The women's basketball team closed out its 1979-80 season with a slap-dash, "let's get to the champagne" 68-65 victory over the University of Connecticut last night at the IAB.
Although the contest ended with successive desperation fastbreaks and clutch play by Crimson sub Gillian Raney, neither team inspired much enthusiasm from the 300 fans who spent most of their time taunting whistle-happy referees.
In fact, the emotional celebration of Wendy Carle's and Caryn Curry's last regular season outing overshadowed the sloppy game and helped everyone forget the team's disappointing 11-12 finish.
With appropriate drama, Curry played until the buzzer, wrestling the final rebound of the game from two Huskies and holding the ball aloft for the final three seconds. Curry led the Crimson with 15 points and 10 rebounds, gliding smoothly past her opposition as she has for the past four years.
Carle capped her career with a so-so four-point performance, but when she fouled out with 2:19 remaining, the crowd jumped to its feet and treated her to a 30-second ovation.
The Harvard players almost tarnished their co-captains' finale by allowing the Huskies to sneak back into the game with 30 seconds left. Crimson center Elaine Holpuch had put Harvard up 66-61 at the one minute mark with a tough inside bucket, but Huskie forward Beth Vinson answered with a slashing drive to bring her team within three.
Curry hit the first half of a one-and-one bonus before UConn's Cathy Bochain, who netted a cool 19 points on the evening, raced to the basket for two. Harvard quickly turned the ball over, and with 12 seconds on the clock, the Huskies had a chance to knot the score.
Determined to prevent anything from ruining the Curry-Carle testimonial, Raney slipped across court and with Holpuch's help snatched the ball from Bochain, drawing a foul in the scuffle.
Raney completed the top half of her one-and-one opportunity and iced the Harvard win.
The other 39 minutes were anything but exciting.
In the first half, all ten players handled the ball as if it weighed twenty pounds. Most outside shots merely ticked the front rim, if they reached the basket at all. Neither team broke 40 per cent from the floor while the referees tallied 31 fouls.
Harvard took a 34-31 lead to the locker room and held on to the small margin for most of the second frame, when the pace but not the quality of play picked up.
Coach Carole Kleinfelder takes her charges to New Haven this weekend for the Ivy Tournament. The Hoopsters failed to qualify for the EAIAW Division 1 championships which will be played at the IAB March 8 and 9.