NEW YORK – Sophomore Courtney Bradford notched her second double-double of the season with 13 rebounds and a career-high 17 points, and junior Tyler Simpson and senior Melissa Shafer both scored in double figures, but the Lions could not stop the Crimson, falling to Harvard, 68-56.
Harvard (11-8, 4-1 Ivy) went 21-for-21 from the free throw line in its win over Columbia (2-7, 0-5 Ivy). The first half saw the two teams trade leads and stay close, while costly runs in the second half set the Lions back in the long haul.
Simpson opened scoring for Columbia with a layup in traffic at 18:55 in the first half, cutting into Harvard’s early lead, 5-2. A jumper in the paint by Bradford at 17:20 tied it up at 5-5, but it would be four more minutes before Columbia could pull ahead.
As it would be for the rest of the night, it was Bradford for the Lions, as she may a layup at 13:17 to give Columbia its first lead of the game, 13-12. First-year Caitlyn Unsworth made it 15-12 with a jumper inside the arc, and the Lions would hold on to that lead for five minutes.
A three by Harvard’s Elle Hagedorn at the 7:26 mark gave the Crimson the advantage once more, 21-18, but a layup by Bradford at 4:05 would tied the score up again at 23. A three-pointer by Christine Clark at 1:55 sparked a 9-0 run for Harvard, who went into the break with a 32-23 lead.
The Lions couldn’t make up the difference coming out of the half, until Bradford converted a traditional three-point play to cut Harvard’s lead to one point, 35-34 at 14:17. Just under a minute later, Shafer drained a three with a defender in her face to tie the score at 37. But two free-throws from Victoria Lippert sparked the first of two runs Harvard would make in the second half, as the Crimson went on a 7-2 tear. Shafer and Bradford broke up the scoring with jumpers of their own, but a layup by Hagedorn at 10:35 sparked another run.
The Crimson went 11-0 over the next three minutes, including four points from the free throw line by Clark to widen the lead to 55-41. Though Shafer and Jazmin Fuller both hit threes to close the gap, and Simpson and Bradford had a combined six points in the last two minutes, the Lions could not make the comeback, falling to Harvard, 68-56.
Tyler Simpson (15 pts.) scored in double figures for the fourth straight game, including seven of the last eight … Columbia shot 63% from the field in the first 10 minutes of the game … Shafer scored all 11 of her points in the second half … Harvard improved to 27-0 in Levien Gymnasium all-time … the Crimson shot 100% from the free throw line … Christine Clark had a game-high 21 points for Harvard, including a perfect 12-for-12 from the charity stripe … she was one of three Crimson in double figures, along with Lippert (19 pts) and Hagedorn (11 pts) … Harvard just edged Columbia on rebounds, 33-31 … the Lions outscored the Crimson in the paint, 24-18.