Take a terrific zone defense, with plenty of steals and a few blocked shots, and add a stellar performance by the team's top player. Throw in, for good measure, an opponent with no passing game, a height disadvantage, and a marked tendency to throw the ball away, and what do you get?
Sometimes you wind up with the short end of the stick, as the women's basketball team learned last night by losing to a fair-to-middling squad from Bentley College 62-57. The loss lowered the squad's record to 2-2.
Harvard opened the scoring with a field goal by freshman fireball Sue Field, who accounted for two more on the night. Wendy Carle plunked in a foul shot, but then Bentley answered the Crimson outburst with a field goal.
From then on, though the scoring remained even, the first half belonged to Harvard. A tight zone defense worked wonders, forcing Bentley to resort to lots of ineffectual outside shooting. Field and forward Hildy Meyers played aggressively, and Caryn Curry, the team's mainstay, pulled things together by grabbing a total of ten rebounds and scoring seven field goals for the night.
After a Meyers layup evened the score at six-all, Curry hit Sue Aboucher on a long-distance pass and Aboucher put it up for two.
Curry followed with a successful jumper from 15 feet out, fell back to recover the ball on a steal, and went right to the foul line for a jumper and another two points. Harvard was ahead, 12-6.
Bentley returned fire with a field goal and a foul shot, and a see-saw battle continued until Bentley broke to a 25-20 lead with about two-and-a-half minutes remaining in the half.
Curry and Wendy Carle came to the rescue, however, as Curry hit a lightning-quick five-foot jumper and Carle chipped in a field goal and a couple of foul shots. The half closed with Harvard ahead, 26-25.
But things were tougher in the second stanza. The Harvard offense continued to run aground on the tough Bentley man-to-man defense, and the Bentleys showed an increasing ability to slip through the Crimson zone. Bentley's Judy Paratore came up with a few successful layups and some slick ballhandling.
Midway through the second half, Sue Aboucher put the Crimson within striking distance by knotting the score with a three-point play. But Maureen Deluke, Bentley's high scorer with 20 points for the game, put it out of reach with her own three-point play a few minutes later. That made it 48-45, and the Crimson trailed for the rest of the game.
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