With a streak of accurate shooting late in the second-half, the Harvard basketball team exploded to a 16-point lead, and held off repeated Dartmouth comeback attempts to open its Ivy League season with an $9-78 triumph Saturday night in the IAB.
The Crimson victory, its second in two starts, bodes well for an improvement in its Ivy record over last year's 1-13 mark. Both Harvard and Dartmouth are expected to finish in the first division this winter, as are Penn, the defending champion, and Princeton.
By passing sharply against a Big Green zone early in the game, the Crimson moved to a quick lead which it never relinquished.
Captain Dale Dover, who finished with 17 points and five assists, took command in the opening minutes, driving and twisting for lay-ups and playing tight defense against Dartmouth scoring threat James Brown. Brown scored on only six of 24 field goal attempts.
"I've seen us lose to Dartmouth two years in a row, and I knew that if we were going to do anything in the Ivies this year, we'd have to beat them on our home court. And now we'll have a psychological advantage when we play them up there," Dover said after the game.
Sophomore Floyd Lewis, a 6'7" forward, proved himself a varsity-level performer by dominating both offensive and defensive boards with 16 rebounds (32 in two games), scoring 24 points, blocking three shots, and making three steals.
Playing tight defense and working as a team on offense. Harvard held Dartmouth without a field goal for a six minute stretch midway through the first half and moved ahead 29-20. Then the Big Green capitalized on a series of Crimson turnovers to narrow the gap to 41-37 at half-time.
"We played a steady game to build up that early lead, but because we threw the ball away, they came back. Once we've got a team down like that we've got to take them out by 30 points or more," Lewis said, "And when we get some more experience, we should be able to do that."
Harvard had another chance to put
the game out of Dartmouth's reach late in the second half when it moved ahead 75-59, but it gave the ball away four straight times without getting a shot-
The Big Green was right back in the game trying to repeat last year's 83-80 come-from-behind victory when it scored 18 straight points in the final four minutes. But Harvard's reserve forward Brian Newmark stopped the Dartmouth comeback with two quick baskets.
"We started off hitting the open man underneath on their zone to get the lead, and later in the game everybody came up with the key basket when we needed it. Plus we were much better prepared for Dartmouth than we were for B.U.," Harrison said in explaining his team's victory.