Winners of 21-straight at Lavietes, Women’s Basketball Overpowers Cornell, 84-69

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior guard Jasmine Evans registered a personal-best 21 points to lead a quartet of double-figure scorers as Harvard women's basketball (17-5, 7-1) downed Cornell, 84-69, Saturday night in front of a crowd of 1,334 at Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson has won 21-straight in Cambridge.   

Senior captain Christine Clark chipped in 20 points to pass Erin Maher '93 for fifth all-time on the Harvard career scoring list. Junior forward Temi Fagbenle neared a double-double with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Ali Curtis added 10 points and four rebounds.

The 7-1 Ivy League record marks the best start in conference play since the Crimson began 13-1 in 2006-07. Cornell (12-10, 4-4) had four players score 10-plus, led by Stephanie Long with 17 points. Allyson DiMagno posted a double-double with 16 points, 11 boards.   

The Crimson jumped out to an 11-4 lead over the first five minutes, getting contributions from four different players early. Back-to-back buckets by Long pulled the Big Red within three, 11-8, at the 14:33 mark, but Harvard stormed back with eight of the next 11 points.

Holding onto a five-point advantage with just under three minutes to play before the break, Harvard used a 9-4 surge to head to the locker room up 10 points. Kit Metoyer buried a long trey as time expired to account for the difference.

Harvard did not relent after the stoppage, ripping off the first six points to expand its lead to 16 points. Melissa Mullins knocked down a triple at the 14:05 mark, giving the Crimson a 20-point lead, 54-34.

Cornell started to whittle away at the Crimson lead with 5:35 remaining, ripping off an 11-2 run to pull within 11, 70-59, with 3:39 to go. Five-straight points by Harvard – including four by Curtis – gave the Crimson some breathing room and the 84-69 win.

Harvard continues its homestand next weekend against Penn and Princeton at Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson faces the Quakers at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 and the Tigers at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Game Notes: The Crimson extends its home winning streak to 21 games, one shy of the program record 22-straight from 1996-98. Harvard head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith now owns 512 career wins, just two shy of tying Princeton's Pete Carril for most wins all-time at an Ivy League school. The 7-1 Ivy League record marks the best start in conference play since the Crimson began 13-1 in 2006-07. Registering her 15th double-figure game this season and the 35th of her career, Temi Fagbenle scored 14 points, including 10 over the first 20 minutes. With 20 points, Christine Clark passed Erin Maher '93 for fifth all-time at Harvard in career scoring with 1,563 career points. Clark scored in double-figures for the 90th time in her career and 16th time this season. Clark posted 20-plus for the eighth time this year. Jasmine Evans scored double-digits for the 11th time this season. The Crimson moves to 59-11 all-time against Cornell and has won 12-straight in the series. Harvard moves to 15-4 with the starting lineup of Curtis, Clark, Mullins, Fagbenle and McDonnell. The Crimson improves to 7-0 when scoring 80-plus. With seven made free throws, Clark sits at No. 3 all-time with 419 career free throws. The senior needs nine to pass Reka Cserny '04 for second all-time.