Second-Half Rally Comes Up Short for Women's Basketball at Dartmouth

The Crimson had its three-game win streak snapped at Dartmouth Saturday (Gil Talbot).

HANOVER, N.H. – The Harvard women's basketball team cut a 13-point deficit to six late in the second half but could not complete the comeback and fell to Dartmouth 58-45 Saturday.

Christine Clark finished the night with 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting with 15 of her points coming in the second half. Temi Fagbenle, meanwhile, nearly turned in a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds. No other Crimson scored more than five points as Harvard (10-6, 1-1 Ivy League) shot just 38.3 percent (18-47) for the game with a 1-of-19 performance from three.

Dartmouth (3-13, 1-1 Ivy League) connected on just 30.8 percent (16-52) of its attempts but turned 28 Crimson turnovers into 31 points. Nicola Zimmer paced the Big Green with 18 points while Faziah Steen added 13.

Harvard fell into a 7-1 hole to open the game thanks to an 0-3 shooting performance and four turnovers through the first four-plus minutes. Victoria Lippert finally connected for the Crimson's first field goal and after Emma Golen's jumper it was a two-point game, 7-5. Fagbenle tied the score at 7 with a drive to the basket and Clark's pull-up jumper gave Harvard its first lead, 9-8.

An 11-2 run by the Big Green put the Crimson behind by seven, 19-12, before Miriam Rutzen's three from the corner pulled Harvard within four, 19-15. Dartmouth went on the score the next seven points, however, and took a 26-17 advantage into the locker room at the break.

The Crimson shot just 6-of-20 in the first half and went just 1-of-8 from behind the arc. Harvard also committed 13 turnovers which led to 15 Dartmouth points, and trailed the Big Green 9-0 in second-chance points.

Rutzen scored the first points of the second half as the teams traded baskets early. Harvard began to cut into the lead with back-to-back baskets from Ali Curtis and Fagbenle, but five quick points put Dartmouth out in front by 11, 37-26. A basket by Kaitana Martinez made it a 7-0 run and gave the Big Green its biggest lead of the evening, 39-26, with 9:31 to play.

Trailing 43-30, Fagbenle started an 8-1 run with 1-of-2 at the line as Clark's and-one on the next possession pulled Harvard within nine, 43-34. The junior added two more buckets to make it a 44-38 game with 3:52 on the clock, but another Martinez jumper moved the margin back to eight, 46-38.

Clark cut the deficit to six once again with a layup in transition, 47-41, and 1:20 remaining. The Big Green, however, combined to hit 10-of-11 free throws in the final 0:52 seconds, sealing the 58-45 victory.

Harvard is back in action next weekend as it travels to Yale Friday, Feb. 1 and Brown Saturday, Feb. 2.

Game Notes: Christine Clark has scored 20-plus points in three straight games and five times this season … Temi Fagbenle pulled down double-digit rebounds for the fifth time this year … Harvard's loss snaps a six-game win streak versus Dartmouth, matching the Crimson's longest win streak in the series.