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W. Cagers Bully Penn, 92-63

Wambach Springs For 22 in Physical Game

By Peter I. Rosenthal

The fans watching Saturday night's women's basketball game at Briggs Cage may have thought they had come to see a boxing match instead.

Harvard was pushed and shoved all night by the un-Quakerly Penn bruisers, but the Crimson (9-9 overall, 4-3 Ivy) was able to dish out a bit of its own punishment en route to a 92-63 romp over the Quakers (7-12, 4-4). Harvard shot an outstanding 62 percent from the field and outrebounded Pennsylvania, 43-36, to come away with the victory.

"I think Harvard played great transition offense and got really good high-percentage shots," Penn Coach Julie Soriero said.

Harvard got off to a slow start, shooting blanks for the first three and a half minutes to find itself down, 6-0. But the Crimson turned it around quickly, reeling off 11 straight points and never looking back. Harvard entered the locker room with a comfortable 40-29 margin, a lead Coach Kathy Delaney Smith's squad had no intention of giving up.

"I thought tonight's game was tremendous-ball movement, team work, seeing the floor," Delaney Smith said. "I've always believed we were this good. I think we've been waiting for a game where we are ahead. Maybe that eight-or 10-point lead is what we needed to play our type of game."

Harvard continued to roll over Penn in the second half, dominating the Quakers in every facet of the game. The offensive hero for the Crimson was Beth Wambach. The junior guard led all scorers with 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting and controlled the tempo of the game, adding five assists.

"We're totally psyched about the win," Wambach said. "The game really flowed-it's finally clicking."

Once again, freshman guard Erin Maher was deadly from the outside. Maher has established herself as one of the most devastating three-point shooters in the Ivy League, and she continued her long-range barrage Saturday night, sinking three treys like they were lay-ups to spark the Crimson offense in the first half. Maher finished with 16 points. Maura Healey and Dina Hadrick also hit double figures, adding 10 points apiece.

Pennsylvania was led by junior forward Kristen Brendel's 20 points and eight rebounds, but Harvard's varied offensive attack was too much for the Quakers.

What has become clear as the season has unfolded is that the Crimson squad is very deep. This was clear in the Pennsylvania game, as freshman guard Cara Frey and sophomore forward Heather Harris entered the game down the stretch and continued to pound the Quakers at both ends of the court. Frey tallyed seven points while Harris added six and pulled down six boards.

"Everyone contributed to the win," Wambach said.

Crimson, 92-63 at Briggs Cage Pennsylvania  29-34--63 HARVARD  40-52--92

Pennsylvania (63): Dionne Anthon 3-13 1-1 7; Leslie Miller 4-9 2-2 10; Kristen Brendel 8-18 4-4 20; Lara Chappell 3-3 0-0 6; Jen Dorfmeister 4-9 0-0 9; C.J. Stuart 0-2 2-2 2; Tara Fitzpatrick 0-4 0-3 0; Lisa Brereton 0-0 0-0 0; Adrienne Van Nuys 0-1 0-2 0; Rose Ann Lucas 1-6 0-1 2; Liz Knapp 0-2 1-2 1; Diane Matt 0-2 6-8 6.

Totals: 23-69 15-25 63

HARVARD (74): Maura Healey 5-6 0-4 10; Beth Wambach 10-12 2-2 22; Dina Hadrick 5-6 0-0 10; Jody Fink 1-5 2-3 4; Sandy Springer 1-2 0-0 2; Erin Maher 5-11 4-5 16; Cara Frey 2-2 3-4 7; Jen Mazanec 2-5 0-0 4; Betsy Odita 1-2 2-2 4; Debbie Flandermeyer 3-4 0-0 6; Liz Berkery 0-2 0-0; Heather Harris 3-4 0-1 6.

Totals: 38-61 11-16 92

Three-pointers: Dorfmeister 1; Wambach 2, Maher 3. Fouled Out: None. Rebounds: Pennsylvania 36 (Brendel 8); Harvard 43 (Flandermeyer, Fink, Harris 6). Assists: Pennsylvania 13 (Anthon, Chappell 4); Harvard 26 (Mazanec, Wambach, Hadrick 5). Steals: Pennsylvania 3 (Brendel 2); Harvard 8 (Fink 3). Blocks: Pennsylvania 4 (Matt 2); Harvard 3 (Flandermeyer 2). Turnovers: Pennsylvania 13; Harvard 18.

Attendance: 200.

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