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Harvard Comes Up Short at Temple in WNIT Second Round, 64-59

Story and photo courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications

HEMPTSTEAD, N.Y. -- The Harvard women's basketball team turned an 11-point second-half deficit into a four-point lead, but could not hold on down the stretch as Temple outscored the Crimson 6-3 in the final 1:17 to earn a 64-59 win Saturday in the second round of the WNIT.

Brogan Berry scored a team-high 21 points with three assists and two steals. The senior shot 7-fo-14 from the field, 3-of-5 from three and went 4-of-5 from the line. Emma Golen added 12 points and seven boards, while Christine Clark and Victoria Lippert chipped in nine points apiece. Miriam Rutzen led the charge on the glass with nine rebounds and four assists.

Temple (23-9) was led by Shey Peddy, who scored 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting and hit four three-pointers. Victoria Macaulay scored 10 points with Brittany Lewis grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds. The Owls owned a 45-33 advantage over Harvard (18-12) on the glass and held an 18-9 edge in second-chance points. After shooting 53.3 percent in the first half, Temple was limited to just 21.2 percent from the floor and 0-of-9 from three.

It was a back-and-forth game early with Temple taking a 6-2 lead before four straight points by Berry evened the score. Harvard cut a six-point deficit to one with a Berry three-pointer and Golen layup, 16-15, and trailed by four following a Missy Mullins layin, 21-17. Temple scored the next six points, however, opening a double-digit lead, 27-17.

The Owls' lead reached as many as 11 points, 30-19, off a Rateska Brown three-pointer, but the Crimson cut into its deficit with quality opportunities in transition. Lippert hit a three as Clark found her open on a fast break, and Clark got to the line for a pair of free throws off a drive to bring the score to 30-24. An and-one by Berry made it a five-point game once again, 32-27, with 3:14 remaining in the frame.

Peddy kept the pressure on the Crimson, drilling a three-pointer with a defender in her face for a 37-29 edge. Macaulay added a basket in the paint to help Temple to a 10-point halftime lead, 39-29. Berry led Harvard with 12 first half points as the Crimson combined to shoot just 36.7 percent from the floor. Temple, meanwhile, shot 53.3 percent with Peddy recording 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting and a perfect 4-of-4 performance from three.

Harvard came out of the break quickly and cut the lead to 39-36 with a 7-0 run. Clark opened the run with a wild shot as the 30-second clock wound down, and then found Rutzen in transition for an open layup. Golen made it seven unanswered points for the Crimson with a three from the left corner. After Temple extended its margin back out to 43-27, Rutzen collected a pair of offensive rebounds and assisted on baskets by Berry and Golen to pull Harvard within two, 43-31.

Clark made it a one-point game, 47-46, with a three on a secondary break and Harvard took its first lead, 49-48, off a Golen three-pointer after Elle Hagedorn extended the possession with an offensive board. Brown put Temple back on top, 50-49, but jumpers by Mullins and Golen gave the Crimson a 53-50 edge. Berry's three with 5:12 remaining made it a 56-52 game in Harvard's favor, before four straight points by the Owls tied it back up at 56-56. A B.J. Williams layup regained the lead for Temple, 58-56, and the Owls outscored Harvard 6-3 in the final 1:17 to hang on for the 64-59 win.

Game Notes: Harvard's 18 wins this season marks the fifth straight year the Crimson has won at least 18 games … Harvard's 9-7 record on the road marks the team's first winning road record since 2008-09 … Harvard's 30 games played this season are a program high … Senior Brogan Berry will graduate ranked sixth in Harvard history and 26th all-time in the Ivy League with 1,458 points, while her 525 assists are second most in the Harvard record book and fourth in the Ancient Eight.