NEW YORK -- The Columbia women's basketball team dropped its fourth straight contest on Saturday evening, as Harvard shot a blistering 60.9 percent from the floor, including 15-for-23 in the second half, to run past the Lions, 77-46, at Lavietes Pavilion. Christine Clark led the Crimson with a career-high 28 points and led the charge from the field, missing only two of her 13 attempts.
Seniors Kathleen Barry and Lauren Dwyer each had 10 points for Columbia, who connected on just eight of its 27 field-goal attempts in the second stanza and was outrebounded 22-11 over the final 20 minutes.
Both teams started off hot to start the game, with the Lions converting six of their first eight tries and Harvard making its first six attempts. A jumper by sophomore Tyler Simpson knotted the contest at 12-apiece with 13:25 remaining in the first half.
Another storyline throughout the first period was the turnover battle, as both sides had difficulty hanging on to the basketball. Columbia committed 16 turnovers in the opening period, while the Crimson nearly matched the visitors with 14 of their own. After Simpson's basket, the Lions turned the ball over nine times over the next eight minutes and went 0-for-6 from the field as Harvard built a 24-15 lead with 5:06 left.
A three-pointer by first-year Brianna Orlich pulled the Lions to within six points, before Clark scored three of the next four buckets for Harvard to put the advantage into double digits at 32-20 with a little over a minute left in the period. Orlich capped the scoring in the stanza and cut the Columbia deficit to single digits on an old-fashioned three-point play at the 52-second mark.
The second half began the same way for the Crimson, as they seemingly could not miss from the field. Junior guard Brogan Berry ignited a 6-0 spurt to begin the period and extend the home team's lead to 40-25 with 17:06 to play.
The Lions would trade blows with Harvard over the ensuing nine minutes of play, but could not get enough defensive stops to mount a serious challenge. With the score at 54-40, Harvard went on a decisive 23-4 run to close the game out. Clark was the main culprit in the second half, as she went a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and scored 16 points in the period.
Columbia will return home on Friday, Feb. 25 to take on Penn at Levien Gymnasium at 7 p.m.