Harvard women basketball’s hopes for the Ivy League title were crushed Saturday night by Princeton. The Crimson (17-10, 9-4 Ivy) entered this weekend’s road trip needing to win games against Penn (11-16, 5-8) Friday and the Tigers (23-4, 12-1) Saturday. Harvard kept its hopes alive with a win against Penn, but the team’s defensive mistakes kept it from success at Jadwin Gymnasium in New Jersey.
Disappointment was the word on everyone’s lips.
“We’re pretty disappointed with the weekend,” said Crimson coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. “We got a win [Friday] night at Penn and thought we were going to be able to get a win at Princeton.”
PRINCETON 68, HARVARD 59
“It was a win we definitely could have gotten,” co-captain Christine Matera said.
After coming off of a victory the night before, the Crimson could not match up to the Tigers in its final game of the regular season.
The Crimson women performed well offensively, with four players tallying double-digit figures. Matera led the squad with 13 points, including three three-pointers. Junior Brogan Berry and sophomore Victoria Lippert each scored 12 points, and freshman Christine Clark netted 11 as well.
“Emma [Markley] didn’t play a lot, and she’s generally a big scorer for us,” Delaney-Smith said. “Her leg really flared up tonight and was in a lot of pain, so she wasn’t able to help us out statistically.”
Harvard’s offense was 40.4 percent from the field, while Princeton’s was 43.5 percent. The Crimson had a couple of big three-pointers to stay in the game—though shooting 38.9 percent from downtown—and edged out the Tigers in rebounds, 40-39.
Princeton took a 12-4 lead six minutes into the game, but the Crimson battled back with a 9-0 run. The Tigers moved the ball well, capitalizing on rebounds and scoring 17 points total off of Harvard turnovers. Princeton went on a 6-0 run just before the half to make it 32-26.
In the second period, Matera started off on a tear, scoring five times in five minutes. The Tigers came right back, bringing the score in their favor to 53-49. On a string of Harvard turnovers, Princeton widened the gap using a 10-2 run to set the score at 63-52 with just over three minutes left. Despite baskets from Berry and Clark, the Tigers held onto their lead, extending the Crimson’s deficit to 12 points.
“[Princeton] definitely came out strong and scored on our turnovers,” Berry said. “They’re a good transition team and they really took advantage of us in that sense. We weren’t able to make quick enough adjustments.”
Delaney-Smith cited three main errors: bad transitions, missing box-outs, and lack of focus.
“It was a very close ball game. It wasn’t over until it was over,” Delaney-Smith said. “But you don’t play a team to try to stay in the race and make those kinds of errors. Unfortunately, we did.”
HARVARD 56, PENN 48