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W. Cagers Break Jadwin Jinx

Wambach's 21 Sparks Crimson Into Second Place

By Angela M. Payne

The jinx is broken.

For the first time in eight years--the entire length of Coach Kathy Delaney Smith's Harvard career--the Crimson (12-11 overall, 7-4 Ivy) defeated Princeton in Princeton, N.J. Saturday night, 78-70.

"This was a great win for us," Delaney Smith said. "It's the first time I've ever won in the Princeton gym."

The surprising win came one night after another shocker--a three point loss to second-division Penn in Philadelphia.

Fortunately for the Crimson, Saturday night was a different story. Harvard took a small but stable lead early and was able to maintain it, staying two or three points ahead throughout most of the game.

Entering the final two minutes of the game, the Crimson used solid shooting from the foul line to take a five-point lead. Fixing a problem that has plagued them all season, the Crimson then managed to hold on to its lead, securing three offensive rebounds in the waning seconds of the game.

"We were really excited because we really have a hard time [keeping a lead late in the game]," Wambach said.

Delaney Smith attributed the win to sheer desire.

"I saw an incredible desire to win," Delaney Smith said. "I was over-whelmed. There was a feeling that there was no way we were going to let that game slip away."

A potential problem for the Crimson was Princeton guard Sandi Bittler, the country's leading three-point shooter, who had set an Ivy League record the night before with 10 trifectas.

"Our major concern was Sandi Bittler," Wambach said. "Our main goal was to shut her down." Bittler ended the night with only two three-pointers and 14 points.

Wambach led the Crimson scoring attack with 21 points, followed by Jody Fink, Erin Maher and Maura Healey with 10 each.

"Wambach was outstanding," Delaney Smith said. "She has already established her role offensively, but she also did well [defensively] on Bittler when she was exhausted."

Delaney Smith also noted the play of sophomore Heather Harris, who has been suffering from anemia this year, unbeknownst to her or her coaches.

"Heather had some very important minutes," Delaney Smith said. "She was the unsung hero of the first half. She was outstanding defensively against [Corneille Burt]. She had key rebounds. It was a tremendous effort considering she's been ill all year."

Crimson, 78-70 in Princeton, N.J. HARVARD  36-42--78 Princeton  33-37--70

HARVARD (78): Jen Mazanec 2-4 1-2 5; Dina Hadrick 4-9 0-0 8; Jody Fink 1-3 8-10 10; Beth Wambach 8-16 3-4 21; Maura Healey 3-11 2-2 10; Erin Maher 4-5 0-0 10; Debbie Flandermeyer 4-8 0-0 8; Betsy Odita 1-3 2-2 4; Heather Harris 0-3 2-2 2; Liz Berkery 0-1 0-0 0.

Totals: 27-63 18-22 78

PRINCETON (70): Corneille Burt 7-15 3-3 17; Katrina Dowidchuk 2-6 0-1 4; Julie Breckenridge 4-9 2-4 10; Sandi Bittler 4-11 4-6 14; Leah Spraragen 4-14 2-2 13; Hilary Malcarney 3-4 2-2 8; Jeany Carlson 0-1 3-4 3; Kaaren Andrews 0-0 0-0 0; Tracy Starck 0-0 1-2 1.

Totals: 24-60 17-24 70

Three-pointers: Wambach 2, Healey 2, Maher 2; Spraragen 3, Bittler 2. Fouled Out: Harris. Rebounds: Harvard 38 (Fink 10); Princeton 44 (Spraragen 12). Assists: Harvard 6 (Hadrick, Healey 2); Princeton 8 (Bittler 3). Steals: Harvard 5 (Fink, Wambach, Healey, Maher, Flandermeyer); Princeton 7 (Dowidchuk, Bittler 2). Blocks: Harvard 1 (Flandermeyer); Princeton 1 (Dowidchuk). Total Fouls: Harvard 19; Princeton 19. Turnovers: Harvard 14; Princeton 18.

Attendance: 152.

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