BOSTON--When captain Damian Long's would-be game-winner rimmed out at the buzzer, it was the last in a series of bad bounces for the Harvard men's basketball team.
The Crimson (3-3) led Boston University 53-48 with 5:11 to play, but a series of late miscues--at the free-throw line and on inbounds plays--allowed the Terriers (1-5) to close the game on a 10-4 run, beating Harvard 58-57 last night at Case Gym.
In addition to Long's in-and-out shot, Harvard had two inbounds passes deflected--one for a turnover and an easy bucket for B.U.--and missed three of its last four free throws and its last four shots from the floor.
All those errors were emblematic of a night when the Crimson shot just 20-of-61 from the floor and 3-of-22 from three-point range, the team's worst shooting numbers of the young season.
"It's truly ironic because our four previous opponents all had field-goal percentage defenses under 40 percent," Harvard Coach Frank Sullivan said. "This was the first team we played that had a field-goal percentage defense over 40 percent and they guarded us the toughest of anybody."
Nobody suffered the Crimson's shooting drought worse than junior forward Dan Clemente, the team's leading scorer at 24.2 points per game. Clemente, marked mainly man-to-man by B.U.'s Jean Avebe, got his shots off but hit just 3-of-16 for a season-low six points. He also missed all eight of his three-point attempts, the first time in 23 games he failed to sink a trey.
"Avebe had one of his best games for us," B.U. Coach Dennis Wolff said. "He couldn't have guarded Dan Clemente any better. He guarded a very, very good player and he shot 3-of-16 and didn't make any threes. We really emphasized taking away the three."