Late rally comes up short for Cornell women against Harvard

By wbng sports

February 28, 2014 Updated Feb 28, 2014 at 11:48 PM EST

Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Cornell senior Allyson DiMagno finished with a 10-pont, 14-rebound double-double to become just the 12th player in Ivy League women's basketball history, and first ever at Cornell, to reach 1,200 points and 900 rebounds in her career, but it wasn't enough as the Big Red fell to the Crimson, 70-66 this evening in Newman Arena. The Big Red is back in action tomorrow, Saturday, March 1, when it plays host to Dartmouth at 6 p.m. Prior to the game, the team will honor the Class of 2014 with its Senior Day presentation.

Cornell jumped out to a 15-point lead early on and then nearly came all the way back from a 20-point deficit in the final eight minute s of the game but couldn't pull off the upset.

Freshman forward Nia Marshall and senior guard Stephanie Long each finished with a team-high 13 points, while freshman forward Nicholle Aston tallied 10 points. Marshall also pulled down seven rebounds. Freshman point guard Kerri Moran handed out five assists and senior guard Aspen Chandler chipped in seven points and three assists.

Harvard (18-7, 8-3 Ivy) was led by Christine Clark's 18 points, while Temi Fagbenle and Elise Gordon finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Melissa Mullins had a team-high eight rebounds and both Fagbenle and Clark grabbed seven apiece to help the Crimson to the 44-36 advantage on the boards.

The Crimson shot 43 percent overall (27-63) but just 21 percent from 3-point range (4-19), while Cornell hit 39 percent overall (23-59) and 31 percent beyond the arc (4-13). The Big Red harassed Harvard into 20 turnovers with 12 steals, six of which came in the first eight minutes of the game when the home team jumped out to a 23-8 lead.

Cornell came out of the locker room ready to play, getting eight points from Marshall, five points from Shelby Lyman, and four each from DiMagno and Long during the Cornell run, but Harvard locked down defensively and held the Big Red without a bucket for six minutes to get back into the contest.

A jumper by Gordon with 2:58 to go in the half gave the lead back to Crimson for the first time since the opening basket by Fagbenle just eight seconds into the game, and Harvard took the 35-30 lead into the half.

The Crimson continued to roll in the second half, using eight consecutive points to push its lead to 20 (62-42) with 7:29 to play. The teams traded baskets before a pair of free throws by DiMagno opened up a dramatic 16-0 run by the Big Red to make it a four-point game with 52 seconds to play. During the run, Cornell got six points from DiMagno and five from Chandler.

Ali Curtis made a pair of free throws to end the Harvard drought and the Crimson pushed its lead back to seven points before Long nailed a trey with five seconds remaining to make it 70-66. The Big Red went for the steal on the inbounds play but couldn't come up with the ball and Harvard ran out the clock.

(Courtesy: Cornell Athletics)