The Harvard cagers continued to show about as much consistency as the fever chart of a malaria victim when after a clean sweep of Brown and Yale over the weekend, the hoopsters dropped a 66-54 game to lowly Dartmouth last night in Hanover.
The Big Green plays the role of the Crimson's Ivy League wild card, as the squads do not meet each other on weekends, which is the normal league format. When the quintets first played way back on December 15, Harvard emerged a handy 53-44 victor.
Dartmouth relied throughout the contest on its prolific scoring tandem of all-Ivy guard Larry Cubas and lithe guard Sterling Edmonds, who excelled with 18 and 26 points respectively.
If this weekend was the pinnacle of the cagers' season, last night marked its absolute zero point because the Green is for all intents and purposes a two man team. In sustaining a loss to Columbia earlier this season, no Dartmouth forward scored in the entire first half. Coach Gary Walters carries only a nine man roster and last night's triumph was his charges' third Ivy win to date.
The game was nip and tuck throughout the first half as the Crimson was nurturing a 27-26 lead going into the locker room. When play resumed, however, the Big Green's barometer began to steadily climb.
The storm clouds were just beginning to gather when Cubas started off the second half with a bucket at 14:30. Dartmouth never relinquished the lead the rest of the way in.
The Green proceeded to reel off a ten point scoring binge while holding the hoopsters scoreless for a span of six minutes. Edmonds racked up 17 of his 26 points in the half while shooting a mercrucial ten of 12 from the field.
Harvard momentarily revived closing to within 54-47, but with four minutes remaining Edmonds netted a basket and a free throw to put the Crimson out of its misery.
Only center Steve Irion and swingman Jonas Honick finished in double figures for the cagers. Irion, once again the Crimson's leading scorer with 15, was tabbed for this week's all-ECAC team on the strength of 23 and 22 point performances over the weekend.
The cagers will try and regain the plateau of excellence they displayed during their last two games when they host Columbia and Cornell this Saturday. Both squads have previously dispatched the Crimson, a team that was just coming off of a long exam layoff.
Because of scheduling difficulties, Cornell and Columbia both played games on Sunday and Monday nights. The Lions lost all hope of finishing first or second in the League, as they were once again overhauled by Princeton and Penn. Cornell shook up the Ivy race by knocking off the Quakers and thereby dimming the possibilities of a Princeton-Penn playoff.