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Tigers Slip by Crimson Cagers, 59-49

Second-Half Rally Falls Short

By John Donley

With 1:14 left in Saturday night's basketball game and the Crimson storming back from an 18-point deficit, Gary Ackerman and Dave Rogers collided while going for a loose ball and Princeton forward Frank Sowinski took it downcourt to ice the Tigers' 59-49 victory at the IAB.

The play symbolized a game of frustration for the Crimson--throughout the 40 minutes, Tom Sanders' crew had trouble penetrating Princeton's tough man-to-man defense and stopping the swirling Tiger offense. Only the hot shooting of Bob Hooft and Jonas Honick brought Harvard back into the game in the second half.

Sweaty Palms

Of course, Princeton coach Pete Carril clutched his crumpled-program in his right fist and hung on the edge of his seat from starting whistle to final buzzer, but it wasn't really necessary. The Tigers proved they were the stuff of Ivy champions in the opening five minutes, as Sowinski (21 total points) led them to an early 11-2 lead.

Hooft (15 points for the game), streak-shooting Honick (14 for the night), and playmaking Dave Rogers brought the Crimson back within six points, 21-15, with seven minutes remaining, but the Tigers roared back to a 33-23 halftime lead.

Princeton continued its spurt after the second-half tipoff, racing to 39-25 and 47-29 leads behind the shooting of Sowinski and guard Rich Rizzuto.

Just as the IAB crowd was beginning to yawn at what seemed like another lackluster Harvard performance, Honick got back his hot hand and began dropping jump shots over the Princeton defense.

A Hooft jumper with 6:10 left, a Rogers drive at 5:33, a Honick shot at 3:18, and a Rogers free throw at 1:51 reduced the lead to 56-48, but the rally stopped there.

Tiger guards Rizzuto and Bill Omeltchenko (10 total points, and a game-leading nine rebounds) ran a stalling offense in the closing minutes, and when Harvard failed to get any breaks--as on the Ackerman-Rogers collision--Princeton had the game, 59-49.

Off the Rebound

Perhaps more than any other aspect of the game, the Tigers controlled the battle of the big men throughout the contest. Princeton center Bob Roma tallied 14 points and hauled down seven rebounds, while Harvard's Steve Irion logged only two points and three rebounds.

Pete Carril didn't even have to hang on to his program.

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