Spokane wasn’t the only place that a Harvard basketball team was feeling victorious on Thursday. Hours after the men’s squad upset Cincinnati, the women (22-7, 11-3 Ivy) pulled out a nail-biting win in New Rochelle, N.Y. to advance to the second round of the WNIT for the third consecutive year.
With seven seconds left on the clock and Harvard up by two, Iona guard Aleesha Powell drove to the basket for a hard layup, drawing the foul on captain Christine Clark and making the basket for the three-point play. Powell, an 84.9 percent free-throw shooter, completed the and-one.
One-point Gaels lead, 6.7 seconds on the clock.
But Clark was not about to let her season—and Harvard career—end with that. The veteran took the inbounds pass from junior forward Erin McDonnell and took the ball from one end of the court to the other, blowing past five Iona defenders and putting up a layup of her own with 0.8 seconds left to give Harvard the lead.
Clark’s last-second heroics helped the Crimson end Iona’s WNIT run as Harvard outlasted the Gaels (26-6, 18-2 MAAC), 90-89, at the Hynes Athletic Center.
“We had two options going in [to the final possession],” Clark said. “Our other option got taken away because they were running the zone-press on us, so I went with the next option, and that was me driving to the basket.”
The senior led the Crimson’s offensive attack all year, averaging 16.7 points per game, but was shut down for much of the night by Iona forward Joy Adams, who foiled Clark’s attempts all night to drive into the paint and held the guard to just five-for-18 shooting.