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W. Hoops Out for Ivy Record

Crimson Looks to Set Mark, Stay Unblemished in League

By Maggie Jacobberger

The Harvard women's basketball team begins the second half of Ivy action this weekend.

The Crimson will first tip off against Cornell (10-10 overall, 5-3 Ivy) tonight at 6 p.m. and then face Columbia (4-16, 1-7) tomorrow night.

With back-to-back victories this weekend Harvard will tie Brown's Ivy League record of 21 consecutive victories. The current Crimson streak extends back to its 80-50 victory over Columbia last year.

Harvard is coming off a big weekend homestand where it pounded both Penn (86-57) and Princeton (80-53).

Junior forward Allison Feaster led the way in both games, pouring in 23 against Penn and 25 against Princeton.

Harvard has the upper hand in the series with both Cornell and Columbia. In 36 meetings, the Crimson has downed the Big Red 30 times and has never lost to the Lions in 24 games.

Columbia did, however, provide a bit of a scare to the Crimson in their first meeting. The 70-62 Crimson win was the closest an Ivy League opponent has gotten to the Crimson this season.

The biggest obstacle Harvard had to overcome in its last meeting with Cornell was the long bus ride, as the Crimson flattened the Big Red 85-62.

But the Crimson is definitely not taking the weekend series lightly.

"We can't take them too lightly or ourselves too seriously. In this league, anybody can beat anybody," head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith said.

"These teams are coming in with nothing to lose, and that underdog mentality makes them dangerous. Both are good penetrating teams, and we really need to stop the fast break against Cornell."

Cornell is coming off three tough losses to Brown, Yale and Bucknell. Cornell's point leader, Kim Ruck, who averages 16.4 points per game, knocked in 17 in the 64-53 loss to Bucknell. One of the keys for the Crimson will be to shut down the Ruck attack.

"She can do it all. She's a great three-point shooter and a good penetrator," Delaney-Smith said.

Against Columbia, the Crimson will have a more balanced defensive attack.

"We're not going to be keying on any one player," Delaney-Smith said. "Anyone on that team can step up. That's what makes them dangerous."

There is added motivation against Columbia due to the early season scare that the Lions gave the Crimson.

"We allowed them to play us closely the first time. We're bound and determined not to let that happen again," Delaney-Smith said.

The Crimson hopes to continue its quest toward an undefeated league season and an Ivy title. But winning is not everything.

"We want to keep improving and playing the game well. We're performance-oriented, not win-oriented," Delaney-Smith said.

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