After leading for 19 minutes against Holy Cross last night, the Crimson basketball team literally throw the game away and bowed to the Crusaders, 83 to 64.
With ten seconds left in the first half, Holy Cross finally pulled in front by a point; when captain Gene Augustine threw the ball in bounds after the score, it was stolen by the Crusaders' Tom Palace who made an easy two-pointer and put Holy Cross ahead to stay, 34 to 31.
This play typified the Crimson's performance in the agonising second half. Harvard lost the ball more than a dozen times in the last twenty minutes, mainly because of horrendous passing.
The underdog varsity started the game in brilliant fashion. In the first half the Crimson hit with 50 per cent of its shots from the floor and outrebounded their opponents, 22 to 11. Harvard's zone defense, which had been rather ineffectual against Boston College last week, worked beautifully. Holy Cross was able to permeate it for tallies only three times in the first half. But because of the Crusaders' superior speed and the magnificent shooting of sophomore guard John Wendelken, Harvard was never able to pull more than five points in front.
In the second half, the Crusaders, slowly increased their lead, but with 14 minutes left and the score 46 to 40, the Crimson was still very much in contention. Eighty seconds later, all semblance of a contest had vaporized: Wendelken connected on three straight 20-foot jump shots which put Holy Cross ahead 52 to 41.
lead, but with 14 minutes left and the score 46 to 40, the Crimson was still very much in contention. Eighty seconds later, all semblance of a contest had vaporized; Wendelken connected on three straight 20-foot jump shots which put Holy Cross ahead 52 to 41.
After the Crimson tightened the margin to 52 to 44, the Crusader blitz blew the game wide open; in the next six minutes Holy Cross outscored the varsity 23 to 6, surging to a 25-point lead.
With 19 points, Wendelken paced the Holy Cross offense, which sank 35 of 50 field goal attempts. Pete O'Connor, Pat Gallagher, and Tom Palace also scored in two figures for the Crusaders. The Crimson hit on 26 of 55 shots from the floor; Vern Strand scored 17, sophomore Leo Scully had 13 and Pete Kelly 11.