WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass--Playing before a vocal crowed of about 50 in tiny Lasen gymnasium, the Harvard women's basketball team downed Williams College, 59-45, Sunday afternoon.
The victory was particularly significant because: a) it was the cagers' first win of 1982: b) it was also their first in two months: c) it snapped an eight-game losing streak: d) it was only their second win in 15 contents this season: and e) the team is about to play a crucial series of Ivy League games.
Winless since a 57-55 decision over Penn on December 5, the cagers sent a slightly realigned starting line up onto the court and totally dominated the hapless Purple Cows (that's right, the Purple Cows)
Without the services of junior Frenesa Hall (who went home because of a death in her family). Coach Carole Kleinfelder started three freshmen--Wendy Joseph. Andy Mainelli, and Lisa Leithauser--with impressive results. Mainelli, entering with a season average of four points per game, proved to be the Crimson's catalyst, scoring 18 points and coming up with seven steals.
For most of the first half, Mainelli and her mates played exceptional defense, forcing the frustrated Purple Cows to put the ball up in a rush.
Eighteen Crimson personal fouls gave Williams its only scoring opportunities, but the Cows missed all but nine of their 21 free throws.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the court, percent of their shots (compared with a paltry 34 percent on the season).
After taking a 36-23 lead into the locker room at the half and leading the Cows by as much as 22 points, the Crimson five faltered slightly in the final stanza. With five minutes remaining on the clock. Harvard was up 56-33 and seemed assured of its third 60-point performance of the season. But the Cows contained the cagers, limiting the Crimson to their total of 59 points.
Green on the Herizon
Kleigfelder knows that her charges won't be nursing a double digit lead late in tonight's contest with Dartmouth, the Ivy champions for the past two years.
The Big Green currently has three players in the Ivy's top 15 scorers list, whereas the Crimson, with Joseph leading the squad at 8.5 per game, has none.
Senior Gail Koziara (20.9 points and 20.3 rebounds) poses a huge (6'3", to be exact) problem for the Crimson.
But Kleinfelder feels that by forcing the Green to set up its offense from the outside. Harvard may be able to get Koziara and Co. offstride.
"I hope to make a few adjustments and get them out of their game plan." she said yesterday. "Their team doesn't play as well when they're rattled, but of course they can afford to make mistakes. With their height, they get two shots every time they put it up."
Last year, Koziara punished the IAB boards to the tune of 23 points and 17 rebounds, and tonight in Hanover. Marget Long--who reinjured a troublesome ankle in Sunday's game--will have the unenviable task of covering the Dartmouth center.
"I'm going to go with Marget instead of Wendy [at 5' 10". the tallest Crimson player] because I think we should go with speed over size. "Kleinfelder said. "But actually I'm going to go with a combination defense and try to set up the zone in front to allow shots from the point guard and keep them from going inside as much as possible. When they do get it inside, we'll probably double team Koziara."
Kleinfelder imends to stuck with the Williams lineup tonight, factoring the aggressive play she saw Sunday afternoon over the experience of same of the veterans on the squad.
"It's really tough to win those close, two or three point games when you have three freshmen on the floor, but they've done a great job for us. Andy was shooting very well from the outside the other day, and that's what we'll have to do against Dartmouth, because we won't be able to get inside," she said. "And on the whole, I was very pleased with the way the five of them gelled as a lineup."