Women Cagers Fall to Yale, Finish Year in Ivy Basement

Harvard women's basketball Coach Kathy Delaney Smith had hoped to close the season with a "blaze of glory," but what took place at Briggs Cage Saturday night looked more like a sigh of relief as the hoopsters finished their 7-17 season with a 59-46 loss to Yale.

The defeat ended the Crimson's two-game string of upset victories and lowered their to 3-9 in the Ivies, good enough to tie Cornell for last place in the League.

During warmups it seemed the Elis were psyched more for a foul-fest rather than a basketball game as they demonstrated some exercises reminiscent of fall Saturdays in Harvard Stadium. Unfortunately for the Crimson the Bulldogs came out psyched enough to take control of the game right from the start.

Yale quickly established a wide-open game, exercising fast breaks that might have made even Larry Bird envious. At one point in the second half, Eli Beverly MacGray sacrificed her body to the basket supports on three consecutive fast breaks, risking not only injury, but elongation of a game that was becoming increasingly frustating for the Harvard squad.

Offensively, the hoopsters had one very basic problem--the ball was going in the hole on only 28 percent of Harvard's shots. Under the boards the Crimson held its own, thanks to the rebounding of Anna Collins and Wendy Joseph, while playmaking guard Ann Scannell (11 points) led a passing attack that consistently found the open shot against Yale's strong zone. However, when it came time to make that shot it resulted in a Yale rebound more often than a Harvard score.

Harvard Is Not The Best

While the Crimson's attack wasn't especially effective, neither was its defense. Coming into the second half trailing 28-24 the hoopsters' weak defense versus the Eli fast break and inside passing collapsed. Yale raced to an eventful 20-point lead, helped by center Margaret Hutchison's 14 second-half points (24 for the game).

With such a lead it seemed odd that Yale Coach Maggie Muldoon would expend enough energy to be called for a technical foul. She needn't have worried since the Cantabs were missing free throws almost as regularly as field goals.

Said Coach Smith, "Yale played a super game. Their fast break was unstoppable. They took the game away from us, and I'd like to give them the credit."