Only a sparkling 28-point effort by Ed Cuffe against Cornell brightened a dismal weekend for the varsity basketball team. The Crimson dropped a 67-50 decision to Columbia Friday night in New York, and fell even harder Saturday in Ithaca, bowing 81 to 57 despite Cuffe's performance.
Against Columbia, the varsity stumbled through a listless first half and was never in contention. The Lions, paced by guard Murray Melton and forward Ed Auzenbergs, hit on 16 out of 34 shots in the first 20 minutes while limiting the Crimson to nine for 28.
Columbia led at halftime, 39 to 25, with Melton and Auzenbergs having contributed 25. In the second half, the Lions built up a 28-point margin before coach Archie Oldham mercifully put in his reserve unit. The Crimson's second string, led by Bill Danner and Greg Loser, gained 11 points back in the final ten minutes, but the damage had been done.
Auzenbergs with 21 points and Melton with 15 headed the Columbia attack. Loser, Gary Borchard, and Cuffe all had seven for the varsity.
On Saturday, Cornell swamped the Crimson from start to finish. The towering Big Red led 37 to 24 at halftime and kept piling it on. For the varsity, Cuffe was superb, hitting on nine floor shots and ten free throws for his 28-point total.
The scoring figures for the rest of the Crimson starters are significant: Bob Bowditch seven, Borchard two, Bry Danner two, and Mike Donohue one. Loser again excelled in a substitute's role, tallying eight points.
Jay Harris, with 25 markers, led Cornell. Bill Baugh added 17, and a slightly confused George Farley contributed 15 for Cornell and two for Harvard.
In League play, the Crimson now stands 0-2. The Big Green of Dartmouth, the defending Ivy champions, whipped Cornell Friday, 77 to 59, and got by Columbia Saturday, 84 to 78, to establish itself as the team to beat.