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After a dramatic overtime victory over Penn Friday night at Briggs Cage, the Harvard women's basketball team provided its fans with another thrill when it rebounded from a slow start to edge Princeton, 58-55, Saturday night.
"We dug down deep and over-came the obstacles," sophomore guard Cara Frey said.
During the opening seven minutes of play Harvard managed only two points. By the 8:00 mark the Crimson still trailed by three. With 3:48 remaining in the half, Harvard took the lead the first time, 18-17, and closed out the first frame with a slim 28-25 advantage.
Coming off a draining victory over Penn the previous night, the Crimson found fatigue to be a major problem.
"Up until halftime our play was dragging," senior point-guard Heidi Kosh said. "We were playing as if we were tired, which is understandable considering we were coming directly from an overtime game the night before."
Harvard got off to a sluggish start in the second half as well, with the Tigers concentrating on taking away the Harvard's perimeter game.
"Princeton was sticking to our guards," Co-Captain Beth Wambach said. "We needed to pass inside and shoot from inside the key to draw the defense off our three-point shooters."
"We started to box out and get rebounds," freshman Kelly Morrison said. "This compensated for the fact that our shooting percentage was a little low."
Princeton boasts one of the younger squads in the Ivy League, but the Tigers managed to stick with the more experienced Crimson through much of the second half. At the ten minute mark, the game was deadlocked at 41-41. As the game wore on, however, Princeton became increasingly flustered and began to foul. In the final minutes of the game, Harvard built a modest 58-52 lead which was shortened to the final 58-55 margin when Princeton nailed a buzzer-beating three-pointer.
"At the end we were running and shooting and not settling down into our offense," Wambach said. "This unsettled them and gave us the edge."
NOTEBOOK: After shooting a solid 50 percent from the field against Penn, Harvard shot a dismal 33 percent against Princeton. The Crimson was strong from the foul line, however, 'connecting on 86 percent of its free throws... Sophomore guard Erin Maher sank 3-of-6 from three-point land against the Tigers... Sophomore center Debbie Flandermeyer notched team highs in rebounds (8) and blocked shots (3) against Princeton.
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