With six minutes remaining in Saturday night's game in the LAB, the Crimson basketball from narrowed Princeton's lead to six points, but a stretch of sloppy hallhandling and missed lay-ups prevented Harvard from overtaking the Tigers, Princeton went on to win, 80-64.
The loss dropped Harvard into the Ivy League cellar watch. It shares with Cornell. Both (??) are 1-7 in the Ivies; Harvard stand 7-12 overall.
Early in the same, the Crimson traded baskets with Princeton, but midway through the first half, the Tigers' two-time All-Ivy guard. Jeff Petrie, hit two 15-foot jump shots, and 6'8" All-Ivy center John Humer tallied a lay-in to put Princeton ahead, 32-22.
Harvard never recovered from that burst in the first half, as the Tigers employed a tight, shifting zone defense against the Crimson's two leading scorers, guards Matt Bozek and Dale Dover Bozek and Dover could only manage two field goals apiece for the entire game Princeton led, 45-33. at half-time.
In the second half Petrie continued to hit, scoring jump shots when Hummer, set screens for him, or cutting off picks for lay-ups. He finished with 27 points to pace all scorers, while Hummer added 21.
"Petrie had a great game offensively," said Dover, who had to defend against the 6'3" guard. "I kept running into three or four picks [on each Princeton offensive series] throughout the game, and he started getting the spl?-second he needed to score on those screens."
While the Tigers were making 50 per cent of their shots from the floor, Harvard was shooting a miserable 35 per cent for the game (only 26 per cent in the second half), and missing frequent fast break opportunities.
With Princeton ahead, 55-49, the Crimson blew three fast breaks in a four minute stretch, and the Tigers pulled ahead by ten with eight minutes left in the game.
Harvard captain Ernie Hardy, who paced the Crimson with 19 points, grabbed one of his game-leading 18 rebounds and laid it in. He added a hook shot and two free throws shortly thereafter, but three straight turnovers ended Harvard's chances of pulling an upset.
"We missed too many easy opportunities." said Harvard coach Bob Harrison "We had the ball three times near the end of the game and turned it over each time without even getting a shot. And we can't win letting other teams shoot 50 per cent against us."
The Crimson has a chance to get back in the winning column this weekend when it meets Cornell in the LAB on Friday, but plays Columbia, sole possessor of second place in the Ivy League, on Saturday.