Crimson Hoopsters Drop Six
Rainbow Classic Losses Frustrate Team
Because of the late West Coast starting time. The Crimson could not report the results of last night's Harvard-Pepperdine basketball game.
The scenery was terrific, the road trip was exhausting and the results were--to say the least--horribly frustrating.
That was the consensus yesterday afternoon in Santa Monica, Calif., where the Harvard hoopsters were resting up from a winter vacation tour, awaiting a final game last night against Pepperdine.
When it all starts back on Dec. 16 in the friendly surroundings of Boston Garden, the young Crimson cagers were 3-3, 1-0 in the lvy League and Playing very shaky basketball.
But from Boston to Utah to California and Honolulu, Harvard spent the vacation court-hopping and piling up a deceptively depressing 3-9 record.
It's not as bad as it sounds, though.
The tale of frustration began just after most of Harvard had fled Cambridge for the lands of suntans, skiing or other diversions. Out to prove it could stay with a 6-0 Boston College squad, the Crimson came from a 9-0 opening deficit at the Garden to close the vacation opener to 13-12, early in the first half.
From there it was neck-and-neck all the way as the Crimson closed down Eagle star guard Ernie Cobb, holding the 23.7points-per-game hotshot to just 12 points.
A 48-45 B.C. halftime lead turned into an 84-83 squeaker when senior Glenn Fine hit a layup with five seconds to go. But B.C.'s Chris Foy sank two foul shots after Harvard was forced to foul on the ensuing in-bounds play, and B.C. took home a breathless win.
The strong performance marked a clear contrast to the Crimson's first game out West, when Harvard lost to Brigham Young, 113-72, on Dec. 21. But Harvard coach Frank McLaughlin explained away the embarrassing final score as a matter of circumstance.
"The BYU score was deceiving. As a coach, I knew at halftime we weren't gonna win, so I subbed freely in the second half. Unfortunately, BYU didn't sub. They kept their front line in and went on to win by 41. We would have been able to close the gap if we had played our front line, but we would've been exhausted for the rest of the trip," he said.
Two days later, Harvard turned in a fine performance against a superb Stanford team, only to drop a 49-42 halftime advantage as Stanford ripped off a 27-2 burst in the opening minutes of the second stanza.
Stanford went on to win, 103-81, and the winless Crimson flew to Honolulu for the first round of the Rainbow Classic.
Oahu rocked with excitement on the night of Dec. 28 as Harvard Shocked everyone, battling Arizona State to a 67-67 tie at the end of regulation time. Only a 20-ft. Johnny Nash jumper with no time showing on the clock kept Arizona State alive, forcing the tie and an overtime shoot-out.
Harvard's two Bobs (Hooft and Allen) pumped in 27 and 16 points, respectively, and Harvard looked like a winner when freshman Don Flemming canned a jumper to put the Crimson up 56-50.
But after a Dave Coatsworth-Alton Lister alteration, brought a bevy of technical fouls, the Sun Devils strung up nine unanswered points to take the lead back. They then ran away from a mystified Crimson team in the overtime period.
In the consolation round. Harvard ironically met B.C., only to lose again, 83-78. B.C., coming off a blowout loss to Purdue (82-54), outlasted the tired Harvard squad that had almost stunned Arizona State the night before. The bright spot against the Eagles was freshman Flemming, who pumped in 30 points for his finest performance to date in Crimson colors.
Still winless, dispirited Harvard dropped a joke of a game to Fordham, 71-60, in its final Hawaii appearance.
Despite excellent basketball against some very strong teams, the Crimson had gained little satisfaction. Co-captain Bob Hooft had played consistently well, producing big point outputs. Newly named Rhodes Scholar co-captain Glenn Fine added strong backcourt performances to his scholastic honor (the award was announced at Boston Garden on the night of the B.C. game).
And yesterday, after sitting through an earthquake that shook Santa Monica Monday at 4.6 on the Richter scale, Harvard was ready to close the trip and come home.
If nothing else, at least Harvard is still 1-0 in the Ivies