The Columbia cagers scored a stunning upset last night, humiliating Harvard, 86-68, at the IAB.
The Lions were never behind in the contest, which saw Harvard coach Bob Harrison try a variety of combinations in an effort to put some life back into the sagging Crimson. Columbia opened up a 44-30 halftime lead behind the shooting of Bob Evans and Darryl Downing.
The men in blue shot a blistering 67 per cent during the first half.
Harvard could not get untracked in the second half and Columbia opened up a 27 point lead with 6:46 remaining and coasted to its eventual 18 point win.
Downing and Evans did not miss too often last night. Evans, a 6'3" forward, hit on 14 of 20 shots and had 32 points. His running mate in the front court, Downing, converted on 11 of his 15 shots for 24 points.
John Byrnes quarterbacked the Lions and contributed 14 points, all on long jump shots. He and his mates had little problem beating the desperate Harvard man-to-man press.
The Crimson's shooting was way off last night. Tony Jenkins only hit on 7 of 23 shots and Kenny Wolfe made 2 of 12 attempts. James Brown also had a tough night, scoring only 4 points.
At the close of the contest, Harrison gave the fans a preview of next season when he put in an all sophmore and junior line-up consisting of Arnie Needleman, Jeff Wheat, Len Adams, Wolfe, and Lou Silver. The quintet, who have played together on the JV under the leadership of Bob Hart, played the last four minutes.
Columbia played a remarkably disciplined game, committing only four turnovers in the entire ballgame. The Lions, whose frontline only goes 6'2", 6'3", 6'5", stayed almost even with Harvard on the boards.
The Crimson only pulled down eight more rebounds than the fighting Lions.
The loss drops Harvard's record down to 13-10. In the Ivy League, Harvard has now fallen down to a 6-5 mark. Columbia's win boosts its record up to 6-16. The Lions now have a 4-7 record in Ivy competition.
Tonight the cagers will face a pathetic Cornell ballclub which has a 3-19 record. In the middle of January, the Big Red lost their top two scorers Stan Mason and Gerry Newby due to a few problems with their ABC's.
The Big Red also lost two heartbreakers to Columbia earlier in the season.
Lynn Locki, who is averaging 10 points a game, and John Coles, who is scoring at an eight point a game clip, lead Cornell. The Big Red last had a taste of victory on December 29 when it edged Arkansas 78-77. Since then it has lost 15 stright ballgames, mostly by wide margins.
The Big Red squad was the subject of an article in this week's Sports Illustrated which dealt with the dissension and racial controversy which has beset the team.