Women's Basketball Falls at Drexel, 82-72, in WNIT Second Round

Women's Basketball Falls at Drexel, 82-72, in WNIT Second Round

The Crimson succumbed to the Dragons despite four double-digit scorers (Gil Talbot).

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Harvard women's basketball team shot a season-high 57 percent and received four double-digit scoring performances Saturday night, but the Crimson could not overcome the Drexel Dragons in an 82-72 loss in the WNIT second round.

Harvard (21-9) finished the night shooting an astounding 29-of-51 from the field as Christine Clark, Victoria Lippert, Temi Fagbenle and Elle Hagedorn each went over 10 points. Clark and Lippert led the way with 15 points as Fagbenle and Hagedorn added 14 and 10, respectively. Clark and Hagedorn also set career-highs with six assists, and Fagbenle pulled down seven rebounds to pace the Crimson on the glass.

Despite Harvard's hot hand, Drexel (24-10) advanced to the WNIT's third round thanks to a 53 percent (30-57) shooting night which included nine three-pointers. The Dragons owned a 32-22 margin on the glass and scored 12 second-chance points off 14 offensive rebounds. Hollie Mershon turned in 32 points and nine assists to lead Drexel while Taylor Wootton added 20 points, nine rebounds and five helpers.

Harvard scored on each of its first four possessions to take a 9-4 lead out of the gates. Fagbenle got the scoring going with a bucket in the paint and was followed by five points from Lippert. Fagbenle added a second bucket as Clark found her cutting across the baseline. Drexel was able to keep pace, however, and evened the game at 9-9 off five points from Merson.

The teams continued to go back-and-forth with a Fagbenle and-one giving the Crimson a 14-11 edge before a Mershon three-pointer put the Dragons up, 20-18. Christine Clark scored six straight points to match baskets at the other end and keep it at a three-point game, 29-26, and a putback by Jasmine Evans moved the score to 35-32 in Drexel's favor with 2:24 to play. A 6-2 run by the Dragons to close the half sent Harvard into the locker room trailing by seven, 41-34.

Harvard and Drexel shot an identical 16-of-27 in the frame but the Dragons went 5-of-11 from deep to build their lead. Drexel also held a 14-9 advantage on the glass while going 4-of-4 at the line. Clark's eight points led the Crimson at the intermission as Lippert and Fagbenle each chipped in seven.

Fagbenle scored the first points coming out of the intermission but the Dragons answered back with seven straight to take a double-digit lead, 48-36. Evans ended the drought with a three in transition and Hagedorn followed with a three of her own to make it a 51-42 game. Drexel came back with a 6-0 stretch to extend its lead to 57-42 and maintained a 16-point margin, 69-53, with 6:37 to play.

A three-pointer from Lippert began to swing the momentum in Harvard's favor. The senior stole the ball at the other end and led a fast break which resulted in a pair of Clark free throws, edging the Crimson back within 11, 69-58. It was a nine-point game following baskets by Fagbenle and Lippert, 71-62, and Harvard had the lead down to seven, 74-67, off a Hagedorn three with under 2:00 remaining.

An and-one by Clark brought the Crimson with six, 76-70, but the Dragons hit 6-of-8 free throws in the final minute to preserve the 82-72 victory.

Game Notes: Harvard shot a season-high 56.9 percent from the floor, its best performance since shooting 60.9 percent against Columbia on Feb. 19, 2011 … Christine Clark, Temi Fagbenle, Elle Hagedorn and Victoria Lippert each scored 10-plus points, giving the Crimson four double-digit scorers for the first time since Jan. 12 against UMass … Christine Clark and Elle Hagedorn each set a career-high with six assists … Victoria Lippert became Harvard's all-time leader in games played, appearing in her 117th career contest.