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Second Half Comeback Falls Short as Harvard Falls to Marist, 85-70

Photo of Christine Matera courtesy of Gil Talbot.

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Junior co-captain Christine Matera scored a career-high 19 points and classmate Emma Markley recorded her fourth straight double-double of the season in Harvard’s 85-70 loss to Marist Tuesday night. The Crimson nearly erased a 20-point halftime deficit midway through the second half but were unable to hold off five-time defending MAAC Champions.

Matera was 7-for-13 from the field and 4-for-10 from beyond the arc in her highest scoring collegiate game. Sophomore Brogan Berry scored 16 points, nine coming in the second half, while Markley put up 16 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. Junior Claire Wheeler also scored in double figures adding 10.

Marist scored on its first possession to take an early 2-0 lead before a Matera three put the visiting team up 3-2 on the first of four three pointers. The game went back and forth for the next five minutes. A Rachele Fitz three put the Red Foxes up by seven before Markley took a Matera pass to the hoop and after getting fouled made the free throw for the three-point play. Matera drained a long jumper to cut the lead to 16-14 at 13:16. Marist pulled out to a 23-14 lead on a pair of Fitz’s lay-ups and a three from Elise Caron. Harvard closed the gap again with a trifecta from Berry and a three-point basket from Jackie Alemany.

But the Red Foxes used an 11-3 run to extend its lead to 34-23, the first double-digit lead by either team. Matera drained another three and Jackie Alemany hit a jumper to put the lead to 34-27 with 6:39 left in the first half. Marist went on a 16-3 run over the final five minutes of the first half to take a 50-30 lead at halftime.

Harvard fought its way back into the game in the second half, using an 18-4 run to cut the lead to single digits. Berry and Matera took shots from beyond the arc and scored on second chances to help the Crimson cut the deficit to 64-55 with just over nine minutes to play. A trey from Matera with 8:09 left in the game cut the home team advantage to just 66-58. Marist answered with a three-pointer and went up by as many as 12 over the next two minutes. A three-point play from freshman Victoria Lippert and free throws from Markley moved the Crimson to within nine at 74-65. It was as close as the Crimson would get as the Red Foxes capitalized on Harvard fouls and pulled away late in the game.

Harvard 38.7 percent from the field, 32 percent from downtown and 70 percent from the charity stripe. Marist won the battle on the glass, pulling down 41 rebounds, three more than the Crimson.

The Crimson returns home to face Navy Saturday at Lavietes Pavilion. Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m.