The Crimson has advanced to the second round of the WNIT for the second straight year (Jon Chase/Harvard staff Photographer).
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Elle Hagedorn followed her own miss with 8 seconds to play to give the Harvard women's basketball team a 61-57 win at Hartford Thursday night in the first round of the WNIT.
Hagedorn's last-second bucket accounted for her only points of the night but it ended a 5-0 run by Hartford to secure the victory. Harvard had gone on top by eight, 59-51, with 1:15 to play before the Hawks stormed back with five straight in the closing minute.
Harvard (21-8) will now face Drexel in the second round of the WNIT in Philadelphia, Pa., Saturday, March 23 at 7 p.m.
The Crimson owned a 44-27 advantage on the glass and shot 46.7 percent for the game despite a 2-of-16 performance from three-point range. Harvard also scored 32 points in the paint and added 19 second-chance points.
Christie Michals led Hartford (21-12) with 11 points as Ruthanne Doherty tallied 10.
Clark provided the firepower early as the teams kept pace with one another throughout the half. Clark scored six of the Crimson's first nine points and grabbed four boards to help Harvard to a 12-6 rebounding advantage, but Hartford kept it at a one-point game, 11-10, thanks to six points from Katie Roth. The Hawks took their first lead off a Shanise Bultron three-pointer, 13-11, and led 22-19 with 3:52 left in the half.
A pair of AnnMarie Healy free throws pulled Harvard back within one and a Jasmine Evans layup tied the game at 23. The Crimson regained its lead off a Clark and-one, 26-24, but the Hawks closed the half on a 6-2 run to take a 30-28 lead into the break.
Clark led both teams with nine points and five rebounds at half as Harvard held a 26-12 margin on the glass. Lippert added six points and Fagbenle chipped in five points and three boards. Hartford's advantage came from behind the arc where it hit four three-pointers and at the defensive end where it forced 13 turnovers.
Harvard opened the second half on an 8-1 run to jump back on top, 36-31. Lippert and Fagbenle scored on back-to-back possessions to regain the lead, and buckets by Clark and Lippert extended the margin to five. Hartford answered back by scoring 11 of the next 13 points and moved back ahead of the Crimson on an Alyssa Englert jumper, 39-38. Dougherty capped the run off with an and-one in the paint to move the score to 42-38.
Harvard retied the score at 44 on a Fagbenle jumper and took the lead back with a basket by Lippert, 48-47. A Lippert three pushed the margin to 51-47, and six points by Clark and Fagbenle made it a 59-51 games with just 1:15 to play.
Game Notes: Harvard, making its fourth appearance in the WNIT, has advanced to the second round for a second straight year ... Christine Clark registered her second double-double of the year with 15 points and 10 rebounds ... Victoria Lippert scored 13 of her game-high 19 points in the second half ... Harvard outrebounded the Hawks by a +17 margin after outrebounding Columbia by a +21 margin last week.