Highest Scoring Output since 1997 Lifts Women’s Basketball Past Columbia, 99-64

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
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Harvard rolls to 6-1 in the Ivy League. 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Posting the most points since 1997, Harvard women's basketball (16-5, 6-1) downed Columbia 99-64 to extend its home winning streak to 20 games Friday night at Lavietes Pavilion. Senior captain Christine Clark paced the Crimson with 21 points, while sophomore forward AnnMarie Healy registered her first career double-double with a career-high 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The 6-1 Ivy League record marks the best start in conference play since the Crimson began 6-1 in 2006-07. Harvard ended that season at 13-1 in Ancient Eight play. The 99 points signals the most for Harvard since the Crimson posted 104 against Brown on March 1, 1997. It was also the most points allowed in the Lions' program history.

Sophomore guard Kit Metoyer ended with 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including 11 over the first 20 minutes. As a team, the Crimson shot 58.2 percent from the field, the second time over the last three games that Harvard has shot over 50 percent.

Columbia (4-17, 1-6) was led by 11 points from Tori Oliver. The Lions shot just 33.3 percent, including 11-of-40 (27.5 percent) from two.  

The Crimson came out firing, hitting five of its first eight shots to jump out to an early 11-0 lead and holding the Lions to 0-of-9 shooting. Holding an eight-point advantage three minutes later, Harvard ripped off a 21-2 run to boast a 27-point advantage at the 5:22 mark. Metoyer hit back-to-back triples to start the spurt and ended it with a pair of makes from the charity stripe. The sophomore from Houston, Texas posted eight of her 11 first-half points during the spree.

Two-straight threes by Columbia would narrow the Harvard advantage to 21, but seven-straight points – including a trey from junior captain Kaitlyn Dinkins – put the Crimson up 47-19 at the 2:41. Harvard went into the locker room up 48-22.

Over the first 20 minutes, the Crimson shot 68.0 from the field, including 7-of-10 from three. The Harvard defense allowed the Lions to shoot 40.0 from three, but locked down inside, allowing just two points in the paint and holding Columbia to 2-of-16 shooting from inside the arc.  

Harvard did not relent in the second half, expanding its lead to 36 over the first five minutes with a 16-4 run. The Crimson went inside, making six lay-ups, including one old-fashioned three-point play by Elise Gordon.  

The Crimson emptied its bench, as 12 players saw action and 11 posted two-plus points. Freshman Margaret Hartman saw her first action at Harvard, scoring nine points and pulling down three rebounds in nine minutes of play.

Harvard hosts its second-annual Pack the House event against Cornell tomorrow at 6 p.m. and will wear pink shoelaces and warm-ups in support of the fight against breast cancer.

Game Notes: The Crimson extends its home winning streak to 20 games, two shy of the program record 22-straight from 1996-98. Harvard head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith now owns 511 career wins, just three shy of tying Princeton's Pete Carril for most wins all-time at an Ivy League school. The 6-1 Ivy League record marks the best start in conference play since the Crimson began 6-1 in 2006-07. Harvard ended that season at 13-1 in Ancient Eight play. With 21 points, Christine Clark needs 19 points to tie Erin Maher '93 (1,582) for fifth all-time at Harvard in career scoring. The senior has scored 1,563 career points. Clark scored in double-figures for the 89th time in her career and 15th time this season. Clark posted 20-plus for the seventh time this year. For the second time in three games, Kit Metoyer posted double-figures with 14 points. With six made free throws, Clark sits at No. 3 all-time with 412 career free throws. The senior needs 16 to pass Reka Cserny '04 for second all-time. Harvard moves to 14-4 with the starting lineup of Curtis, Clark, Mullins, Fagbenle and McDonnell. Harvard moves to 55-2 all-time against Columbia, winning 10-straight in the series. Maggie Hartman scored her first career points (9) in her first career action at Harvard. Crimson scored 90-plus points for the third time this season. AnnMarie Healy registered a career high in points (17) and rebounds (10) for her first career double-double. It marked the second time this season Healy has paced Harvard in rebounds. The 27 free throws represent the seventh-most in program history.