A last minute lay-up by Bob Hastings allowed the varsity to squeak by Saturday night with both a 60-59 victory over M.I.T. and coup of the highly unofficial city championship of Cambridge. A noisy crowd of over a thousand watched the tense goings-on at the Tech field house.
Hastings' basket came at the close of an eight minute spell in which the lead changed hands six times. For the first 32 minutes of the game, the Crimson had led by varying margins of from two to nine points.
The varsity was ahead, 29-23, at the half, but M.I.T. came to within three in the first three minutes. Then three straight baskets by Phil Haughey gave the Crimson its biggest advantage of the evening.
The lead was short lived. With eight minutes to go, M.I.T. star Dmitri Vergun, a disappointment for most of the evening, sunk a hook which knotted the score at 47-47. From then on it was close all the way. A Tech basket with 58 seconds remaining sent the large cowds wild, but Hastings' lay-up 13 seconds later proved the clincher. Both teams missed chances to score in the final seconds.
The closeness of the game was matched only by the enthusiasm of the M.I.T. students. The wooden stands were completely full before the start of play and over 200 late-comers were forced to stand or sit on the wrestling mats and steam pipes that surrounded the court.
High scorers for the varsity were Haughey with 19 points and Hastings with 15. Billy Riggs, who played his best game of the year, scored 13, while "Ike" Canty tallied 12. Norman Howard, sparking the second-half comeback, was high man for Tech, with 17. Vergun, who before the game had averaged 32, scored 13, and only three baskets from the floor. Strong defensive play by Crimson forward Dick Hurley did much to stop the M.I.T. star.