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NEW YORK--The Harvard basketball team got all the bad breaks at all the bad moments as it came within a referee's whistle of upsetting nationally ranked Columbia before bowing 81-75 here tonight.
Harvard led by as many as twelve points midway through the first half and by two, 37-35 at half time. Columbia, behind Heyward Dotson, scored seven straight points at the beginning of the second half, but even then Harvard refused to fold.
The Crimson traded basket for basket with the Lions for most of the final session, cutting the Columbia margin to one point, 53-52, on a Chris Gallagher lay up with 9:16 left. From there to the end it was a complete seesaw with neither team in complete control until the final buzzer.
First Columbia managed a 5 point lead, but Eric Gustavson and Dale Dover lay ups brought Harvard to within one.
But even then, with Ernie Hardy out of the game on fouls--many of them on questionable calls, and hot shooting sophomore Mike Janczewski riding four personals, things didn't look bright.
Limping captain Bob Kanuth, hustling as if he didn't have a broken bone in his body. Somehow sparked Harvard into a three point lead with four and a half minutes to go.
But Columbia's awesome duo of Dotson and McMillian--who scored 50 points between them--came up with the clutch baskets and freethrows to pull out the game.
Harvard put on its best team perforance of the year, but without any breaks they couldn't win.
Team scoring totals for Harvard were as follows:
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