Northeastern De-Presses Women Cagers at Boston 4
Huskies Breeze Past Crimson in First Round, 74-54
The Harvard women's basketball team won a number of key games down the stretch last year by employing a strong backcourt press.
Last night in Northeastern's Cabot Gym it was the same strategy which won the ball game--but this time it was the N.U. Huskies doing the pressing, as the Crimson suffered a disappointing 74-54 loss in the opening round of the Boston Four Tournament.
"Their guards really pressured us and we let it bother us," Harvard Coach Kathy Delaney Smith said. "The game was determined by the press."
N.U.'s quick backcourt players forced numerous Crimson turnovers (27 in all), as the Huskie guards forced weak Crimson passes and came up with most of Northeastern's 15 steals.
"It was rough," Harvard guard Barb Keffer said. "We had trouble handing the pressure from their guards."
Although Northeastern Coach Joy Malchodi only used seven players until the final minutes of the game, both reserves were guards--and they were just as effective in executing the N.U. press as the starters.
"They would double-team our guards," Delaney Smith said, "but they didn't foul us."
And while the Huskies failed to put the Crimson in a free-throw bonus situation in the second half, Harvard sent the Huskies to the charity line 30 times, for a game total of 18 free-throw points.
"We've given the opposition the bonus with nine or 10 minutes left in the first half in every game so far," Delaney Smith said. "Some of the fouls were good ones, but when our guards are fouling at midcourt it really hurts."
Harvard's fast break, a key factor in Harvard's early-season wins, also proved relatively useless in the face of N.U.'s strong ball-handling and quickness. "They were quicker, faster and stronger," Keffer said.
Harvard's shooting also contributed to the team's loss--the Crimson shot only 33 percent from the floor for the first half and 41 percent for the game. "Had we shot better in the first half, we would have had a good chance," Delaney Smith said.
The game wasn't as lopsided as the score indicates. Delaney Smith said she wasn't even "terribly displeased" with the women hoopsters' play.
"We rebounded well tonight," said Delaney Smith, referring to one of the team's weakest areas in previous games. "Nancy Cibotti did a good job on defense."
Cibotti, a junior forward, led the team in both rebounding (eight) and scoring (13 points). Keffer was the next highest point-grabber for the Crimson with 12, followed by senior Trisha Brown with eight. Sophomore Sarah Duncan contributed six rebounds.
Huskie guard Adrienne Colbert led N.U. with 18 points and four steals, while Carla Singleton--who frequently battled Cibotti on the boards--grabbed 11 rebounds.
Harvard faces the loser of the other first round game (B.C. vs. B.U.) tonight in the tourney's consolation match.
Huskies, 74-54 at Cabot Gym
HARVARD (54): Mary Baldauf 3-0--6; Andrea Eror 0-0--0; Heidi Kosh 1-0--2; Sharon Hayes 3-0--6; Barbarann Keffer 5-2--12; Nancy Cibotti 6-1--13; Sandra Springer 0-0--0; Sarah Duncan 2-0--4; Trisha Brown 3-2--8; Hanya Bluestone 0-0--0; Nicole Anderson 0-0--0; Melinda Nelson 1-1--3.
Totals: 24-59 6-9 54.
NORTHEASTERN (74): Amy Malinadic 3-0--6; Adrienne Colbert 4-10--18; Joanne Healy 3-0--6; Carla Singleton 6-4--16; Lesley Willis 3-3--9; Yvette Ford 3-0--6; Clarrisa Blake 2-1--5; Shayna Stuart 2-0--4; Arlene Poole 2-0--4; Lois Bollewski 0-0--0; Amie Nappi 0-0--0.
Totals: 28-62 18-30 74.
Fouled out: None. Total fouls: Harvard 18, Northeastern 16. Assists: Harvard 9 (Hayes 3), Northeastern 9 (Colbert 3). Turnovers: Harvard 27, Northeastern 17. Harvard 24-30--54 Northeastern 33-41--74