After boarding the bus last Thursday afternoon with exam period only days away, New York was the last state that the Harvard women's basketball team wanted to visit.
By Saturday night, however, the team was sorry to leave.
After barely sneaking by the Ivy league sleeper, Columbia, 70-62, on Friday night, the Crimson rebounded with an impressive 85-62 trouncing of Cornell.
"On this trip our team was so fired up and ready to play," captain Kelly Black said.
Against the Lions, Jessica Gelman paced the Crimson with 24 points, almost half of which--11--came from the free throw line. Despite the fact that scoring star Allison Feaster fouled out with over four minutes to play, Harvard hung on down the stretch and set up a what looked to be a showdown with the Big Red, one of the other two undefeated teams remaining in Ivy play going in.
Then the game started. And it wasn't even close.
From the first whistle on, the Crimson (9-5, 3-0 Ivy) took possession and never looked back. As Harvard broke out with a 34-14 run in the first half, Cornell (4-7, 1-1) never had a chance to see what was coming.
A great deal of that firepower came from Feaster, the junior forward who scored a career-high 35 points and added 14 rebounds.
Maybe the Big Red should have looked at the Harvard-Columbia game tapes a little more closely.
Feaster, last year's Ivy League Player of the Year, got into early foul trouble against the Lions, yet in that game she still somehow exploded for 19 points in only 16 minutes.
"The Columbia game was really close and because of the foul trouble I wasn't able to play," Feaster said. "So needless to say I was very eager for Cornell."
She quickly proved that she was not only eager, but out for redemption.
"On Friday I couldn't believe that [Feaster] got 19 points in 16 minutes," Black said. "She was even joking that she didn't even need to take a shower after the Columbia game because she didn't get to play that much. I think that's why she was so ready to play on Saturday."
Going into halftime, Feaster already had 22 points and Harvard was in cruise control with a comfortable 45-23 advantage.
"The team realizes that we need to treat every game like it is going to determine the Ivy League," Black said. "We learned from last year that we can't take any team lightly."
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