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The Harvard basketball team, with James Brown taking change after look and injuries had all but decimated the Crimson front court, hung on to turn back a furious second half rally by Holy Cross to subdue the Crusaders, 91-80, before a vociferous standing room crowd last night at the IAB.
Brown, forced into his longest tour of duty of the season via the last of Crimson forwards Tony Jenkins and Marshall Sanders with ever five personals, and Floyd Lewis with a dislocated finger, scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the last period and ended up leading the Crimson in both departments with 23 points and 14 rebounds.
"With Tony, Floyd and Marsh out of there, I tried to take charge a little more," Brown said after the game. "I knew that the rest of the team was depending on me to get the rebounds, so I guess I concentrated a little more."
Besides Brown's performance, the big story for Harvard was the effectiveness of the defines, which up to this point in the season has been spotty at best. Against Holy Cross, it was team define offers the sent have seen in a long time. The Crimson was aggressive and disciplined holding standout Crusader guard king contains to four points in the first half and to overall.
Harvard was deliberate and laugh against the Holy Cross attack, and despite the 27 points pumped in by crusader forward Tony Doyle (19 in the second half when the Crimson for court was hurting) the Harvard D was the difference in the ball game.
Brown was solidly supported by Jim Fitzsimmons and reserve forward Lou Silver, Fitzsimmons's torrid first-half shooting was instrumental in the Crimson's amassing a 12 point bugle at intermission. Fitzsimmons scored 18 points in the first half on a 9-13 shooting spree (69 per cents. He finished the night with 21 points.
Silver came off the bench to score 15 big points and grab 9 rebounds when Harvard desperately needed them in the second half. Silver was a life saver for Crimson coach Bob Harrison whose face were an anguished and worried look as his forwards were forced off the floor.
The way the ball game started, Harvard threatened to make a runaway out of the context. Fast breaking at ease, and outrunning and outitustling the sluggish Crusaders, the Crimson jumped out to a commanding 12-point-lead which they held for most of the half.
The crusaders were unable to penetrate the tenacious Crimson defense. Junior guard Kenny Wolfe, completely handcuffed Gaskins, playing him tighter than Bubba Smith in stretch pants. None of the rest of the Crusaders could pick up the slack and they looked like a traveling circus with the humerous broken plays and bad passes they were pulling off.
Offensively the Crimson looked sharper and more disciplined than they have at any time this season. The game, particularly the second half, was reasonably fast moving, yet Harvard turned over the ball only 15 times Only four of the turnovers came in the second half when the pressure was most intense.
Harvard showed good poise under pressure, turning back two Crusader rallies that cut the lead to four points. Both times Harvard bounced back to go ahead by 10 and squelch the Holy Cross uprising
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