For the Harvard women's basketball team, Saturday night proved a fitting, what-almost-was ending to a disappointing, what-could-have-been season.
The Crimson (8-18 overall, 2-10 Ivies) held an edge over visiting Yale at Briggs Athletic Center for most of the contest, before succumbing in the last six minutes, 65-56, before the season's largest crowd of 250 fans.
"There were so many ballgames where we outplayed them [Harvard's opponents] for a major part of the game, played even for some of the game, and were outplayed for only a short time that we lost," Harvard Coach Kathy Delaney Smith said after the season-ending loss.
"Tonight was a prime example of that," added the Crimson coach.
Indeed with a few breaks over the campaign, the Cantabs could easily have had a winning record. In fact, they were blown out of only three contests all year.
But against Yale, as against so many other foes, Harvard didn't get the breaks it needed.
The evening started on a melancholy note for Harvard with the honoring of the squad's lone senior, Co-Captain Wendy Joseph.
at Briggs Athletic Center
HARVARD (56)-- Sharon Hayes Collins 6-0-12; Barb Keffer 5-2-12; Trisha Brown 1-0-2; Hanya Bluestone 0-0-0; Beth Chandler 1-1-3; Erin Sugrue 1-0-2; Kim Smith 0-0-0; Nancy Cibotti 2-0-4; Mary Baldauf 0-0-0. Totals 26-4--56
YALE (65)--Sue Johnson 8-6-22; Kelly LeComte 7-1-15; Sue Patton 4-3-11; Missy Park 3-0-6; Patti Carbery 2-2-6; Karen Yarasavage 0-2-2; Mary Gorman 0-0-0; Jill Ward 0-3-3; Molly Brostrom 0-0-0; Katy Carley 0-0-0; Jenifer Deal 0-0-0; Vicky Barber 0-0-0. Totals 24-17--65.
Halftime: H, 25-21
Fould Out--Hayes, Collins. Total fouls--Harvard 23, Yale 14, Rebounds--Harvard 38 (Collins 9), Yale 36 (Patton 9), Assists--Harvard 9 (Joseph 3), Yale 13 (LeComte 4).
The 6-ft. center ended her college career with 742 points, third best in Harvard history. Additionally, her 231 rebounds during the 1983-4 season set a single season record, and her 22 boards against Cornell last year established a single game mark.
Joseph, playing in her 98th career game, only one short of the record, ignited the Crimson to an early lead by twice feeding fellow Co-Captain Anna Collins under the hoop for easy buckets.