Harvard's basketball team put on an incredible display of shooting accuracy and fast breaking in the first half against Springfield Saturday night, and then maintained their big lead for a 97-81 win.
Six Crimson players scored in double figures and two more had six points each. Before 600 fans in the IAB, the team finally put it all together, showing the hustle and defensive alertness which should make tomorrow night's home game against Boston College a close contest.
Against Springfield's man-to-man defense, Harvard worked well out of their California offense, and quickly opened a 21-8 lead. In the California, three forwards rotate into the center for a pass, and then rotate back out if they don't get free, so there is no one man always playing the post. The Crimson had not been using it much, because they were meeting zone defenses.
Chris Gallagher led the Harvard scorers with 19, slightly upping his season average to 18.5 per game. Captain Gene Dresseler had his biggest game with 16 points. Bob Kanuth and Barth Royer had 14, and Bob Johnson and Jeff Grate netted ten.
Grate's outstanding play -- by far his most aggressive performance of the season -- is another reason why an upset in the IAB tomorrow is not inconceivable.
Springfield was a much better squad than any of Harvard's previous opponents, but they were so cold from the outside that the Crimson could have played much less inspired ball and still have won. The visitors built their offense around 6 ft. 5 in. Paul Wagner, who scored 25 points.
Wagner was tough to handle at his high post, because he could turn around for a jump shot from the top of the key, or drive in for some fancy, twisting layups.
In addition to scoring 42 points, Harvard's four guards did a superb job of breaking Springfield's full-court press, which they employed almost throughout the game.
The freshmen beat Springfield 88-80.