Women's Basketball Holds Off Cornell for Fourth Straight Road Win, 67-57

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

Clark scored 23 points to lead Harvard to its fourth straight win on the road.

Ithaca, N.Y. – The Harvard women's basketball team played its fourth straight game down to the wire and came away with a 67-57 win over Cornell Friday night in Ithaca, N.Y.

The Crimson (10-8, 3-1 Ivy League) led by just one with 5:04 remaining, but closed the game on a 13-4 run to hold off the Big Red (8-10, 2-2 Ivy League). Christine Clark scored a game-high 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting, and added six rebounds and a career-best five steals. Victoria Lippert notched 15 points while Brogan Berry tallied 12 points and six assists.

Harvard shot just 39.1 percent from the floor and went 5-of-18 from three, but limited Cornell to 37.5 percent shooting and outrebounded the Big Red 45-33. The Crimson also registered a 34-20 advantage in points in the paint.

Harvard has now won four straight on the road, marking the team's longest road winning streak since taking five in a row in February of 2010.

Taylor Flynn led Cornell with 16 points off the bench as Clare Fitzpatrick added 12. The victory improves the Crimson to 55-11 all-time against Cornell, including wins in each of the last eight meetings.

Harvard held a 5-2 lead after Clark cleaned up a Berry miss from three, but back-to-back baskets put the Big Red in front, 7-5. A second 5-0 stretch gave Cornell a 12-7 advantage that the Crimson quickly cut to 14-11 on layups by Clark and Missy Mullins. Cornell's lead reached as many as six points, 19-13, before Clark made it a one-point game, 19-18, with a desperation three from near midcourt as the shot clock expired.

Cornell was able to hold on to the lead and once again extended it to six points, 28-22. Berry moved the score to 28-25 with a three-pointer, and Clark tied it at 28 just before the half as she stole the ball at the timeline and took on contact at the hoop for a traditional three-point play.

Clark led all scorers with 10 at the break while Lippert and Berry added six points and five points, respectively. The Crimson held a 22-17 advantage on the glass and an 18-12 edge in points in the paint, but Cornell remained in the game by forcing 10 Harvard turnovers and hitting four three-pointers. Both teams struggled from the field in the frame, with Harvard hitting just 38.7 percent of its attempts and Cornell shooting 37.9 percent.

The Crimson opened the second half on a 15-4 run, shooting 6-of-9 from the floor to take a 43-32 lead. Berry and Emma Golen opened things up with back-to-back three's, and Lippert buried a 12-footer for a 36-29 edge. Miriam Rutzen followed moments later with a three-point play and capped the run off with another basket in the paint.

Cornell halted Harvard's momentum with a 7-0 stretch to cut its deficit to three, 45-42. The teams traded baskets over the next several minutes with a pair of Big Red free throws making it a two-point game, 52-50, with 6:21 remaining. Mullins moved the score to 54-50 but a three-pointer from Stephanie Long pulled Cornell to within one, 54-53.

Clark went coast-to-coast two possessions later for an uncontested layup and put the Crimson in front 59-53 with a three-pointer with 2:15 to play. Cornell elected to put Harvard on the line with each remaining possession, and the Crimson sealed the 67-57 victory with Berry, Clark and Golen hitting eight straight from the stripe.

Harvard will return to action tomorrow when it visits Columbia for a 7 p.m. tip.

Game Notes: Harvard has won four straight games on the road, matching the team's longest road win streak since February of 2010 … Harvard has now won 298 games in Ivy League play, and will soon become just the second program in Ancient Eight history to reach 300 … Christine Clark notched her second 20-point game of the year, and has scored in double-digits in 20 straight games dating back to last season … Harvard improved to 55-11 all-time against Cornell and has won each of the last eight meetings between the teams … Brogan Berry moved into eighth place in Harvard history with 1,295 career points and is now third in program annals with 486 career assists.