Women's Basketball End's Princeton's 33 Game Ivy League Win Streak, 58-55
Lippert scored 21 points to help the Crimson end Princeton's Ivy League win streak (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's basketball team finally got revenge on its archrival Princeton Friday night, halting the Tigers' Ivy League record 33-game conference win streak with a 58-55 victory at Lavietes Pavilion.
Princeton's last loss in conference play came in 2011, again at the hands of the Crimson in Cambridge. Harvard held the previous mark for consecutive Ivy League wins with 32 in a row from 1996-98, only to have its streak snapped by the Tigers on their home floor. The Crimson improve to 16-8 overall and 7-3 in the Ivy League with the victory, while Princeton falls to 18-6 overall, 9-1 in conference.
The win also keeps Harvard unbeaten on its home floor this season and extends the team's Lavietes Pavilion win streak to 12 dating back to last year.
Victoria Lippert scored a game-high 21 points and was a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line. Christine Clark chipped in 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting while Temi Fagbenle added nine points, nine boards and three blocks.
Harvard shot just 37.5 percent (21-56) from the floor but limited Princeton to a season-low 25.8 percent (16-62) performance. Kristen Helmstetter paced the Tigers with 18 points as Niveen Rasheed tallied a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double.
Harvard took a 4-0 lead off baskets by Fagbenle and Clark before seven straight points by the Tigers put Princeton out in front, 7-4. Lippert scored four straight points to bring the Crimson to within one, 9-8, and a jumper by Elle Hagedorn gave the lead back to the home team, 10-9. Clark kept the run going with a shot from behind the arc, and Lippert made it an 11-0 stretch to put the score at 15-9.
Princeton cut its deficit to three, 19-16, but Clark buried a straightaway three-pointer to push the margin back to six. A strong move by Fagbenle under the basket extended the lead to 24-16, and Hagedorn's triple from the left corner made it a 27-20 game. The Tigers cut the lead to two behind back-to-back Megan Bowen baskets, but a jumper by Lippert capped the scoring and sent Harvard into the break with a 29-25 advantage.
Lippert led all scorers in the first half with 10 points while Clark added eight and Hagedorn chipped in five. The Crimson shot 44.4 percent (12-27) in the frame and was 3-of-6 from behind the arc. Princeton, meanwhile, shot just 33.3 percent (9-of-27) and committed nine turnovers which led to eight Harvard points.
Both teams struggled to score early in the second half as the defenses went to work. Ali Curtis finally opened things up with her three at the 15:59 mark for a 34-28 lead, but Princeton countered to make it a two-point game once again, 34-32. Harvard created breathing room for itself with baskets by Clark and Fagbenle, 40-33, and Clark added two more buckets to answer shots by the Tigers and maintain a 44-38 edge.
Princeton scored six quick points coming out of the under-eight timeout to even the score at 44-44. Jasmine Evans responded with a baseline drive at the other end before Niveen Rasheed gave the Tigers their first lead since 14:25 of the first half, 49-47.
Lippert put the Crimson back in front with a spot up three-pointer, 52-51, and Fagbenle's drive to the hoop gave Harvard a three-point edge, 54-51, with 53 seconds to go. Lippert answered Kristen Helmstetter's layup at the line with 36.2 seconds on the clock, but Helmstetter kept it a one-score game with another jumper in the paint, 56-55.
Lippert added two more free throws with just 20.5 to play, and after two last second Princeton attempts failed to hit the mark the Crimson walked away with the 58-55 victory.
Harvard will now host Penn tomorrow at 6 p.m. The Quakers are currently in second place of the Ancient Eight standings with an 8-2 mark, one game ahead of the Crimson.
Game Notes: Harvard's victory ends Princeton's Ivy League record 33 game conference win streak … The Tigers' last loss in Ivy League play also came at the hands of the Crimson, 73-67, on Feb. 4, 2011 … Harvard held the previous record for consecutive Ivy League wins with 32 from 1996-98 … Victoria Lippert scored a game-high 21 points for her fifth 20-point performance of the year … Victoria Lippert has led the Crimson in scoring in three of the last four games and four of the last six.