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Unable to shake a nine-point deficit incurred early in the first half, the women hoopsters fell to the Boston University Terriers, 63-44, at B.U.'s Case Athletic Center last night.
The loss, which came only four days after the Crimson's solid defeat of Barnard, puts Harvard's record at 5-13 and 1-3 in the Ivies.
After entering the second half with a 31-20 deficit, the Crimson was unable to hit a field goal until a full eight minutes later. By that time, however, the Terriers, led by their center Debbie Miller, had upped the score to 46-23. The Crimson never seemed to recover after that, and the best they could do was to pull within 14 points after a series of Nancy Boutilier jumpers and two consecutive Patty Horne steals.
The first half was entirely different, though. Up until the game's midpoint, the Crimson played tough, tight, defensive basketball. Only two things were hurting them: Miller and their own poor foul shooting.
Miller, who usually averages 22 points a game, apparently was taking it easy on the Crimson last night. She finished with only 12 points. But her mere presence on the court was enough to provide a constant threat. "She's very hard to defend against," Horne said. "We had no one as tall as her and as mobile," she added.
As for Harvard's foul shooting, nothing seemed to be dropping in. The Terriers got in foul trouble early in the first half, but Harvard could not capitalize. By the game's end, they had only netted 14 out of 26 free throws, compared to B.U.'s 11 out of 17.
Later in the game, foul shots weren't the only things missing. With several minute left until halftime, the score remained at 29-20 for several minutes before B.U. popped a final bucket at the buzzer. After both teams had emerged from the locker room, they each traded off the ball for about the first ten minutes. B.U. was tallying buckets. Harvard wasn't.
"We just weren't putting any pressure on the outside," Coach Carole Kleinfelder said. When a B.U. shot went up, it usually went in Only Horne's defensive ability and center Elaine Holpuch's rebounding prevented a B.U. rout. "We basically had to try not to give two or three shots off the boards," Kleinfelder said.
Despite some unfortunately poor shooting--layups falling short, tap-ins popping in and out, and outside jumpers missing completely--the Crimson effort was marked by an extraordinary display of hustle. Ann Scannell, who finished up with a game-high total of 11 points (tied with Boutilier), never stopped. Despite the Crimson's constant defensive posture, Scannell consistently threatened Terrier offenders and forced steals as she spearheaded the Crimson attack down court.
Other high scorers for the Crimson were Holpuch with nine and Kate Martin, also with nine.
THE NOTEBOOK: The hoopsters will be looking for their second Ivy League win at Princeton this Saturday. Unless the free throws come back and the hustle remains, the Tigers could find themselves on the losing end of the ticket when the final buzzer rings. In any event, much depends on the effectiveness of Crimson shooting; the defense warrants less criticism. If Janet Judge's leg gets nursed back to health in time, the Crimson should be in top form this weekend.
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