The Crimson hoop team has never beaten Princeton at Jadwin Gym and last night's fiasco certainly didn't change things, as once again Pete Caril's troops got the better of their Cambridge counterparts, defeating Harvard, 65-60, in a sloppy display of basketball in front of only 1052 dedicated followers.
Only the surprising performance of Princeton's 6-ft. 11-in. center Tom Young, which included four rejections without ever leaving the ground (that must be an NCAA record), added sparkle to an otherwise lackluster performance by both squads.
Boxing the Tigers off the boards in the first half, the Crimson managed to survive clumsy ball-handling and poor shooting from the field to trail by just three at the intermission, 29-26.
Both teams started the contest ice-cold and after almost seven minutes of play, only 11 points showed on the scoreboard with the Princetonians on top, 6-5.
Coach Frank McLaughlin insetted Tom Mannix with 13:13 left in the half to try and ignite the Harvard offense. Mannix earned his keep, connecting for ten points in the period providing most of the punch in the Harvard attack.
The Crimson five shot only 33 per cent from the floor while Princton recorded a more respectable 46 per cent.
The rebounding of co-captain Bob Hooft and Mark Harris (seven and five for the half, respectively) under both the offensive and defensive boards, kept the Crimson close throughout the half giving the sputtering scoring machine several opportunities each time down the floor. For the period, Harvard pulled down 24 rebounds compared to 14 for Princeton.
The two squads were lethargic as they took top the court at the opening of the final stanza. Princeton played control basketball for the most part, burning the Crimson zone press repeatedly and keeping the poorly executing Harvard quintet at bay.
"The zone press helped us overall--it tired Princeton and forced turnovers--but we kept getting caught with a guy wide open under the basket," McLaughlin said. "We tried to correct that at halftime and we did improve our press. I guess we were just overanxious," he added.
After breaking, Harvard's press set up two easy layups for Young, the Tigers found themselves with a nine-point advantage with 15:33 to go in the game. The Crimson tied the contest just three minutes later as Hooft completed a three-point play, following a spectacular steal by Glenn Fine.
However, Princeton ran off four straight points and the Crimson never seriously threatened again, watching their stretch run stifled.
"They controlled the game from beginning to the end," McLaughlin said. "We shot poorly, while they gained a lead early and could play their defenses and offenses. They made us play their game," he added.
Harris 5-14, 5-6-- 15; Hooft 6-17, 3-3-- 15; Fleming 2-9, 0-0-- 4; Fine 3-8, 1-2-- 7; Allen 3-7, 1-4-- 7; Mannix 3-8, 4-4-- 10; Clarke 1-2, 0-0-- 2.
Totals: 23-65 (35.4), 14-19 (73.4)