Crimson is 21-17 all-time in Ivy League openers and 18-12 under Head Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith.

Dartmouth (2-12, 0-1 Ivy League) was also led by a quartet of double-digit scorers, highlighted by Faziah Steen's 20 points. Milica Toskovic scored 15 as the Big Green dropped its 10th straight game.

Golen opened the game with a three-pointer and Lippert followed with a bucket in the paint as the Crimson led 5-0 after two possessions. Clark and Berry extended the lead to 9-2 at the free throw line, and a long jumper by Golen moved the score to 11-4. Dartmouth cut its deficit to 11-8 at the first media timeout, but three's by Berry, Clark and Lippert extended the margin to nine, 20-8, with 13:07 to play in the first half.

Harvard cooled off as the Big Green heated up, as Dartmouth went on an 18-2 run over the next nine-plus minutes to take its first lead of the night. The Big Green pulled within 20-15 after four scoreless minutes by the Crimson, and back-to-back baskets by Sasha Dosenko and Steen made it a 22-19 game. Toskovic's three tied things up at 22, and Dartmouth went ahead 26-22 after four straight points from Dosenko.

Elle Hagedorn stopped the bleeding with a baseline drive and a pair of Clark free throws sent the Crimson into the locker room at the half trailing by just one, 31-30. Berry and Clark led Harvard at the break with nine points, and seven points, respectively, with Berry also dishing out four assists and Clark grabbing five rebounds. The Crimson shot just 37.5 percent for the frame, but turned nine Big Green turnovers into 15 points and went 8-of-8 at the line to keep pace.

There were little signs of Harvard's first-half struggles early in the second, as the Crimson hit on each of its first six shots from the floor, including four three's, to regain a 46-35 lead. Golen opened the period with a long jumper and Miriam Rutzen followed on the next possession with a three from the left corner. Back-to-back three's by Clark and Berry gave Harvard a 43-33 edge, and Golen's three-pointer moved the score to 46-35.

Dartmouth chipped away at the lead and trailed by just three, 46-43, before Clark drilled her second three from the top of the key. Toskovic's trey again pulled the Big Green to within three, 51-48, but baskets by Lippert and Elise Gordon regained a 55-48 advantage with under 10 minutes to play. Gordon and Lippert teamed up again to move the score to 59-50, and with 3:27 to play the Crimson led 61-53.

Harvard was unable to put the Big Green away down the stretch, as Tia Dawson's layup with 32 second remaining kept Dartmouth within five, 67-62. Toskovic converted just 1-of-3 at the line after being fouled behind the arc to make it a 69-63 game with 17 seconds on the clock, but the dead ball rebound went Dartmouth's way, keeping hope alive for the Big Green. Harvard's defense tightened up, however, and after a pair of Berry free throws the Crimson walked away with the 71-63 victory.

Harvard returns home for the first time in nearly a month Tuesday, Jan. 17 when it hosts North Dakota at 7 p.m. in Lavietes Pavilion.

GAME NOTES: Christine Clark recorded her first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds … Brogan Berry has moved into seventh place in Ivy League history with 465 career helpers … Harvard was outrebounded for just the second time this season … The Crimson improved to 21-17 all-time in Ivy League openers and 18-12 under Head Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith … Harvard has won four straight against the Big Green and is 39-31 all-time.