Harvard women rebound against Dartmouth, 64-49, for series split

The Dartmouth women entered Saturday’s rematch at Harvard looking to for its first series sweep since 2009, but a strong defensive effort and solid late-quarter three point shooting allowed the Crimson to keep its streak intact in front of a boisterous Alumnae Day crowd.

The two teams had five ties and eight lead changes when Dartmouth’s Anne Luce hit a three pointer to make it 21-all with 5:44 left in the second quarter.  Harvard then took control, finishing the half on a 9-0 run on the strength of back-to-back three-pointers from Maggie McCarthy and Lola Mullaney.

Harvard (10-5, 1-1 Ivy) came out strong in the second half, extending its lead to 15 over the first six minutes. The Green (7-8, 1-1) bounced back with its own 8-0 run using three pointers by Asha Taylor and Katie Douglas to make it a 39-32 game with just under two minutes to go in the third quarter.

Another late burst from the three-point line, this time from McCarthy and McKenzie Barta, helped the Crimson to a 45-34 advantage with ten minutes remaining in the contest.

Annie McKenna dropped a three-pointer and Paula Lenart hit a layup to cut the lead to six within a minute of the opening of the fourth quarter.  Both teams struggled from the field over the next several minutes and the Crimson held onto a seven-point advantage with just under four minutes remaining.

The Crimson would again use strong late outside shooting, with threes from center Rachel Levy, Mullaney and Barta to stretch the lead to 13 and dash any hopes Dartmouth had of another comeback victory.

Harvard shut down the Green, holding the visitors to 34% shooting from two and 33% from beyond the arc.  Offensively, the Crimson struggled from inside the arc with only 33% success, but dominated from three with 64% (7-for-11) shooting in the second half and 46% (11-for-24) overall.

Mullaney led all scorers with 18 points (all seven second-half points coming in the game’s last 4:17).  McCarthy totaled 13 points and a team-high four assists, while Jeannie Boehm added 10 points, a team-high eight rebounds and a season-high four blocks.

For Dartmouth, Lenart had a double-double with a team-high 16 points (14 in second half) and a game-high 11 rebounds.  McKenna finished with eight points and a game-high six assists.  Katie Douglas, who scored 19 points in the Green’s 63-62 win two weeks ago, was held to just six points on 2-for-10 shooting.

Harvard and Dartmouth are now 1-1 in Ivy play, tied for third place with Cornell and Columbia.  Both teams will be at home next weekend as Ivy back-to-backs begin.  With Princeton (13-1, 1-0) and Penn (10-4, 0-1) set to visit, the Crimson and Green will need to be at their best to keep pace in the early battle for spots in Ivy Madness.

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