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SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--Two entirely different versions of the Harvard women's basketball team played in last night's 77-55 loss to Springfield College.
In the first half, the 1-6 hoopsters looked every bit like a squad with a 1-6 record, allowing Springfield to build an insurmountable 20-point lead. But they dominated play in the second stanza, outscoring the Maroons, 29-20, in the final 12 minutes.
Hitting outside shots and penetrating the Crimson's man-to-man defense with ease, Springfield, last year's Division 2 Eastern Regional champions, jumped out to an early 19-6 lead.
"We knew they were good outside shooters, so we worked on holding them, and as a result, they were going in for easy layups," coach Carole Kleinfelder said after the game.
Meanwhile, the Crimson offense was no more effective, turning over the ball on six travelling calls and missing five out of 12 free throws. Inside the key, excessive caution and tentative shooting paralyzed the Crimson scoring attack, and Springfield took a 41-21 lead into the locker room at halftime.
When the teams returned to the court, the pattern showed no signs of reversing itself, as the Maroons quickly added 11 points to their lead. Eight minutes into the period, Kleinfelder sent freshman Val Jordan and sophomore Jenny Rudolph in to join starters Pat Horne, Wendy Joseph, and Marget Long, and the rejuvenated five began to assert itself.
Abandoning the man-to-man defense in favor of a press, the Crimson stymied the potent Springfield offense. More effective passing and aggressive shooting helped the squad score eight unanswered points and cut the Maroon's 31-point advantage to 16.
Springfield coach Harvey Shapiro had replaced his starters late in the third period, but when Harvard threatened, he sent his first-stringers back onto the floor. They quickly established a 22-point lead and nailed down the win.
Kleinfelder lauded the performances of freshmen Joseph--the leading Crimson scorer with 16 points--and Jordan, but expressed concern over her team's inability to play aggressively from the outset of a contest. "We had the same problem with Holy Cross," she said. "We have not been coming out of the blocks strong and we have to learn to establish our game immediately instead of letting the other team dictate what we do."
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