Clark Leads Women’s Basketball Past Cal Poly, 83-76

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
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Harvard opens its home slate Wednesday against BU.

CHICAGO – Behind 22 points from senior captain Christine Clark, Harvard women's basketball (1-1) used a late 14-0 spurt to take out Cal Poly, 83-76, in the second round of the DePaul Maggie Dixon Classic at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

Clark added seven boards and five assists in 37 minutes of play. Junior Temi Fagbenle registered her eighth career double-double with 16 and 10 boards. Junior Erin McDonnell (13) also posted double-figures and senior Melissa Mullins grabbed 12 boards to lead the Crimson on the glass.

The Mustangs (0-2) were paced by Jonae Ervin with 23 points and Molly Schlemer with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The Crimson shot 54.0 percent from the floor and got to the free throw line 30 times, making 23 of the attempts. Harvard also outrebounded Cal Poly by a 46-33 margin.

Harvard jumped out to a 12-3 lead over the first six minutes, as McDonnell and Mullins each poured in four points. The Crimson defense held the Mustangs to 1-of-12 shooting over the stretch to hold the early advantage.

Cal Poly fought back, converting three unanswered baskets to pull within three and continued to chip away before six-consecutive points from Schlemer gave the Mustangs their first lead of the game, 27-26.  The two squads traded baskets for the remainder of the half, as the Crimson took a 41-40 lead into the break.

Harvard shot 11-of-17 in the first half, converting 18-of-22 free throws and outrebounding the Mustangs by a 21-13 clip.

Neither team could gain more than a one-possession advantage until Jasmine Evans hit back-to-back treys from the right side to give Harvard control, 71-64, with 6:46 to play. Fagbenle chipped in two free throws and Clark converted an and-one to push the Crimson lead to 12, 76-64 with 6:12 to play. Cal Poly would make a push, but would get no closer than seven for the rest of the way.

Harvard opens its home slate Wednesday, Nov. 13 against Boston University. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion.

Game Notes: Christine Clark scored in double-figures for the 74th time in her career with 22 points. She has scored 20-plus in 14 contests. The 18 free throws made in the first half marked the most for the Crimson since Nov. 21, 2009 at Sacred Heart (18). For the 21st time in her career, Temi Fagbenle posted 10-plus points with 16. Melissa Mullins posted a career high with 12 rebounds, her second double-figure board tally. The Crimson moves to 1-0 when three-or-more players post double-digits. Erin McDonnell posted a personal best for the second-straight night with 13 points on a career-high six field goals. Harvard went with the starting lineup of Curtis, Clark, Mullins, Fagbenle and McDonnell for the second-straight night.