Cagers Stage a Wildcat Strike; James Keys Romp Over UNH
DURHAM, N.H.--Sometimes, a little less pressure can go a long way, even for an up-tempo team like the Harvard men's basketball squad. The Crimson (1-1) utilized a tough, trapping half-court defense and upped the tempo on offense to overwhelm New Hampshire, 94-74, here at Lundholm Gymnasium last night.
Harvard, which applied full-court pressure whenever the opportunity presented itself in Saturday's loss to Duke, held back for the first 10 minutes against the Wildcats. Instead, a stifling man-to-man defense kept New Hampshire (0-3) in check, and point guards Tarik Campbell and Dana Smith continually forced the ball up the court to keep the pace of the game in Harvard's favor.
"We wanted to get into the flow of the game," Harvard Coach Peter Roby said. "Sometimes, when you pressure, you make mediocre teams better because you give them easy buckets. We knew UNH would have a tough time scoring on us and we didn't want to help them out. We wanted to pick our spots on pressure and concentrate on playing well in the halfcourt."
And concentrate the Crimson did, especially on defense and on shooting the ball--forcing 29 turnovers on the defensive end and shooting 60 percent from the field. The Wildcats weren't up to the challenge.
"Because we played Providence and Jacksonville tough, we may have thought we're above a team like Harvard," UNH Coach Jim Boylan said. "We may have thought we don't have to give maximum effort. We payed for it tonight. We couldn't catch the ball, we couldn't pass the ball, we couldn't shoot the ball, we missed numerous free throws and our defense was atrocious."
Co-Captain Scott Gilly provided the initial boost for the Crimson, as his two three-point jumpers and a baseline drive staked Harvard to an 11-6 lead in the first three minutes. Gilly finished the game with a career-high 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field.
"Tonight, Scott Gilly got us going right off the bat," Roby said. "He sticks a couple of jumpers and all of a sudden, shots are easier to make and the inside game opens up. It was the same thing in the second half, when [Co-Captain Fred] Schernecker buried the two buckets."
UNH would come back to take a 26-25 lead with six minutes remaining in the first half on a Tommy Hammer three-point jumper, but Harvard outscored the Wildcats, 14-6, to take a 39-32 halftime lead.
Schernecker struck at the beginning of the second half, needing only 26 seconds to nail a three-pointer and then steal a pass at halfcourt and drive in for a layup. Suddenly, the Crimson lead was 12 points, and the Wildcats would never get any closer.
"We set up three plays at halftime and on all three we had turnovers," Boylan said. "We threw the ball right to them. They had no choice but to take it and go the other way."
The Leader Board
Junior Ralph James led the Crimson with 19 points, with Schernecker chipping in 15, Ron Mitchell 14 and freshman Peter Condakes 15.
"I think Peter's a versatile player," Roby said. "He's got tremendous post moves, he's very quick in the post, he's tough to guard, he makes free throws and he can stick a three pointer."
Crimson, 94-74 at Darham, N.H. HARVARD 39-55--94 New Hampshire 32-42--74
HARVARD (94): Ron Mitchell 5-4--14; Tyler Rullman 2-0--4; Fred Schernecker 5-2--15; Scott Gilly 5-2--14; Tarik Camp bell 0-2--2; Peter Condakes 5-4--15; Tchad Robinson 2-0--4; Dana Smith 1-5--7; Ralph James 6-7--19; Mal Hollensteiner 0-0--0; Matt McClain 0-0--0.
Totals: 31-52 26-35 94.
NEW HAMPSHIRE (74): Eric Thielen 5-2--13; Pat Manor 3-0--6; Joe Spitale 6-4--17; Bryant Davis 1-2--4; Keith Carpenter. 5-1--11; Chris O'Connor 0-0--0; Tommy Hammer 3-0--8; Greg Walker 0-0--0; Bob Cummins 1-0--2; James Ben 0-2--2; Chris Perkins 4-3--11.
Totals: 28-62 14-23 74.
Three-pointers: Schernecker 3, Gilly 2, Condakes; Hammer 2, Spitale, Thielen. Rebounds: Harvard 31 (James 7); New Hampshire 37 (Thielen 12). Assists: Harvard 15 (Smith 5); New Hampshire 21 (Manor 7). Steals: Harvard 14 (Smith 3); New Hampshire 11 (Thielen 4). Blocked Shots: Harvard 3 (Mitchell, James, Rullman); New Hampshire 0. Total fouls: Harvard 23; New Hampshire 26. Fouled out: Spitale, Thielen. Turnovers: Harvard 29, New Hampshire 29.