Clark scored 17 of her game-high 25 points in the first half (Gil Talbot).
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Harvard women's basketball team shot 50 percent from the field for a second straight game and rolled to an 80-63 victory Tuesday night at Holy Cross. With the win, Harvard improves to 3-1 and matches the program's best record through four games since the 1987-88 team opened the year 5-0.
Christine Clark put on a dominant performance with 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the floor and 3-of-4 shooting from three. Clark scored 17 points in the first half and added six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Missy Mullins was the only other Crimson to reach double-digits as she scored a career-high 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting while going 2-of-2 from beyond the arc.
Harvard finished the night shooting 50.0 percent (31-62) from the field and 47.4 percent (9-19) from three. Four Crimson hit at least one three-pointer, including Emma Golen who turned in a 3-of-5 performance for nine points. Harvard shot 50.9 (27-53) Friday night against BYU, marking the first time the Crimson has shot over 50 percent in back-to-back games since Feb. 4-5, 2011 against Princeton and Penn.
Harvard got off to another slow start but turned it on with a six-point run to take a 9-4 lead. A Temi Fagbenle jumper gave the Crimson its first lead of the night, 5-4, and Victoria Lippert followed up with a baseline drive for a 7-4 edge. A pair of Clark free throws capped off the run before the junior added her second three-pointer for a 12-6 margin. Holy Cross (1-3) mounted a comeback, however, and retook the lead off a Christine Ganser jumper, 13-12.
Clark would not be outdone and drained a third triple to put the Crimson back on top, 15-12. Harvard was off to the races after that basket and outscoured the Crusaders 13-2 over the next two-plus minutes. Mullins and Golen added three's of their own and a putback by Mullins gave Harvard a 10-point advantage, 25-15.
The lead bounced between nine points and 11 points until Golen's second trey made it a 37-25 game. The Crimson added a basket by Erin McDonnell and two more Clark buckets before heading into the intermission with a 45-33 lead.
Clark finished the first half with 17 points, one point shy of her season high. The junior shot 6-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from three, and also added two assists and two steals. Mullins, Golen and McDonnell each chipped in six points as the Crimson shot 56.7 percent (17-30) from the field and 6-of-11 from three.
Harvard kept the pressure on out of the break and went ahead 48-33 on a Lippert trey. Clark played the ball off a defender's back on an out-of-bounds-under play for an easy layup and moments later Fagbenle extended the margin to 56-39. Jasmine Evans's steal and lay-in made it a 21-point game, 70-49, and Mullins pushed the score to 73-51 as her three-pointer just beat the buzzer.
Holy Cross scored seven straight points to bring the lead down to 15, 75-60, but Harvard remained in control and walked away with the 80-62 victory.
Harvard will be back in action Friday, Nov. 23 as it faces Michigan at 2 p.m. in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Game Notes: Harvard's 3-1 record matches the program's best start to a season since the 1987-88 team went 5-0 to begin the year … Harvard has shot over 50 percent in two straight games, marking the first time the Crimson has done so since Feb. 4-5, 2011 against Princeton and Penn.