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Don't blame any one weakness in the women's basketball team for last night's 70-35 loss to Villanova. The Wildcats simply outclassed the Crimson in Phildelphia.
Playing with cool precision, Villanova stuck to a set offense that baffled the young Crimson squad. Wildcat forwards Kathie Beisel and Lu Anne Karthe led the balanced attack with 12 points apiece. Center Lisa Ortilt chipped in eight from floor and ruled the backboards with 19 rebounds.
Back-up center Karen Smith, who replaced starter Elaine Holpuch, provided the only glimmer of sunshine in a generally gloomy Crimson effort. She tossed in eight points and grabbed seven rebounds, leading the team in both departments.
Holpuch, who topped the squad in offense last season, did not play aggressively and scored only two points. Ortlit roamed freely under the boards, clearing the ball effectively to the Wildcat's quick freshman guards, Courtney Vanderslice and Rosemary Burke.
Harvard point guard Ann Scannell, one of the five freshmen playing varsity for coach Carole Kleinfelder this year, displayed more composure than in her debut against UMass, but she could not penetrate Villanova's tough defense.
Behind the Ball
Unlike the UMass game, the cagers ere never in this one. The Wildcats jumped to a 34-15 lead at the half and cruised through the second period.
As they did against the Minutemen, the Crimson reverted to a helter-skelter playground offense when Villanova applied pressure. Desperate long-range jump shots often reentered the atmosphere far from their target, and sloppy dribbling caused 19 Harvard turnovers.
Co-captain Caryn Curry said last night the team "played scared from the beginning and we still have a lot of fundamentals to work on."
She added, "We weren't prepared for their accuracy and speed."
One problem that double practice sessions will not solve is a debilitating lack of height; only Holpuch stands above the six foot mark. Unless Kleinfelder can encourage immediate growth among the troops, the Crimson will have trouble getting second and third shots for the rest of the season.
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