Slovakia Checks Women's Cagers

Harvard Falls to Team Cassovia, 85-64

The t-shirts presented to the visiting team before last night's exhibition women's basketball game read "Harvard Women's Basketball: No Goals, No Glory." The Crimson may have set their goals too high in taking on Slovakian semi-pro team Cassovia Slovmad Koshice, though. There is no glory in losing by 21 on your home court.

Things looked good for Harvard at the start as they jumped out to a 9-0 lead with a quick four points from 1994-95 Ivy League Player of the Year Allison Feaster, a layup by Amy Reinhard, and a rainbow three-pointer by junior point guard Jess Gelman. After a quick timeout to regroup, however, the taller, more experienced, and better disciplined Slovakian squad seized the lead for good.

Cassovia capitalized on sloppy Crimson play (21 turnovers in the first half, 34 for the game) to go on a 32-8 run which lasted for nearly 12 minutes of the opening half. The Slovakians shot a phenomenal 6296 from the field for the game, wearing down the Harvard women both on the fast break and in the half-court set.

Once it had fallen behind, Harvard quickly lost its poise.

"I saw veterans lose their confidence out there," Harvard coach Kathy Delaney-Smith said.


Unable to distribute the ball effectively inside, the Crimson forced its passes and settled for bad shots from behind the three-point arc. The team shot a miserable 4 of 21 from three-point range for the evening. By contrast, the disciplined Cassovia team did not even attempt a three pointer until Tatjana Ingatenkova sank one with 3:40 remaining in the game.

Center Renata Janusova led the victorious visitors with 27 points. As the first player downcourt in transition for Cassovia, she managed numerous uncontested layups to blow the game open, and her overwhelming presence in the post opened holes for power forward Vladimira Dansiskova, who added 20 in the winning effort.

Janusova and Dansiskova toyed with the Crimson defense, cutting in and out of the paint and amassing 11 assists between them, mostly to one another. The pair played solid defense as well, stifling Harvard's shorter post players and combining for 9 steals and 6 defensive rebounds.

For Harvard, Feaster pumped in 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds. The only other Crimson cager to reach double figures was senior center Katy Davis, who tallied 10 points on 5 of 6 shooting from the floor.

Despite the lopsided 85-64 final, Cassovia coach Ivan Vostko felt his team might have played better.

"We have played seven games in a week, so our fitness is not very good," he said. "We are tired from traveling. We are tired from traveling. We won earlier games by 30 or 40 points," he added, referring to the results of previous matchups on his team's 11-game tour of the East Coast.

Coach Delaney-Smith saw some good in the outcome of the game for her squad. She feels that a team as ambitious as hers can profit from the experience.

"I think this is the best thing that could happen to us. This is our big wake-up call," she said.

The Crimson should be wide awake after last night's basketball lesson. It may have been given in Slovakian, but it was clearly understood. Cassovia  85 Harvard  64

CASSOVIA, 85-64 at Briggs Cage Cassovia  46  39  --  85 Harvard  23  41  --  64

CASSOVIA: Leskova 0-1 5-7 5; Dansiskova 7-11 6-9 20; Pavliskove 0-2 0-0 0; Janusova 12-17 3-4 27; Czakova 1-1 0-0 2; Ignatenkova 1-3 0-1 3; Komarova 9-12 2-4 20; Imbergova 1-4 0-0 2; Ingrove 3-4 0-0 6. TOTALS: 34-55 16-25 85.

HARVARD: Miller 0-0 4-4 4; Reinhard 2-9 1-2 5; Back 0-2 1-4 5; Davis 5-6 0-0 10; Feaster 8-12 2-4 19; Grossman 3-4 0-0 7; Product 0-7 0-0 0; Seanor 1-3 0-0 2; Basil 1-2 0-0 2; Brandt 0-2 0-0 0; German 1-3 0-0 3; Gettleman 2-5 0-0 8; Higgins 1-1 2-2 4. TOTALS: 24-55 12-21 64.