Four of the varsity's five starters scored in double figures and the team smashed a total of 72 points against the last place Brown basketball team Friday night. But the usually harmless Bruins refused to be impressed and somehow managed 73 points to take their first Ivy League victory in five tries at the Crimson's expense.
Coach Floyd Wilson's varsity held the lead nine times in a contest that never saw more than a six point margin between the two teams.
Harvard moved into its customary first period lead with center Vern Strand and Lenny Strauss showing the way to a 19 to 12 score. But the outside shooting Gary Nell soon wrecked the Crimson's of Bruin Captain Gene Barth and center early plans and the score was tied at 41-all by half-time.
Barth and Nell, shooting from outside the key and near the sidelines, continued to throw the Varsity's zone defense off balance in the second half - scoring 47 points between them. The 6 ft. 7 in. Barth missed only 2 of 13 shots from the floor all night and finished with a 27 point total.
Harvard's own captain, Gene Augustine, fouled out at 6:12 of the second half and Crimson passing became increasingly sloppy in his absence. Time and again, the Varsity lost the ball without taking a shot.
Bruins Held From Wide Lead
Only the sharp-shooting of Strand (17 points), Strauss (17 points), and sophomore guard Leo Scully (15 points) kept the rampaging Bears from pulling into a decisive lead.
Shooting from outside the varsity's zone defense with increasing accuracy, the Bruins eventually stretched their second half lead to five points with less than a minute to play. Not even the Bruins could squander a five point lead in 30 seconds, but they tried. A set shot by the Crimson's Denny Lynch, an intercepted pass, and a basket by Strand reduced the visitors' lead to just one point before time ran out.