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The Harvard cagers continued to cascade down the Ivy League standings as Ivy frontrunner Penn cruised to an 82-61 win last night at the IAB.
The Quakers, who came into Cambridge with a 7-1 Ivy slate, started off the game with a scoring ripple that gave them a 10-3 lead and went on from there to leave the cagers floundering in their wake.
The Crimson's slipshod performance was largely the result of 20 turnovers and Penn's superior board strength. Only Jeft Hill and Steve Irion finished in double figures for the Crimson.
Hill's whirlwind shooting spree began when he lofted in a 15-footer to cut Penn's lead to 14-7. Irion then ham-and-egged with an arching hook to make it 14-9 with 11:00 showing in the half.
The Quakers put the Crimson back on the scoring treadmill when Tony Price cashed in on a three-point play and Harvard forward Bob Hooft picked up his third foul with only ten minutes of play gone. Penn guard Bobby Willis hit on a straightaway 25-footer but Irion, who hauled down 11 points in the half, floated in a scoop shot going down the lane to lop the Quaker lead to eight.
At this stage, Keven McDonald, the Ivy League's leading scorer with a 20.5 average coming into last night's game, left his greeting card under the Harvard basket. En route to a devastating 28 point output, McDonald sunk a 20-footer, a 12-footer off the glass. After he canned his fifth bucket of the half in five attempts from the field, the cagers took a time-out to talk things over with 5:02 remaining.
When McDonald wasn't pouring it on, Hill and Irion continued to keep the Crimson afloat. Hill hit eight of 11 shots and Irion was Harvard's high scorer with 18 markers.
Penn upped its lead to 29-17 when Stan Greene scored off a fastbreak, but Jonas Honicks followed with his first field goal of the night. Greene and Honick traded baskets again before McDonald and the Crimson's Alex James each scored from underneath to close out the first half at 36-23.
Harvard fared little better in the second half, as the Crimson failed to repeat the closing charge that brought it back to within four points of the Quakers when the squads faced earlier this season at the Palestra.
In fact, the Quakers shot a torrid .625 per cent in the half and outrebounded the Crimson 41-33 on the night.
The hoopsters did manage to put a dent in Penn's lead when they reeled off eight quick points when play resumed. The salvo saw Hill drop a whirling 20-footer, Gary Ackerman connect off a rebound, and James sink a layup to make it 38-31 in a three-minute span.
Gave and Went
McDonald damped the rally when he shook loose for a three-point play and then found himself on the receiving end of a nifty give-and-go from Willis for his sixth and seventh points of the half.
Things stood at 43-33 when Hill swooped down the lane for a pair. That proved to be the Cager's last scoring trickle before they were swamped by a scoring tide that went McDonald on a bank shot, McDonald on a 15-footer, McDonald from the corner, and Green and Tim Smith mopping up with a couple from long range to give the Quakers a 55-37 lead.
After Penn had opened the flood gates and McDonald had swabbed the IAB hardwood box scoring 13 of his team's first 15 points in the half, Harvard drifted along aimlessly, rather like a shipwreck mired in the Sargasso Sea.
As for Penn, the strong performance last night coming after last weekend's 86-85 win over Columbia--then the Ivy League leader--makes the Quakers look more and more like the super-dreadnought they were supposed to be at the start of the season.
Tonight the Crimson meets Princeton, the other Ivy League leviathan, currently tied with Penn in the standings at 8-1.
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