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Harvard's James Brown recovered a deflected pass with three seconds left and hit a 20-foot jump shot at the final buzzet to give the Crimson an 80-78 victory over Brown last night in the IAB.
Harvard had control of the ball with 41 seconds left in the game, and stalled until there were nine seconds left. Then the Bruins deflected a Crimson pass, but before Brown gained control, James Brown, who paced the squad with 25 points, snatched the ball back and scored the winning basket.
"The shot wasn't the lucky part." Brown coach Jerry Alaimo said after the game. "Brown had it all the way. But what was luck was the deflected pass, and it made the difference."
Harvard extended its winning streak to five games with the triumph, and moved into a three-way tie for fourth place in the League standings with Yale and Dartmouth, which defeated Yale last night by 11 in Hanover. All have 5-6 records.
Tonight the Crimson could eliminate Yale from the tie when it meets the Elis for an 8 p.m. game in the IAB.
If the Crimson throttles the Elis' leading scorer, Mike Bauskauskas, tonight as they did in their previous meeting, it should win again.
In last night's contest, Harvard gained an early lead, 26-21, midway through the first half before Brown, which moved into its one-on-one offense, went ahead, 38-33, with two minutes left in the half.
A Tony Jenkins free throw and a Floyd Lewis rebound basket narrowed the Bruins' advantage to 38-36 at half-time.
At the start of the second half, Harvard and Brown traded baskets until the Crimson gained momentum, and behind James Brown's three straight jump shots, moved ahead, 61-53.
The Bruins stormed back with reserve forward Rich Cureton, who hit on 11-of-11 from the floor in the second half, leading the way, and pulled within one point with seven minutes remaining.
Harvard Jim Fitzsimmons then took over, scoring three straight baskets in less than a minute to put the Crimson ahead, 71-66. His third basket in that string broke the single season scoring record at Harvard, set in 1966 by Keith Sedlacek. Fitzsimmons, who finished with 13 points, has 540 points with three games left.
But Brown, which hit on 18-of-26 in the second half and finished the game with a 56 per cent shooting average, tied the game at 78-78 with 56 seconds left.
"I wasn't afraid to take that last shot," James Brown said after the game. "I felt confident, even though I was up most of last night with the flu. But today is my birthday and my mother and brother were here to watch me, so the flu didn't slow me down too much," he added.
In the freshman preliminary, Brown's freshman team, which some observers claim is better than Harvard's freshman team of two years ago, topped the Crimson freshman team, 93-81.
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