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chasing HOOP dreams

By Ethan G. Drogin

The Harvard women's basketball team took a major step forward this year, just missing the Ivy League championship with a second place finish.

The team's stellar record (19-7, 11-3 Ivy) reflects its dramatic improvement from last season (4-10,7-19).

The Crimson's turnaround can be attributed to a blend of youth and experience, and the willingness of players to take on roles.

Captain Tammy Butler--the lone senior on the squad--was the Crimson's version of Kevin McHale, dazzling defenders with a plethora of post moves.

During the season, Butler broke Harvard career records in both points scored and rebounding. Over her sensational four years here, butler netted 1,605 points and hauled down 1, 0 5 3 rebounds.

The Harvard captain was recognized as the Ivy League Player of the Year, averaging a league leading 17.6 points per game. Butler became one of only eight players in League history to be named first-team All-Ivy three times.

But the leadership Butler provided was as least as important as her statistics.

"Tammy's leadership was a huge part of our success," junior forward Elizabeth Gettelman said. "She was not only a leader but also made everyone feel comfortable.'

"She genuinely cared about everyone on the team," sophomore guard Jessica Gelman said. "Her play on the court was only half of her contribution."

Freshman forward Allison Feaster combined with Butler to give the Crimson a potent one-two punch inside. Feaster was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year and joined Butley on the All-Ivy first team.

Feaster, whose quiet off-court demeanor stands in sharp contrast to her on-court intensity, immediately stepped in as a starter and made enormous contributions.

"At first she was really quiet," junior guard Elizabeth "Buzz" Proudfit said "I think it was a huge change for her, But she opened up a lot, and she's great person."

The freshman, nicknamed "Charlie," led the Ivy League in rebounding and was a top-five scorer.

"Charlie is one of the most talented players in the Ivy League," Gelman said. "Her rebounding is intense. She just moves people out of the way."

"God help this league for the next three years," coach Kathy Delaney Smith said. "She played injured for most of this season."

The Crimson backcourt duo of Proudfit and sophomore Gelman blossomed this year, providing leadership at guard. Proudfit was second on the team in assists and steals, while Gelman led Harvard in assists and was the team's third-leading scorer.

Proudifit's best game came in a 100-99 win over Providence, in which she connected for 20 points and dished out a season-high eight assists. The junior shooting guard played consistently tough defense, often marking the opposition's most potent outside threat.

"It's ridiculous that Buzz didn't get any late-season recognition," Gelman said."She can change the momentum of a game."

Gelman erupted for 20 points and 10rebounds--season-highs in both categories--in atough 77-73 loss at UNH. The sophomore point guardhad numerous big plays all season, including asteal to cinch the win at Providence and clutchfree-throws to down Cornell in overtime, 105-99.

"When Jessica creates [off the dribble], shereally opens things up inside," Gettelman said."[She and Buzz] are our two best one-on-oneplayers."

Junior guard Amy Reinhard best exemplified theCrimson's unselfish attitude this season. Reinhardsacrificed her statistics for the team,although--when called upon--she provided anoffensive spark.

The junior guard netted a season-high 22 pointsagainst Providence, including six three-pointers.

"Even if it isn't reflected in her scoring. Amyis a major contributor," Proudfit said. "sheusually guards the other team's best offensiveplayer.'

The superb play of the bench was another factorin Harvard's success. Gettelman, junior forwardKaty Davis and freshman guard Sarah Brandt allplayed key roles in the Crimson's turn-around.

Gettelman, Brandt and forward Kelly Blackprovided deadly perimeter shooting off the bench,while Davis contributed solid rebounding anddefense in the post.

The substitutes were exceptional in Harvard's91-66 victory over Brown. The bench, whichcontributed 42 points, was led by Black's 12 pointperformance, a career high.

"All the way down the bench the enthusiasm wasamazing," Gettelman said. "It's so important for ateam to be enthusiastic. It definitely affects theplay on the court."

"We've got such depth and such talent on thebench," Delany Smith said. "If Liz was cold Icould go to Sara. And is Sara was cold I could goto Karun Grossman. And next year watch out forCarrie Jablonski. She's a pure shooter, who mightchallenge some of Erin Maher's records."

Despite being picked to finish fifth in theIvies, the players were confident that they wouldcompete for the title.

"From pre-season we had confidence inourselves," Gettelman said.

Several games stand out as bench-marks in theHarvard season:

-Harvard's 100-99 win over Providence Collegeon December 7 was an early indication of theteam's potential. Feaster, Butler, Reinhard andProudfit each had 20 or more points in the upset.

-Despite losing a tough 81-77 game at Dartmouthon January 14th, Harvard established itself as oneof the top teams in the Ivy League.

-On February 10th, Harvard lost its seventhstraight meeting to Brown, dropping a 65-57decision to the Bears. However, the team bouncedback from the loss by embarking on a seven gamewinning streak.

-The Crimson's 91-66 blow-out victory over theBears on February 25th was probably Harvard's bestoverall game of the year. The team put on aclinic, outplaying its opponents in every aspectof the game. And Butler finally got to tastevictory against Brown.

-Harvard survived a major scare against Cornellon March 3rd, pulling out a 105-99 win inovertime. Needing a win to stay in contention forthe Ivy title, the Crimson's Jessica Gelman nailedsix free throws in the extra frame.

-Harvard's season ended on a disappointingnote--a 72-48 loss to Dartmouth in a game whichdetermined the winner of the Ivy League and aberth in the NCAA Tournament. The Big Green playedflawless basketball, while the Crimson stumbled.Fittingly, however, Butler led Harvard in scoringand rebounding in her final game for the Crimson.

"Although we lost that last game to Dartmouth,I don't think that can take away from what weaccomplished this season," Delaney Smith said."The people...the team mechanics...this was aspecial group of women."CrimsonE. Houston WuA Quaker wisely gets out of the way ofcaptain TAMMY BUTLER.

Gelman erupted for 20 points and 10rebounds--season-highs in both categories--in atough 77-73 loss at UNH. The sophomore point guardhad numerous big plays all season, including asteal to cinch the win at Providence and clutchfree-throws to down Cornell in overtime, 105-99.

"When Jessica creates [off the dribble], shereally opens things up inside," Gettelman said."[She and Buzz] are our two best one-on-oneplayers."

Junior guard Amy Reinhard best exemplified theCrimson's unselfish attitude this season. Reinhardsacrificed her statistics for the team,although--when called upon--she provided anoffensive spark.

The junior guard netted a season-high 22 pointsagainst Providence, including six three-pointers.

"Even if it isn't reflected in her scoring. Amyis a major contributor," Proudfit said. "sheusually guards the other team's best offensiveplayer.'

The superb play of the bench was another factorin Harvard's success. Gettelman, junior forwardKaty Davis and freshman guard Sarah Brandt allplayed key roles in the Crimson's turn-around.

Gettelman, Brandt and forward Kelly Blackprovided deadly perimeter shooting off the bench,while Davis contributed solid rebounding anddefense in the post.

The substitutes were exceptional in Harvard's91-66 victory over Brown. The bench, whichcontributed 42 points, was led by Black's 12 pointperformance, a career high.

"All the way down the bench the enthusiasm wasamazing," Gettelman said. "It's so important for ateam to be enthusiastic. It definitely affects theplay on the court."

"We've got such depth and such talent on thebench," Delany Smith said. "If Liz was cold Icould go to Sara. And is Sara was cold I could goto Karun Grossman. And next year watch out forCarrie Jablonski. She's a pure shooter, who mightchallenge some of Erin Maher's records."

Despite being picked to finish fifth in theIvies, the players were confident that they wouldcompete for the title.

"From pre-season we had confidence inourselves," Gettelman said.

Several games stand out as bench-marks in theHarvard season:

-Harvard's 100-99 win over Providence Collegeon December 7 was an early indication of theteam's potential. Feaster, Butler, Reinhard andProudfit each had 20 or more points in the upset.

-Despite losing a tough 81-77 game at Dartmouthon January 14th, Harvard established itself as oneof the top teams in the Ivy League.

-On February 10th, Harvard lost its seventhstraight meeting to Brown, dropping a 65-57decision to the Bears. However, the team bouncedback from the loss by embarking on a seven gamewinning streak.

-The Crimson's 91-66 blow-out victory over theBears on February 25th was probably Harvard's bestoverall game of the year. The team put on aclinic, outplaying its opponents in every aspectof the game. And Butler finally got to tastevictory against Brown.

-Harvard survived a major scare against Cornellon March 3rd, pulling out a 105-99 win inovertime. Needing a win to stay in contention forthe Ivy title, the Crimson's Jessica Gelman nailedsix free throws in the extra frame.

-Harvard's season ended on a disappointingnote--a 72-48 loss to Dartmouth in a game whichdetermined the winner of the Ivy League and aberth in the NCAA Tournament. The Big Green playedflawless basketball, while the Crimson stumbled.Fittingly, however, Butler led Harvard in scoringand rebounding in her final game for the Crimson.

"Although we lost that last game to Dartmouth,I don't think that can take away from what weaccomplished this season," Delaney Smith said."The people...the team mechanics...this was aspecial group of women."CrimsonE. Houston WuA Quaker wisely gets out of the way ofcaptain TAMMY BUTLER.

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