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The Harvard women's basketball team will travel to Fairfield, Conn., this weekend to compete in the Warner Classic tournament.
Harvard will go up against a strong field of competitors: Boston University, Bucknell and Fairfield.
First-round competition begins tonight at 6 p.m. as the Crimson takes on Boston University, followed at 8 p.m. by Bucknell's head-to-head matchup with Fairfield.
Harvard enters the tournament on a high note with a 4-1 record, having come off a big one-point victory at Providence on Wednesday night.
The Providence game went down to the wire. With 14 seconds remaining and Harvard up by two, Providence drove the lane, hit a shot and was fouled. The Fryers converted on this three-point opportunity to go up 99-98.
Harvard didn't give up and junior Elizabeth Proudfit caught the inbound pass after the free throw looking to score. She drove down the court, pulled up and sunk a jump shot which ended up being the winning basket.
With 4 seconds left Providence desperately drove trying to draw a foul but missed the final shot. Harvard came away with a hard-earned 100-99 victory and reams of added confidence.
"It was one of the best game endings I've been a part of", freshman Karun Grossman said.
The Crimson players hope to draw from that game for motivation as they enter this tournament of talented teams. Despite the tough competition, the players are confident they can win the tournament.
"With the talent on the team this year, we can win the tournament", senior captain Tammy Butler said. "We can definitely play with any of the teams."
Harvard will probably face its toughest competition in the first round against the strong B.U. team.
"B.U. will be a tough one", junior Amy Reinhard said. "But we have to take it one game at a time, we can't look ahead."
Provided that Harvard meets the challenge and defeats B.U., they will turn around and play the winner of the Bucknell-Fairfield matchup following on Saturday afternoon.
Some Crimson players expressed concern about playing an important game without a full 24-hour rest, but realized it would be a valuable experience since the Ivy League schedule has many games on consecutive days.
"It will be good to get used to playing without much rest because we will have to do it all year", Grossman said. "Besides, we are deep and should have fresh legs."
As usual the Crimson has been viewing the tapes of the opposing teams to size up their competition. However, they are aware that they need to focus on their won game and not totally on the competition.
"This year Coach Smith has stressed preparing for our own game instead of the opponent's game", Reinhard said.
Following this tournament the Crimson will play at Rhode Island and then depart for a tournament in southern Florida. The team will not play at home again until Jan. 3 when they host Northeastern.
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