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We here in the hoop corner have a little unfinished business to attend to. Back in the previous year, December 19, to be exact, while the rest of us were busy packing for home or else long since departed, the women's hoop squad got no rest as they headed down to Princeton, N.J. for a four-way invitational tournament.
The Crimson faced the University of Minnesota, wake Forest, and Ivy nemesis Princeton squads, and, as usual, had mixed results.
Harvard drew the Univ. of Minnesota in the first round, sporting 5'10" guards, a devastating full-game full-court press, and quick aggressive shooters. The hardy Midwesterners proved too much for the cagers, who fell 40 points behind by half time and maintained the pace through the second half for a 101-47 loss. Things could only get better.
Meanwhile, Prince on and wake forest battled it out in as close a contest as Harvard's was not, with Princeton nabbing a one point victory in the final moments of play.
For round two, Harvard somehow metamorphosed into a live-wire hoop team and completely redeemed itself, playing flawless ball and handing Wake Forest a six point loss to gain a third place tournament finish. Harvard guards Pat Horne and Kate Martin turned in stellar performances, with Martin popping for a total of 16 points.
"After seeing us lose to Minnesota, Wake forest took us a little too lightly," recalls Martin, adding, "We caught them off guard, ran them a lot, got through their press, and used the fast break again and again."
Crimson forward Karen smith also played an excellent game, unquestionably her best of the season.
Minnesota went on to beat Princeton in the finals to win the tournament so the standings at the end of the day were Minnesota in the top spot, with Princeton second, Harvard third and Wake Forest fourth. A comparison of Harvard's and Princeton's performances against Wake Forest would indicate that Harvard, when playing in top form, stands an excellent chance to beat its perennial Ivy foe this year. The confrontation isn't until February, so there's plenty of time to place bets.
THE NOTEBOOK: The hoopsters have a doubleheader this weekend. Friday night the squad takes on Villanova, ranked 17th nationally and featuring a 6'4" center. Saturday the pressure eases somewhat as the hoopsters confront Williams, a less than awesome division II contender.
The new year also marks a shift in leadership for the hoopsters, with junior center Elaine Holpucn's inauguration as team captain. Co-captains Kim Belshe and Doris woolery have been out of uniform all season with injuries and felt the team needed an active leader to direct it from the floor. Belshe will rejoin the active ranks in a few weeks as co-captain when her knee injury has healed, but Woolery will reamin sidelined for the rest of the season.
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