The numbers in the win and loss columns are the only things that matter in competitive sports. Nothing else.
You can be sure that the Harvard women's basketball team is glad that's true.
The Crimson did win last night in Briggs Cage, 70-60. It beat a scrappy Northeastern squad, but this game was certainly no Picasso.
At times, this game was truly ugly. And I mean ugly. We're talking Normy from Cheers in a speedo (That's ugly.)
"We played sloppy tonight," Harvard Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith said. "We felt that we could handle them easily. As a result, we often let up at both ends of the court."
As a result of the let downs, Harvard found itself in a close game down the stretch.
With 2:25 left in the game Cordelia Washington of Northeastern connected on a three point play that cut the Harvard lead to 60-56.
On the play, Washington was able to beat the Crimson down court, upfake, draw a foul and sink the lay-up. The play epitomized Harvard's less than spectacular transition defense.
From this point on, however, Northeastern went cold from the floor. The Huskies failed to his another shot until 10 seconds were left and they were down 8 points.
Harvard was able to capitalize. During this stretch the Crimson sunk six straight clutch free throws--two each by Proudfit, Tammy Butler and Erin Maher.
In the first half, Harvard jumped out to an early lead, making this one look like a potential yawner.
Northeastern did not even connect from the floor until 12:50 left in the first half. At this juncture Harvard led 15-4. With Northeastern's shooting bordering on the incompetent, no one really thought that it would be a game.
Everyone was wrong.
Northeastern went on a small 7-0 run in the last two minutes of the first half to go into the intermission down 31-21.