Smarting from Friday's loss to Cornell and an early season humiliation at the hand of Columbia, the varsity basketball team walloped a rather tame Lion quintet 71-50 in New York Saturday night. The win gave the Crimson a 1-1 split for the weekend festivities and a 4-3 Ivy mark.
The Varsity wasted little time in showing Columbia that it did not intend a repeat performance of its 51-44 loss to the Lions in January. Coach Floyd Wilson's team out-shot, out re-bounded and woefully out-scored its weaker foe to make a commanding 18 point lead at half time.
Throughout the contest, the varsity used a tight zone defense to keep Columbia off balance and took advantage of every Lion mistake (there were many) to cushion the Crimson lead.
Once again it was a balanced offense that provided the margin of victory. Merle McClung, Vern Strand, Leo Scully, and Denny Lynch all finished in double figures with McClung's 15 points leading the way.
On defense, Captain Gene Augustine was at his level best staling passes and forcing Lion guards to make costly throwing errors.
Along with Scully, Augustine's defensive work kept the Lions from shooting over the varsity's zone defense as Cornell had done with such success the night before.
In the second half, varsity play became more lackadaisical and Columbia moved within 14 points of the coasting Harvard hoopsters. But with five minutes remaining, to quick baskets by McClung and accurate foul shooting from Scully ruined whatever Lion hopes were left. The Crimson hit on 26 of 58 shots and grabbed 42 rebounds to rap up an evening of really fine basketball.
By beating Columbia and losing to Cornell, the Crimson merely reversed an earlier weekend performance when it topped the Big Red but lost to the lowly Lions. In a topay-tunvy weekend that also saw front-running Penn lose to seventh place Brown, it just goes to show that predictions in Ivy League basketball don't make much sense at all.