PRINCETON, N. J.-The Harvard basketball team erased Princeton's 17-point lead during the second half of Saturday's game in Jadwin Gym, but a last-second Crimson shot failed to tie the contest and Harvard lost, 76-74.
With three minutes left in the game, Harvard tied the score at 67-67, but then Ted Manakas, a Tiger guard who scored 15 points, hit four free throws. Harvard guard James Brown, who paced the Crimson with 28 points, tallied a jump shot to narrow the Tigers' advantage.
Princeton's Brian Taylor, who plagued Harvard during the entire game, followed with a back-door lay-up, and Bill Kapler tallied a free throw to make Princeton's lead 74-69.
The, Crimson, which refused to give in, came back with a three-point play by Floyd Lewis, who scored 24 points on 9-of-11 from the floor. Taylor then scored on a goal-tending call, and Lewis hit another jump shot to set up the final play with one second left.
"The second half was the best half we've played all year," said Harvard head coach Bob Harrison after the game. "But during the first half, we weren't mentally prepared. We were still thinking about the Penn game, and played like we did there," he explained.
With seven minutes left in the first half. Harvard was trailing by three points, 24-21, but at that point Princeton took over, out-scoring the Crimson, 20-6, for the rest of the half.
Harvard fell apart the way it did the previous night against Penn. Its offensive patterns bogged down, its rebounding disappeared, and its defense gave up several easy lay-ups.
Harvard turned its game around in the second half. "The first three baskets of the second half were the crucial ones," Princeton head coach Pete Carril said after the game. "I told the team at halftime that we had to get the first three baskets, if they'd get back in the game," he said.
Employing a full-court man-for-man press, the Crimson scored the first three baskets, and slowly narrowed the Tiger lead for the rest of the half. Princeton went into a zone defense to stop Harvard's comeback, but the Crimson worked the ball inside it for easy jump shots, and got numerous rebound baskets.
The loss dropped Harvard into third place in the Ivy League with a 7-3 record, while Princeton moved into fourth place with its 6-4 mark. Harvard's overall record is 12-10, and the Tigers are 11-10.
Holding his face, Briggs called for a let; but Page said, "No, I'll take the point," and walked off the court. Almost at the same moment, both Andy Wiegand and Lowell Pratt at seven and nine completed three-game sweeps and clinched the team victory.