The Harvard women's basketball team is stepping back to take a deep breath and think about the second half of its Ivy season.
The Crimson finished its first round of league play with a distressing 77-64 loss at Brown last Saturday--a loss that booted Harvard to second place and left Brown to grin and Bear its 1-1/2 game lead in the Ancient Eight.
Harvard can control its destiny, though--a win against Brown at home next weekend will give the Crimson a piece of the Ivy title.
Still, the loss shook the team's confidence. And with two tough road games--Pennsylvania and Princeton--on tap this weekend, confidence can be all-important.
And what builds confidence best? Focussing on the short run, especially when the opponents are weaker than you are.
"Brown was definitely hyped up, but we've always tried to take it one game at a time," Harvard's Tammy Butler said.
Coaches, naturally, take this talk to extremes:
"I'd say we're not even taking it one game a time anymore," Head Coach Kathy Delaney Smith said. "We're taking it practice by practice--we want to feel good when we leave Briggs every day."
Daily Affirmation: Maybe Crimson players should crowd around the mirror in the locker room and say, "We're good enough, we're strong enough, and gosh darn it, people like us!"
Butler is definitely good enough--the sophomore forward leads the league in scoring (16.2) and rebounding (12.0).
Senior Co-Captain Debbie Flandermeyer is certainly strong enough--she's first in the Ivies in free throw percentage (.863) and blocked shots (2.8).
And gosh darn it, you've got to like senior Co-Captain Erin Maher, who has pumped out a consistently stunning performance this season.
The guard is second in the league with a 15.6 scoring average, and her .457 three-point percentage is untouchable at first place.
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