With a final score like 46-16, it's hard to say that the Radcliffe basketball team beat Williams. Slaughtered, maybe. Or destroyed. Or any of those overused, though under-deserved sports verbs. In this case they all apply. The Radcliffe cagers simply let out all their frustration from Friday's heart-breaking loss to Emmanuel, and pulled a winning season record back into their eager hands.
The 'Cliffe started Saturday's contest with Williams at 5-5. Coach John McCarthy noted before the game, "This is a big one. A really big one. We need this one to get back to a winning season. The girls are really up for this one. I mean the players are really up for this one. It ought to be a good game."
Well, it wasn't exactly the most dramatic sporting event at Harvard this year. It certainly didn't have any chilling moments of uncertainty and the score never wavered back and forth. But it was exciting. The most thrilling yet non-violent massacre that's hit the IAB cage in some time.
Playing without captain Dardenella Robinson, Radcliffe seemed to have the disadvantage. Williams had all their first string players, and had more bench strength as well. But that didn't stop the 'Cliffe.
While the Williams team fiddled around the court fouling, traveling and double dribbling, Radcliffe reeled off eight flawless points. Jeannie Guyton was the star of the first period, grabbing four points in the first two minutes. Debbie Woods contributed with a perfect outside swish, and Maude Wood collected two on an easy lay-up.
Bothered by Radcliffe's tenacious defense, the Williams team became thoroughly rattled. It was a full five minutes before they even took their first shot. With their heads-up offense and hands-up defense, the Crimson had the Purple, 18-1, by the end of the first period.
The second period was more of the same, with the 'Cliffe thoroughly dominating every aspect of the game. Freshman Sue Williams milked her beautiful show-'em-how-it's-done corner shot for all it was worth and at the halftime it was Radcliffe, 32-4.
By the third quarter, Radcliffe was justifiably tired from the afternoon's workout--after all it was just like a practice--and it showed all too much. Despite unflagging effort by Wood, the third period was marked by sluggish, sloppy and slow basketball. This was no great surprise to the Williams squad, but for the Crimson, it was not only unfortunate, but unexpected. With a quarter left, the score was only 35-9.
But in the fourth period, Radcliffe recovered sufficiently to boost their 35 points to 45, and held Williams at 16. 45-16: a massacre, a demolition, a travesty, a great victory for hard-working Radcliffe cagers.