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She Sure Is Good, 'I Guarantee'

Gizney World

By Eduardo Perez-giz

First Allison Feaster assured a victory. Then she went out and secured one for her team.

Just as "Broadway" Joe Namath delivered on his promise of a New York Jets' win in Super Bowl III over the mighty Baltimore Colts, Feaster mesmerized everyone at Lavietes Pavilion yesterday with one of the most dominating performances by a single player in Harvard basketball history--men's or women's.

Saturday evening, following the Crimson's first-round victory over Norfolk State in the Harvard Invitational Tournament, Feaster predicted the outcome of yesterday's championship game against Loyola 24 hours before the fact. With an ice pack strapped to each knee, Feaster offered the following analysis of the upcoming contest:

"[Loyola] beat us last year, and that's enough to fuel our fire. We will win the game tomorrow. Yes, it is a guarantee. It's a guarantee!"

That statement was uncharacteristic of the normally modest and low-key All-American forward. The show she put on yesterday was even more extraordinary.

Feaster scored a career-high 39 points--the highest single-game output in Harvard women's basketball history and the fifth highest in Ivy League history--to go along with 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Most amazing, though, was the intensity she maintained for 40 minutes.

From the opening tip, it was evident that yesterday's contest meant a great deal to Feaster. Perhaps it was the fact that Loyola defeated Harvard last season in a heartbreaker decided by only six points.

Maybe it was the fact that Harvard had not won its own tournament in 10 years. Regardless of Feaster's motivation, someone should have warned Loyola. Then again, a warning wouldn't have made any difference--Feaster was unstoppable.

She scored Harvard's first points on a simple layup, but she sprinted back on defense with her fists pumping. When she knocked down her first trey one minute later, she left her arms up to signal her shot was true, then began waving them up and down to spark her teammates.

Shortly thereafter she found fellow co-captain Megan Basil behind the arc for another three-pointer and a 9-0 Harvard lead. The basket prompted a timeout from the Loyola bench, and Feaster headed for the Crimson's huddle yelling words of praise at her teammates with her arms raised over her head in celebration.

Feaster's energy only increased as the game progressed. Bucket after bucket, rebound after rebound, she seemed hungrier for more success. She hit six of her nine shots from downtown and was perfect from the charity stripe.

She was hitting 12-foot, turnaround jumpers at one end of the floor and wreaking havoc in the paint at the other. When she nailed a trey from the left wing with three minutes to play in the game to give Harvard a 16-point lead, the Crimson's bench erupted and Feaster back-pedaled past her teammates and pointed at them in recognition, a la Michael Jordan.

Feaster was that good yesterday. If you don't believe it, ask the WNBA scout who witnessed the display and was as impressed as the rest of the crowd. When the game ended, you only needed to look at the smile on Feaster's face to understand the joy she felt for the tournament title she had helped her team capture.

Feaster was voted Tournament MVP--as if there even needed to be a vote--with combined totals of 69 points and 26 rebounds in two games. Last week when she averaged 29 points and 12.5 rebounds and broke the Harvard career scoring record, the Ivy League inexplicably chose not to name her its Player of the Week; if she does not receive that honor this week, the League should seriously reconsider its system for distributing weekly awards.

Feaster has now raised her season averages to an astounding 28.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. She also moved into a tie for fourth place on the all-time Ivy League scoring list with 1,683 career points--and we are not even one fourth of the way through the season.

Scary, isn't it?

You probably won't hear Feaster predicting any more victories this year, but you can expect several more impressive performances from her before she departs the hallowed halls of Harvard for the prime-time parquet of the WNBA. And you can expect the Crimson to chalk up many more wins with Feaster at its helm, even if she doesn't announce each one.

She has many more records to shatter before her NCAA eligibility expires, which means Harvard fans have additional opportunities to witness a dazzling display of talent. So those of you who missed yesterday's record-setting show should try to catch an encore performance before March, when Feaster will play her final game for the Crimson and usher out an historic era in the annals of IvyCrimsonDavid S. TangIN THE LEAD: Junior shooting guard KELLY KINEEN nabbed a key steal against Norfolk St. on Saturday.

Maybe it was the fact that Harvard had not won its own tournament in 10 years. Regardless of Feaster's motivation, someone should have warned Loyola. Then again, a warning wouldn't have made any difference--Feaster was unstoppable.

She scored Harvard's first points on a simple layup, but she sprinted back on defense with her fists pumping. When she knocked down her first trey one minute later, she left her arms up to signal her shot was true, then began waving them up and down to spark her teammates.

Shortly thereafter she found fellow co-captain Megan Basil behind the arc for another three-pointer and a 9-0 Harvard lead. The basket prompted a timeout from the Loyola bench, and Feaster headed for the Crimson's huddle yelling words of praise at her teammates with her arms raised over her head in celebration.

Feaster's energy only increased as the game progressed. Bucket after bucket, rebound after rebound, she seemed hungrier for more success. She hit six of her nine shots from downtown and was perfect from the charity stripe.

She was hitting 12-foot, turnaround jumpers at one end of the floor and wreaking havoc in the paint at the other. When she nailed a trey from the left wing with three minutes to play in the game to give Harvard a 16-point lead, the Crimson's bench erupted and Feaster back-pedaled past her teammates and pointed at them in recognition, a la Michael Jordan.

Feaster was that good yesterday. If you don't believe it, ask the WNBA scout who witnessed the display and was as impressed as the rest of the crowd. When the game ended, you only needed to look at the smile on Feaster's face to understand the joy she felt for the tournament title she had helped her team capture.

Feaster was voted Tournament MVP--as if there even needed to be a vote--with combined totals of 69 points and 26 rebounds in two games. Last week when she averaged 29 points and 12.5 rebounds and broke the Harvard career scoring record, the Ivy League inexplicably chose not to name her its Player of the Week; if she does not receive that honor this week, the League should seriously reconsider its system for distributing weekly awards.

Feaster has now raised her season averages to an astounding 28.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. She also moved into a tie for fourth place on the all-time Ivy League scoring list with 1,683 career points--and we are not even one fourth of the way through the season.

Scary, isn't it?

You probably won't hear Feaster predicting any more victories this year, but you can expect several more impressive performances from her before she departs the hallowed halls of Harvard for the prime-time parquet of the WNBA. And you can expect the Crimson to chalk up many more wins with Feaster at its helm, even if she doesn't announce each one.

She has many more records to shatter before her NCAA eligibility expires, which means Harvard fans have additional opportunities to witness a dazzling display of talent. So those of you who missed yesterday's record-setting show should try to catch an encore performance before March, when Feaster will play her final game for the Crimson and usher out an historic era in the annals of IvyCrimsonDavid S. TangIN THE LEAD: Junior shooting guard KELLY KINEEN nabbed a key steal against Norfolk St. on Saturday.

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