The Crimson hoopsters, still recovering from too much New Year's cheer, dropped games to Penn and Princeton last weekend, lowering their record to 3-9 overall (1-2 in the Ivies).
In a hard fought game at Penn Friday night, the Crimson came out on the short end of an 86-81 score, in spite of fine individual performances by Roosevelt Cox (19 points) and Glenn Fine (12 assists).
The Harvard five came out running, easily eluding the Quaker man-to-man press. Poor shooting, however, enabled the Quakers to run up a 17-point lead. Hustling defense, and Glenn Fine's alert passing, brought Harvard to within six at the half.
Penn's height advantage began to show at the start of the second half, as the Quakers pulled away on to an 11-point lead on lob passes over the Crimson defense. Harvard again battled back, closing within four points with a minute left, in spite of the increasingly tenacious Penn defense. Bob Hooft did the damage for the Crimson, driving the baseline and challenging the Quaker front court.
The late surge left Harvard short, however, as Penn responded to the Crimson pressure with a free throw and a field goal to ice the game.
The roundballers continued their road trip the following night at Princeton, as the disciplined Tigers blew out the Crimson 83-64.
Fine and Hooft were the only Harvard men in double figures, with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Princeton's hustling man-to-man defense knocked Harvard out of the game early. The Crimson were scoreless for the first four minutes of the contest, and never got closer than nine points the rest of the night.
Princeton took a 17-point lead to the locker room at halftime, and extended it to 30 points midway through the second half. Harvard coach McGloughlin took out his starters four minutes into the half in a desperate attempt to inject some life into the Harvard team, but the sharpshooting Tigers continued to score.
Princeton completely dominated the game, out-rebounding Harvard 25-20, while hitting on 64 per cent of their shots from the floor.
"It was the most poorly played game this year," team captain Gary Ackermann said yesterday. Ackermann said Princeton had "good team defense," but "we contributed to their defense by not moving."
The absence of 6-foot 9 Brian Banks, Harvard's dominating center, hurt the Crimson in both games. Harvard was outrebounded almost two-to-one early in both contests, and without Banks' intimidating defense, the Crimson had difficulties in stopping the opposing teams' big men.
Ackermann said he looked forward to playing both teams again at Harvard. "At out place, at full strength, both teams will be thinking a lot about us. We have something to prove," he said.