Run down by four games in the previous three days, the women's varsity basketball team yesterday dropped a 61-46 decision to a University of New Hampshire squad ranked seventh in the Northeast.
What might have been a close battle had the hoopsters not been forced to play immediately following their third place Ivy tourney showing, turned into a rout early on as the Wildcats waltzed to a 20-points first-half bulge on the strength of some hot outside shooting that the tired Harvard women just couldn't handle with their exhausted zone defense.
Lesley Gries and Caryn Curry combined for fully one-half of the Crimson tallies, but keeping track of individual totals was academic in the one-sided joust which saw UNH display an awesome ability to control the ball, in part due to the Crimson's lack of aggressive defense.
"We had a little more success in the second half, after we switched to a one-on-one defense," first team All-Ivy selection Wendy Carle said. "But we could only cut into their lead, not threaten it," she added.
"We not only lost, we shouldn't have even shown up," Coach Carole Kleinfelder said somewhat more succintly. "Captain Fulton had a knee injured two days ago, and many team members are just recovering from the flu," she added.
"But I don't want to take anything away from UNH. They're a great team and shot really well," Kleinfelder said. "I just wish we could have played them when we were at full strength," she added.
Still, Kleinfelder was enthusiastic about the team's performance in the Ivy League tournament. "The first half against Penn was the best basketball we've played all year," she said. "But then again, the first ten minutes against Princeton (the eventual tournament champions) was the worst we've played," she added.
"But I think we're beginning to overcome our early inconsistency," Kleinfelder stated. "Freshmen Sue Arbisher and Sue Field both showed a lot of poise in the tourney," she added.