For the second time in as many nights, the Harvard women's basketball team suffered a mental lapse that cost it a victory. Saturday night the cagers fell 68-61, in their last regular season contest, to the University of Pennsylvania at the Palestra in Philadelphia, Pa.
The defeat followed a similar loss to Yale, 69-60, the night before at the IAB.
In the Ivy Championships in New Haven, Conn., two weeks ago, Harvard won easily over Penn, 74-58; but Saturday the Quakers took advantage of the Crimson's loss of concentration early in the second half, and the Quakers rolled to a 17 point lead with ten minutes remaining.
Penn's backcourt tandem of Mary Monahan and Diane Angstadt tied as the game's top scores with 17 each and led the Quaker charge that dissipated Harvard's 30-27 halftime lead.
"Penn had a lot of hot shooting the whole game; but if we had played anywhere near our best, we would have beaten them," junior Wendy Carle, who led the Crimson in rebounds with ten, said yesterday.
"We just knew we could beat them; we've never had any problem with them. But when we looked up we heard we were playing catch up," she added.
Penn capitalized on the weaknesses of the Harvard 1-2-2 zone by repeatedly driving into the often vacant foul lane. Monahan drove continually and scored most of her points on attacks to the baskets.
Caryn Curry's scoring kept the Crimson in the contest during the second half. The junior captain led the team with 16 points and added seven rebounds and a game-high four steals.
Freshman center Elaine Holpuch scored nine points, but she grabbed a sub-par five rebonds. Carle and Doris Wooley led Harvard with eight caroms each.