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Women's Basketball Goes Down to the Wire in 57-53 Win at Penn

Lippert's three-pointer with 1:13 remaining propelled Harvard to the victory at Penn (Gil Talbot).

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Victoria Lippert scored 17 points and hit a three-pointer with just 1:13 remaining to take the lead for good as the Harvard women's basketball team defeated Penn, 57-53, Saturday night at the Palestra.

Lippert shot 7-of-11 from the field, including 2-of-4 from three, and hit her biggest shot of the night with the game on the line. The junior came off a screen at the top of the key to bury the trey, breaking a 50-50 tie, the seventh tie of the night, and helping Harvard (14-11, 7-4 Ivy League) secure the victory.

Emma Golen added 13 points and was 4-of-8 from behind the arc while Christine Clark chipped in 12. Miriam Rutzen grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, the fifth time this season she has recorded at least 10. Harvard shot 43.5 percent for the game and was 11-of-13 from the line.

Alyssa Baron scored a game-high 20 points as Penn (11-14, 4-7 Ivy League) combined to shoot 36.2 percent from the field. The victory improves Harvard to 8-6 on the road and secures the team's first winning record on the road since 2008-09.

The game started at a frantic pace as the teams combined for 19 points just over four minutes in. Brogan Berry got the scoring started with a layup and Victoria Lippert followed with a jumper on the team's next trip down the court for a 4-2 lead. Back-to-back three-pointers by Jess Knapp and Alyssa Baron put Penn in front, 8-4, before a Golen three and Clark layup put Harvard back on top, 9-8. A pair of Berry free throws gave the Crimson an 11-10 edge, but the Quakers responded with five straight points for a 15-11 lead.

Clark's jumper in the lane made it a one-point game, 17-16, with 11:46 to play in the frame and a Golen three from the top of the key regained the lead for the Crimson, 19-17. Elise Gordon extended it to a 21-17 advantage with a step-back jumper. A Lippert layup moved the score to 25-20, but the Quakers closed the half out on an 11-3 run to take a 31-28 lead into the break.

Lippert led the Crimson with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting at the intermission as Harvard shot 11-of-19 as a team. Penn hit just 12-of-31 attempts from the field but went 7-of-13 from behind the arc to build its lead. Baron paced all scorers with 11 first half points.

After a Penn bucket on the first possession of the half, Harvard scored seven unanswered points to take the lead once again, 35-33. Golen began the stretch with her third three-pointer of the night and Rutzen tied the score at 35 with a pair of free throws. A Clark layup gave the Crimson the two-point margin.

Berry gave Harvard a four-point cushion with a 15-foot jumper and Lippert moved the score to 44-37 with and and-one off a no-look feed from Missy Mullins. The Quakers used a 6-0 run to pull within one, 44-43, with 7:19 to play before Golen scored four straight points for a 48-43 edge. Penn retied the score at 48 after Baron scored five unanswered points, and with under 2:00 to play the teams were tied at 50-50.

Lippert broke the final tie with the team's sixth triple of the night and Berry made a strong drive to the basket to put the score at 55-51 with 0:35 remaining. Clark iced the game at the free-throw line, giving Harvard the final 57-53 margin.

Harvard will wrap up its regular season with a three-game homestand beginning Friday, March 2 against Columbia at 7 p.m. The Crimson will celebrate Senior Day Saturday, March 3 against Cornell at 6 p.m. and will host Dartmouth in the regular season finale Tuesday, March 6 at 7 p.m.

Game Notes: Harvard remains one-half game behind Yale for second place in the Ivy League standings following the Bulldogs' 69-58 win at Cornell … Saturday's game marked head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith's 800th as head coach of the Crimson … Harvard improved to 8-6 on the road with the win, securing the team's first winning road record since going 10-5 in 2008-09 … Miriam Rutzen grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, marking the fith time this season she has grabbed at least 10.