Berry and Lippert Lift Women's Basketball to 65-57 Win Over Brown

Berry and Lippert Lift Women's Basketball to 65-57 Win Over Brown

Four Crimson scored in double-digits to lead Harvard past Brown Sunday (Jenn Leffew).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Brogan Berry and Victoria Lippert combined for 20 of Harvard's 31 second-half points as the Crimson fended off Brown's comeback attempt for a 65-57 victory Sunday afternoon in Lavietes Pavilion.

Harvard (9-8, 2-1 Ivy League) led by as many as 18 points after the break but found itself tied with Brown (11-7, 2-2 Ivy League) at 54 with 4:31 to play. The Crimson rallied to close the game on an 11-3 run, however, with Berry netting eight of those points, to pick up its eighth Ivy League win in 10 chances at home.

Berry finished with a game-high 16 points and went 9-of-10 from the free-throw line. Lippert notched 14 points while going 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, and Christine Clark added 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Miriam Rutzen picked up her first double-double of the season, scoring a season-high 11 points while pulling down 11 boards for the second consecutive game.

Harvard shot 44.0 percent for the game but was just 7-of-22 from three and 14-of-23 at the line. Brown was held to 35.3 percent shooting, including a 4-of-18 mark from long range, and was led by Hannah Passafuime's 15 points.

Harvard came out firing on all cylinders and hit each of its first four shots en route to a 13-4 lead just over five minutes in. Rutzen and Emma Golen got the scoring started, and nine straight points by Clark gave the Crimson the nine-point edge. A jumper by Berry put the lead into double-digits and Lippert's first three-pointer of the day moved the score to 18-5.

Harvard began using a half-court trap midway through the period and the resulting pressure allowed the lead to grow to 32-13. The Crimson forced turnovers on four consecutive possessions to get to the 19-point advantage, and Clark capped an 8-0 run with a pair of free throws. Brown worked its deficit down to 14 points on a Sheila Dixon layup, and Harvard took the same margin into the locker room at the half, 34-20.

Clark led all scorers at the break with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, as the Crimson shot 50.0 percent from the floor and outrebounded Brown 17-14. The Crimson forced 12 Bear turnovers in the frame and scored 13 points off those turnovers, while limiting Brown to just 8-of-25 shooting from the floor.

Brown scored three straight points out of the break but a Rutzen bucket and Elle Hagedorn three-pointer made it a 39-23 game. Berry pushed the lead to 18 points at the line, 41-23, and with 14:57 to play Lippert buried a jumper for a 46-30 edge.

The Bears got back into the game with a 14-3 run over the next six-plus minutes which cut Harvard's lead to five, 49-44. Passafuime scored eight points during the stretch, which was capped off by a pair of Lauren Clark free throws. Berry made a strong drive down the right side of the lane to end the Crimson's drought, but Aileen Daniels scored a breakaway layup after three straight Brown free throws to move the score to 51-49.

Lauren Clark's three-pointer with 4:31 remaining tied the game at 54, marking the first time since the score was 2-2 that the Bears had held a share of the lead. Berry drained a three-pointer on Harvard's next trip down the court for a 57-54 advantage, and Daniels matched her two possessions later to even the score again. It was Lippert's turn to hit the big shot as she put the Crimson in front 60-57 with 2:09 remaining, and after two free throws from Berry with 0:43 on the clock Harvard held a 62-57 lead. Berry added three more at the line down the stretch, giving Harvard the 65-57 win.

The Crimson will return to action next weekend as it heads to New York State for a pair of games at Cornell and Columbia. Harvard will first face the Big Red Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. before taking on the Lions Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.

Game Notes: Harvard has won eight of its last 10 Ivy League contests at Lavietes Pavilion and is 34-9 at home since 2008-09 … Four Crimson scored in double-digits, marking only the second time Harvard has accomplished the feat this season … Miriam Rutzen scored a season-high 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for her second career double-double and first of the year … Miriam Rutzen grabbed 11 rebounds in both of Harvard's games this weekend and has notched 10-plus rebounds four times this season … Victoria Lippert's four three-pointers matched her career-high … Christine Clark has scored in double-digits each game this season and in 19 straight dating back to last year … Harvard has outrebounded its opponents in 15 of 17 games this season.