Coughing up a whopping 33 turnovers, Harvard's basketball team eked out a 72-68 victory over a weak Dartmouth five in an extremely sloppy game last night in the IAB.
After dishing out 19 turnovers, allowing the Green 10 more shots from the field, but still completely dominating the boards 24 to 9, the Crimson found itself down 35-30 at the half.
It could have been worse however, as Dartmouth held a 30-17 lead before falling prey to its own ineptitude. Harvard's Tony Jenkins and Floyd Lewis paced the Crimson revival and had it not been for the solo heroics of Dartmouth and Roxbury star Billy Raynor, who pumped in 17 in the first half and 33 for the game, the Green might have been put away for good in the first half.
Hitting on a variety of twisting, squirming off the glass drives, Raynor kept Dartmouth alive. And with Marshall Sanders holding the Green's James Brown to two points, on one of eight from the floor, in the opening half, Raynor appeared to be the only legitimate scoring threat coach Tom O'Connor could put on the floor.
Coach Bob Harrison's squad hit a respectable 42 per cent from the field in the opening half but hampered by perpetual ball hiccupping the Crimson could only attempt 26 shots. Dartmouth hit on 16 of 36 for a 44 per cent effort.
In the second half, Harvard drove to a 40-40 tie only to then lapse into the same turnover problems that stifled the Crimson attack in the first half.
Raynor took advantage of the Crimson's negative ball control and wheeled and dealed the Green into a 12 point lead, 54-42. But Harvard was just too overbearing on the boards and with Lewis turning in a superb performance under the boards (game high 11 rebounds) and from the charity stripe (7 of 8), the Crimson started to come alive.
The resurrection was complete with 3:33 remaining when Lewis threw in two foul shots to tie the game at 63-63 and then pumped in a jumper after a Jenkins assist to put the Crimson up for good.
Lewis was high scorer for Harvard with 19 points, while Jenkins bagged 16 points, on 7 for 11 from the field and 2 for 2 from the line. Sanders, along with his highly creditable defensive job on Brown, tosses in 14 points.
After gaining the lead, Harvard was never challenged and with an 18 for 20 exhibition from the line rebuffed Raynor's futile attempts to pull off a Dartmouth upset. The Crimson now possesses a 12-8 record, 5-3 in the Ivy League, while the Green is 4-15 overall and 2-6 in the loop.
Harvard's Jim Fitzsimmon was used sparingly in the contest, not seeing any action in the second half, because he missed two practice sessions earlier this week for personal reasons.