Columbia's basketball team acted like a fodera caught in a wind storm last night at the Arena. Every time Harvard threatened to catch the Lions, they spurted ahead and finally ended up four steps ahead 57 to 53. It was the Crimson's eleventh straight setback.
Five times in the second half, Bill Barclay's forces came within one point of the leaders only to see Captain Sherry Marshall or Lion high scorer Norm Skiner (13) sink a set shot to protect the Columbia advantage.
The final blow came just three minutes before the final buzzer when, with the winners ahead 53-51, a questionable foul was called on Dick Covey. Skinner calmly swished two free throws, Columbia held a four-point bulge, and except for another set shot by Skinner, the Lions merely hung onto the ball.
Nevertheless, Harvard made an encouraging showing, Cliff Crosby enjoyed his hottest night in three years, tossing up 16 points to pace both teams. All but two of them came in the second half, when Crosby's deadly aim kept Harvard in the game.
The New Yorkers' defense, which overshadowed Harvard's all night, forced the Crimson to score from the outside and its offense did not got moving until the second half. Then, passes became sharper and the Crimson to score from the outside and its offense did not get moving until the second half. Then, passes became sharper and the Crimson, which trailed 30-25 at the half, became more potent off the backboards.
When their shots began to click, Harvard began to hustle--and hustle may mean the end of the losing streak before the last six games run out. HARVARD (53) FG F T Rockewell, rf 0 0 0 Petrillo 1 0 2 Bramhall, lf 6 1 13 Prior, c 0 5 5 Smith 4 0 8 Covey, rg 1 1 3 Croshy 7 2 16 Davis, lg 2 1 5 Gannon 0 1 1 Totals 21 11 53