Five games in six nights played after a seven-day vacation and long train rides was too big an assignment for the Crimson basketball team whose five game winning streak was rudely interrupted by the loss of four out of five contests on their western trip.
Meeting in Rochester on the twenty-seventh, the eleven man squad got in a day of practice before starting on the game-a-night schedule. The lone win of the trip was over Michigan State with the losses coming at the hands of Rochester, Bradley Tech, Wisconsin, and Detroit.
Burditt Leads in Scoring
Captain Bunks Burditt led his team in scoring with a total of 52 points. The other high men were: Hugh Hyde 26, Frank Bixler 21, George Dillon 18, and Mike Fansler 15.
It was a case of missing too many shots in the first game which the University of Rochester won 45 to 36. Bunks rang up his highest total of the trip, 16 points, although two men were guarding him; but his teammates were not up to par on shooting or rebounding.
Lose in Last Seconds
Overcoming a six point deficit in the last five minutes to go ahead by one point, the Crimson let Bradley Tech get hold of the ball and score in the last 50 seconds for a 37-36 win. Bradley pulled the same trick on last year's Crimson team, winning in the last seconds after the score was tied at 44-all.
Wisconsin is one team Coach Earl Brown doesn't feel too badly about losing to, for the Badgers have one of the best teams he has ever seen and in all-American forward Johnny Kotz the "player of the year." The game was played in Milwaukee on New Year's Eve before a sellout crowd of 6300.
Kotz's sharpshooting did awful things to the Crimson zone defense in the first half. But coming back with a shifting man-to-man set-up, Harvard pulled up to within eight points of the victors who finally won 58 to 41.
Don Lutze did a good job of guarding Kotz in the second half until he was forced out of the game with a sprained ankle. Incidentally, Don was the first 1943 patient of the Milwaukee General Hospital when he had an X-ray made to see if he had suffered a break. There was not much New Year's celebrating for the team as they had to get up at 6:30 o'clock in the morning to catch a train for Michigan State.
Beat Michigan State on Fouls
Accuracy from the foul line won the Michigan State game for Earl Brown's boys. With the score tied near the end, the Crimson forged ahead on three fouls. Then they added several more when the State team tried to break up the Harvard stalling tactics. At Michigan State, the Varsity had a taste of shooting for glass backboards in the University's new million dollar field house.
Deroit University saw a weary Harvard team put on a truly sad exhibition. Worn out from their steady pace and long train rides, Coach Earl Brown's charges were dead on their feet. And with Detroit's six foot seven inch center, Lee Knorek, holding Burditt to four points, the Harvard attack was stalled.