PRINCETON, N.J. – Earning its first win at Jadwin Gym since 2009, Harvard women's basketball (13-4, 3-0) defeated Princeton, 78-68, Friday evening behind 25 points from senior captain Christine Clark.
The Crimson starts 3-0 in Ancient Eight play for the first time since 2010-11, while the Tigers drop to 10-6 overall and 1-1 in conference action. The Tigers had not lost at home in conference play since the Feb. 13, 2009 vs. Yale.
Junior Temi Fagbenle posted her eighth double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds. The eight double-doubles signals the most for a Crimson player since Reka Cserny in 2004-05. Senior Elise Gordon neared her career high with 12 points, adding five rebounds.
Harvard connected on 25-of-30 free throws, matching the most in a single game since Dec. 11, 2008. The 25 connections from the charity stripe sits in a tie for 10th all-time in Harvard program history.
For the Tigers, Alex Wheatley tallied 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Michelle Miller chipped in 11 points.
After trading baskets early in the game, Harvard started clicking at the 14:15 mark, outscoring Princeton 25-6 over the next nine minutes. Trailing by one at the beginning of the run, Clark and Gordon combined for 11 points during the spurt as the Crimson took its largest lead of the game, 31-13, with 6:23 remaining. Harvard also turned it up on the defensive end, holding the Tigers to 4-of-17 (23.5 percent) over the first 14 minutes of action.
Wheatley scored 10 of the next 14 points to pull the Tigers within 12, 35-23, with just over two minutes to play. The two teams steadied before the break, as Harvard entered the locker room with a 44-30 advantage.
Over the first 20 minutes, Harvard shot 50.0 percent from the field, connecting on 5-of-11 three point attempts. The Crimson also controlled the paint, holding a 24-19 edge on the boards and a 22-18 advantage in the paint.
Four points from Fagbenle opened the scoring in the second half, but Princeton spouted a 12-0 run to pull within six, 48-42, with 14:37 to play. Ali Curtis used a hard take to the basket to convert two free throws and stop the run. Clark followed by knocking down a trey. After Gordon drew a charge on the opposite end, Curtis turned the effort into three points, giving the Crimson a 56-42 lead with 13:14 to play.
Princeton wouldn't quit, rattling off 12-straight points to pull within one, 62-61, with just over six minutes to play. Battling back-and-forth, Clark and senior Jasmine Evans connected on 10-of-12 free throws over the final 2:06 to secure the win for the Crimson.
Harvard continues its road swing at Penn Saturday night. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Palestra.
Game Notes: This marks the first win for Harvard at Princeton since Jan. 31, 2009. Harvard starts 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 2010-11. With 25 points, Christine Clark sits at No. 7 all-time with 1,503 points. The senior scored in double-figures for the 85th time in her career and 12th time this season. Clark posted 20-plus points for the sixth time in 2013-14 and the first since Northeastern on Nov. 26. Temi Fagbenle registered her eighth double-double of the season and 15th of her career with 13 points and 13 rebounds. The eight double-doubles mark the most for a Crimson since Reka Cserny in 2004-05. Elise Gordon posted double-figures for the fourth time this season with 12 points. Fagbenle scored in double-digits for the 13th time this season and the 33rd game of her career. Harvard moves to 11-3 with the starting lineup of Curtis, Clark, Mullins, Fagbenle and McDonnell. With 11 made free throws, Clark sits at No. 4 all-time with 394 career free throws. The senior needs two to pass Brogan Berry '11 for third all-time. Harvard made 25 free throws, the most since 2008 and the 10th-most all-time at Harvard. The Crimson moves to 10-2 when scoring more than 70 points. Eight players posted at least two points.