Women's Basketball Knocks Off UND for First Win of Year, 65-52

Emma Golen drives the baseline in the team's 63-56 win over St. John's (Gil Talbot).
Emma Golen drives the baseline in the team's 63-56 win over St. John's (Gil Talbot).

Golen went a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point range Sunday (Gil Talbot).

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Christine Clark scored a game-high 17 points and Temi Fagbenle recorded her first career double-double as the Harvard women's basketball team rolled to a 65-52 win at the University of North Dakota Sunday afternoon.

Clark's 17 points came on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor and 5-of-5 shooting at the line. The junior also added a team-best four assists, her highest total since 2010. Fagbenle, meanwhile, went for 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting and pulled down 10 rebounds for the double-double.

Victoria Lippert and Emma Golen also got in on the scoring and chipped in 14 points and 12 points, respectively. The bulk of Lippert's points came at the line where she went 7-of-8 to go along with eight rebounds and two steals. Golen was a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond the arc as Harvard (1-1) shot 5-of-7 from three for the day.

The Crimson outrebounded North Dakota (0-1) 36-27 and held UND to just 33.3 percent (17-51) shooting. Both Megan Lauck and Katie Houdek scored a team-high 15 points to lead the way.

Fagbenle asserted herself early with an assist to Miriam Rutzen at one end and a steal at the other to help Harvard to a 6-0 lead out of the gates. Fagbenle's and-one made it a 9-4 game and a Lippert jumper put the Crimson ahead 12-6. A four-plus minute drought, however, allowed North Dakota to pull within one, 14-13.

Clark got Harvard back on track with two at the line and after a Rutzen block turned into a Clark layup the Crimson were out in front 18-13. The junior made it six straight points with another two at the line before Emma Golen hit a three from the top of the key for a 23-16 margin. Harvard's defense took over from there, as Jasmine Evans stole the ball at midcourt en route to a three-point play and a Fagbenle steal on the next possesion led to a Clark and-one and a 29-16 advantage. UND made the last bucket before the break, but the Crimson maintained a double-digit lead, 29-19, heading into the locker room.

Clark was the high-scorer at intermission with 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the floor and a 5-of-5 performance at the line. Lippert chipped in five points and four boards while Rutzen added four points.

Harvard and UND went shot-for-shot in the opening minutes of the second half as the lead wavered between six and 12 points. Lippert hit a runner and three-pointer on back-to-back possessions for a 36-25 lead, and a pair of Fagbenle jumpers put the score at 40-30. Harvard finally began to pull away as Golen sank a pair of three's on consecutive possessions for a 46-32 margin.

A pair of Lippert free throws and Golen's fourth three-pointer of the afternoon extended Harvard's lead to 51-35, but UND scored six straight points to make it a 51-41 game with 8:32 remaining. Clark and Fagbenle made sure there would be no comeback, however, as the two scored on back-to-back possessions to regain a 55-41 edge. Two free throws from Erin McDonnell extended the lead to 57-41 and Fagbenle capped off her double-double with a long-range jumper for a 59-43 advantage.

North Dakota outscored the Crimson 9-2 over the next two-plus minutes but two Lippert free throws and a Clark breakaway layup put the game to bed.

Harvard will open its home slate on Friday, Nov. 16 as it hosts BYU at Lavietes Pavilion at 5:00 p.m.

Game Notes: Temi Fagbenle recorded her first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds … Emma Golen went 4-of-4 from beyond the arc against UND and is 7-of-8 from three on the year … Harvard has shot 17-of-33 (51.5%) from three and 22-of-27 (81.5%) from the line on the young season … Dating back to last season, Harvard is 14-1 when holding opponents to less than 60 points.