Saturday night's basketball game against Boston College will go down as just another loss for the perennially overmatched Crimson hoopsters, but at the same time the 75-71 decision will be a brutal slap in the face for those who said that this team is incapable of producing exciting basketball.
It started out as a typical Mufi Hanneman-type ho-hum affair, as early in the first half the Eagles flew off on a 16-2 spurt which found the Crimson down 28-11 halfway to intermission.
B.C.'s elementary T-zone full-court press baffled Harvard early and often, and the Crimson offense suffered from lack of movement and general discrimination.
Gary Ackerman scored eight of his ten points in this period to save the cagers from total embarrassment.
Meanwhile, B.C. was hitting an obnoxious 64.5 per cent from the floor, thanks mainly to the hyper-active play of guard Ernie Cobb (ten points in first half) and center Bob Bennifield (12 points), Chestnut Hill's answer to young Connie Hawkins, who blocked four Harvard shots during the course of the game.
Late in the first half Harvard finally started breaking the press against B.C.'s second stringers, but the Eagles kept popping.
Dave Rogers checked into the Crimson backcourt and began his eventual super performance with six quick points to spark the offense, and Jonas Honick's two jumpers with less than a minute remaining cut the lead to 39-28. However, the Eagles went to the locker room at the half riding comfortably on a 43-30 lead.
Excited yet? Well, neither was anybody else. But all of a sudden, in the second half, something--and it wasn't the ghost of Arnie Needleman--got ahold of the Crimson, and inspired play began to flourish at both ends of the court. Chief catalysts were Rogers, 19 pts., Irion, 18 pts., and Bob Hooft.
Harvard drove right at B.C.'s zone, getting layups and drawing fouls. A three-point play by Hooft at 13:53 and a free throw by Irion brought the lead down to 51-42 before Cobb went temporarily bananas with two straight steal-hoop jobs.
Rogers' outside shooting and the rebounding of Irion, Hooft and Ackerman cut the margin to seven, where it basically stayed until a Bennifield-from-Cobb three-point play made it 71-61 with 2:00 remaining.
The Eagles then went too cold too late, as three buckets by Rogers and two by Honick made it 73-69 before Jeff Hill's dramatic 25-footer sliced the margin to two with ten ticks on the clock. Honick then made the mistake of fouling Bennifield four seconds later, and the big guy responded with points No. 29 and 30 to give B.C. their 75-71 win.
Satch Sanders and his boys will attempt to pick up an exciting win when they face CCNY at the IAB Saturday night.