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The Harvard basketball team is looking forward to accomplishing a number of "firsts" when it travels to Princeton and Pennsylvania this weekend for a tough basketball double-header.
A victory Friday night at Princeton would be the first Crimson defeat of the Tigers since 1971. Harvard's 4-3 Ivy League record, bolstered by two strong performances last weekend, looks very promising in comparison with Princeton's faltering 2-5 mark.
"Princeton has not played that well, but has potential," said co-captain Glenn Fine yesterday. "They beat Columbia but lost to Cornell, so they have their letdowns."
A victory Saturday night against Penn at the Palestra would be the Quakers' first Ivy League setback this season, and probably send Crimson confidence into the stratosphere.
"No one has beaten them (Penn) in the league," said Coach Frank McLaughlin yesterday. "That makes it a challenge in itself."
Princeton is presently in the throes of one of its most disappointing seasons in years. In an effort to find a winning combination, Coach Pete Carril has started 11 different players at some point in the year and has used seven different starting combinations.
The only scorer of note for the Tigers is Bob Roma, who is currently clicking at a 16.2 points per game average. As of last week, Princeton ranked second in the NCAA in team defense, allowing opponents a paltry 56.4 points each contest.
Penn, meanwhile, offers four scorers in double figures, including Tony Price (19.7) and Tim Smith (13.8). Price is also averaging 8.9 rebounds each time out on the floor.
This will be the last time seniors Bob Hooft and Fine have a chance to knock off Princeton. It will also be a kind of anniversary of Harvard's upset over Penn last year, a game in which both Hooft and Fine starred for the Crimson.
Return of the Native
For Fine, a Philadelphia native, this will be the last time many of his friends and family well see him play basketball at home. "I hope I do well," said Fine. "This is a big weekend for me."
This could also be the weekend the Crimson outguns Princeton, in Princeton, for the first time since the 1957-58 season. A two-game sweep would be the first in history!
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