DURHAM, N.H. – Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) erupted for a career-high 32 points, including a school-record eight 3-pointers, but the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team came up on the short end of a 69-62 loss to Harvard on Tuesday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Reed notched 27 second-half points, connecting on her first seven 3s of the stanza, to help UNH rally from 14 points down to take a 52-50 lead, but the Crimson responded with a 9-0 run and withstood Reed's heroic effort down the stretch to escape with the win.
Reed, the America East Player of the Game, shot 11-for-17 from the floor and 8-for-11 from beyond the arc, finishing four tallies shy of the school record for points scored. Senior Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) recorded 11 points and added six rebounds and two steals. Senior Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.) posted nine points with six rebounds and a game-high six assists.
As a team, the Wildcats connected for 12 treys, shooting at a 52.2 percent clip from downtown. Victoria Lippert led Harvard offensively with 17 points, while Christine Clark and Brogan Berry notched 16 and 15 points, respectively.
New Hampshire fell to 3-4 on the season and Harvard improved to 3-4 by defeating the 'Cats for the eighth time in the last 10 meetings between the non-conference rivals.
Harvard raced out to a 15-2 lead, courtesy of a 12-0 run, but UNH responded with seven straight points as Reed scored on a putback, LaRosa registered a steal, a layup and a free throw to complete a conventional three-point play, and Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) finished from under the basket to trim the Crimson lead to 15-9.
While the Wildcats held the Crimson to 35.7 percent shooting (10-for-28) in the half, Harvard buried 6 of 13 from 3-point land and 7 of 10 from the free throw line to nab a 33-21 halftime lead. Clark produced 10 points on 2-of-7 shooting from the floor and a perfect 5-for-5 from the line.
Reed began to heat up right after intermission as she dropped her first two shots from 3-point land, but the Crimson kept pace with the Wildcats and held a 43-30 advantage at the 16:33 mark. After the first media timeout, Reed and Lippert swapped trifectas, but Reed followed with back-to-back treys to pull the 'Cats within six, 45-39.
After Lippert answered with another 3-pointer, the Wildcats countered with 10 unanswered points as Reed knocked down a short fade-away jumper to push the home side on top, 49-48, with 8:30 left to play. Harvard quickly took back the lead on a jumper by Lippert, but the Wildcats answered once again with Reed as the junior drilled her seventh 3-pointer of the night for the 52-50 lead with just under seven minutes remaining.
The Crimson responded with a 9-0 stretch for the 59-52 lead with 3:30 left in the game, a lead they would not relinquish for the duration, but the Wildcats made it interesting down the stretch. After Beliveau connected for a basket in the paint and with a missed layup on the other end, Reed hit her eighth 3-pointer to pull the 'Cats within one point with 48 seconds left to play, but the Crimson hit all the necessary free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
The 'Cats shot 46.4 percent from the floor in the second half and 66.7 percent from beyond the arc in the stanza.
UNH closes out a three-game homestand Friday night, Dec. 9, when Manhattan invades Lundholm Gymnasium for a 7 p.m. non-conference game. For tickets, call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.