It was a sunny Sunday morning--the Square was deserted, and all was quiet on the Cambridge front. But while the rest of the city slept off the side-effects of Saturday-night partying, a group of middle-aged men squared off against a contingent of hungover women in what was far more than a mere pick-up game at the IAB.
This unique contest was a University battle--a basketball war between an administrative squad known as Bok's Jocks, and the Harvard women's basketball team. When the dust had settled, the taller, stronger, board-dominating faculty quintet, led by the 16-point performance of a former Stanford varsity hoop scrub turned Harvard president, sent the not-yet-sober women to their aspirin bottles with a 68-41 headache.
'Just Too Small'
"They really outplayed us in every department except rebounding--they were super-tough but just too small," said winning player-coach Derek Bok. "It's amazing how far the program has progressed since the last time we got together with the women's team three years ago."
"I'm glad we had a platoon system out there," said weary Administrative Vice-president Joe Wyatt, who, at forward, formed the starting five with guard Bok, playmaker Daniel Steiner '54 (University Counsel), outgoing Police Chief David Gorski (forward), and center Mike Brewer (a member of the Office for Government and Community Affairs).
Bok put his Jocks on the scoreboard with the contest's first points, a pair of swish foul-shots. A Gorski lay-up boosted the pad to 4-0 before freshman sensation Caryn Curry's jumper from the key broke the ice for the Division II Massachusetts Women's champions.
But three consecutive steals proved to be the varsity's undoing in the early going, as the administration ran up a 10-2 bulge they were never to relinquish.
"The Administration never backs off from a challenge," said an ebullient Steiner, who organized the affair in response to a telephone conversation with Katherine Fulton. The junior forward was re-elected to the captain's post for the 1977-78 campaign by her compatriots at a Saturday evening team dinner.
The fast-paced contest was marked by heavy in-fighting under the boards that prompted Coach Bok to say, "I've heard of faculty-student contact, but this is ridiculous." But that physical battling worked to the advantage of the high-flying faculty five, who converted many of their scores on tip-ins and follow-ups.
The absence of Sue Hewitt and Beth Craig, the two tallest women on the varsity team, was obvious when the Jocks got points on the multiple "three for a quarter" tip-in situations.
Too Much T.V.
When the six-foot Bok, who obviously enjoyed his role as floor general, embellished an easy rebound by soaring high in the air, it prompted one teammate to snicker "He's been watching too much T.V. lately."
In an effort to boost her team's sagging fortunes, Carole Kleinfelder, in the spirit of Bob Cousy, turned player-coach and directed her team both on and off the floor. Laurie Frizzell, Kleinfelder's assistant coach, also suited up for the contest, the former Northeastern forward's play sparking the women through the middle of the first half.
Perhaps the slickest play of the game for the varsity cagers involved the player-coach tandem. After Hildy Meyers, who led the women with ten points, passed off to Kleinfelder, the coach flipped a scintillating behind-the-back toss to Frizell who took the pass down the lane for a driving lay-up.
Meanwhile, Bok & Co. were opening up a 38-23 halftime edge. Bok recovered from a Meyers "in-the-face" driving lay-up with a nifty two-hand set shot from downtown en route to an eight-point first half. Bok saw the roundball on severla occasions, thanks to the generous passing of subordinate Wyatt, who, like any aspiring Veep, shoveled it to his boss continually.
Guard Steiner also had a field day, pumping in 12 points, including a 35-footer at the first half buzzer ("I think that'll last me about five years") and the game's lone three-point play.
The Jocks' second platoon was led by the sterling play of 6-ft. 5-in. Financial Aid Officer John "Too-Tall" Morgan, a Detroit University forward in the early '60s. Morgan contributed 16 points to the winning cause with some tantalizing full-court rushes to the basket, completely overpowering his peerless adversaries.
But the dominance of the tall man was not always apparent, as diminutive guard Ellen Seidler brought the giant Morgan back to earth with a slap-stuff that sent the Radcliffe bench reeling with delight.
It was the second platoon that made the difference in a sloppy second half, replacing Bok's charges after a four-minute scoreless spell in the opening moments. Lanky University Consultant Jim Bailey (Bok: "He really is a consultant, you know, not a ringer") ferociously racked the boards, prompting scrappy forward Lori Christensen to exhort, "Box those turkeys out!"
Among the other gobblers were Asst. Director of Personnel Clarence Cooper, History Professor Edward Kennan, and Assistant Director of Athletics Niki Janus.
Janus and Kleinfelder, close friends but intense rivals on the squash courts, battled it out on the IAB's floors. While Kleinfelder, an experienced basketball player from Westchester State College in Pennsylvania, worked with her team, the scrappy Janus harrassed her with an aggressive, ball-hawking defense.
Janus said after the game that her aggressive defense was an effort to fill the void left by her "severe lack of shooting ability."
The final buzzer ended the physical interaction of the game, but it started some post-game contact that was far more personal than the contest's aggressive flair. The women and administrators gathered at center court to shake hands, exchange introductions, and rap about the game.
With smiles and praise flowing freely from both sides, Coach Kleinfelder put the day in perfect perspective when she said, "Before today, the players knew a lot of these administrators' names but the game helped put a person behind the name."
Standing there, a sweaty Harvard University president winked, a broad smile of satisfaction creasing his fatigued brow.