Leo Scully rescued a sinking Harvard basketball team just as it was about to go down for the last time last night and the Crimson held on to defeat Dartmouth, 59-55, at the I.A.B.
Scully, a sophomore backcourt man, scored eight of the Crimson's last 10 points as Harvard moved into a tie with Yale for second place in the Ivy League. The varsity has defeated Dartmouth twice and Cornell once and lost to Columbia.
With about eight minutes remaining Dennis Lynch grabbed a rebound off his own backboard and hooked it in to give the Crimson a nine point lead, 49-40. Three points by the Big Green's Wilson Madden, who made seven of eight shots from the floor, and a tap-in by center Sam Barton cut the Crimson lead to four, 49-45. Then Scully went to work.
Taking the ball to the left of the keyhole Scully streaked down the middle and twisted in an underhand lay-up. Madden scored again for Dartmouth and Vic Mair hit two foul shots to bring Dartmouth within two of the lead. By this time the small but lively reading period crowd was yelling at the referee when he tied his shoelace--a sure sign of health.
Scully was fouled as Dartmouth pressed for the ball, and calmly sank two shots on a one-and-one deal. Pete Coker of Dartmouth made a corner jump shot, and when the Big Green retrieved an errant Crimson pass they called time.
Barton took the shot, a drive from the pivot position, and the score was tied 53-53. Scully, however, hit two more fouls and Harvard led again. Then came the key play. Steve Spahn of Dartmouth missed a short jump, Scully wrestled the ball free, dribbled down court, and whipped in a jump shot from the foul line. Gene Augustine's two free throws offset Coker's jump in the waning seconds.
The other key factor in the victory was the Crimson's tenacious defense. Playing a two-three sone with Scully, Augustine, and AI Bornheimer alternating out front, the Crimson consistently pilfered Dartmouth passes and bottled up Spahn, who led the league in scoring last season. When he was able to get off one of his notorious 30 foot bombs Spahn was usually under duress. In addition to waving hands the Dartmouth shooters were also subjected to the constant chirping of Augustine as he covered his area of the sone.
There were other heroes for the Crimson as well. Dennis Lynch led the scorers with 16 points, although his outside shooting was not particularly effective. Scully with 13 and Len Strauss with 10 also were in double figures.
Vern Strand outrebounded Dartmouth's Coker all evening, but the 6 ft., 5 in. sophomore made several amazing leaps to thwart Crimson scoring attempts.
In the freshman game the Yardlings, whose only loss this season was to Boston College by two points, topped Dartmouth, 55-53. Barry Williams, 6 ft., 5 in. center led the scorers with 14. Bill Fegley scored 12 and Keith Sedlacek 10