The Harvard women's basketball team continued to drive in reverse by dropping its 18th game of the 1981-82 season yesterday evening, 71-64 at Brown's Marvel Gymnasium.
These days the squad should find it soothing to know it played well at least for several moments of the contest. Relatively well, that is. The 2-18 squad stayed within striking distance, but could not maintain the level of play needed to clinch the victory.
Harvard's poor start cost it the game, as the Bruins steamrolled to a commanding 32-19 lead. Brown's freshman forward Donna Yaffe dominated the first 10 minutes of play, popping in 12 points, and continued to dumbfound the Crimson five with her game-high 30 points.
Finding themselves down by 13, the hoopsters managed to keep Brown from taking complete control by evenly distributing the scoring. Harvard left for the locker room at halftime trailing 42-33. Junior Francea Hall provided Harvard's main offensive thrust contributing eight first-half points.
The cagers came to life at the beginning of the second half, playing aggressive and enthusiastic basketball. Harvard co-captain Kate Martin and junior Marget Long combined for 11 points bringing the Crimson within two points of the lead, 48-46, with more than 14 minutes left on the game clock.
The Harvard women's basketball train huffed and puffed and tried to catch the Bruins. But the Crimson express ran out of gas allowing Yaffe and company to establish a commanding 63-54 lead.
Although Martin executed some snazzy lay-ups and jump shots. Harvard failed to reestablish the momentum which had carried it in the opening of the second half. Martin pumped in a team-high 24 points, shooting an admirable 12 for 19 from the floor. Her tally set a season record for the most points scored in one game by any individual.
In addition, Harvard's 64 points was the team's highest scoring total for the year.
Another bright spot was the discovery of an element of basketball that had previously seemed esoteric: the rebound. Harvard boxed out and underneath and grabbed a respectable 35 rebounds, compared to 37 for Brown, a significantly taller team.
"It was better than usual," said coach Carole Kleinfelder after the game. "I think we lost the game in the first five minutes. We came out flat, and then we started to play."
Kleinfelder lauded Martin's performance. "Katie's the kind of player that generates the offense, sometimes in a good way and sometimes bad. But 90 percent of the time, it's good. Tonight, she was taking risks. She played to win the game, she sparked them and it was infectious."
Kleinfelder added, "It has been tough in practices, but I don't think the games have shown that they are not trying hard. In the games, I still see lot of hard work."
Yesterday's loss to Brown virtually eliminated the Crimson from Ivy League title competition. With only two games remaining in the regular season. Harvard's Ivy League mark now rests at a lowly 1-4.
THE NOTEBOOK: Last evening's contest was a sort of reunion for Kleinfelder. Before coming to Harvard in 1975, she was the head coach for the Bruins. In the statistics department, junior co-captain Pat Horne and freshman Wendy Joseph are leading the Harvard scoring department on the year with a 7.6 clip. Horne also leads in rebounds, averaging seven a game.