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NEW HAVEN, Conn.--The tenor of Harvard's game proved as grim as the architecture of Yale's Payne Whitney Gymnasium last night, as the Bulldogs turned a tight first half into a rout, defeating the Crimson, 86-75, here in New Haven.
Harvard coach Frank McLaughlin has said it repeatedly: "Winning on the road will be the key to the Ivy League this year." But the lock has hardly turned for Harvard. The loss is the Crimson's third out of four tries in the Ivies, all on the road; and its overall record falls to 5-8.
Yale evened its Ivy mark at 2-2, and moved to an 8-5 total. The blow hurt Harvard particularly because the Crimson topped the ancient rival twice last year.
The lone bright spot was the play of freshman Lamar Flatt, who led the Crimson with 16 points, followed by Don Fleming, emerging from a mid-season slump with 15. Yale's Steve Leondis and Regis O'Keefe shared scoring honors with 17 each.
Patience, a commodity in short supply for the Crimson this winter, seemed to have returned to the squad in the early part of the game. Long jumpers by guards Tom Mannix and Bob Taylor opened the scoring before Yale pulled even at eight.
With the refs calling fouls as fast as gold speculators hoarding bullion, Harvard went up, 12-8, on perhaps its prettiest play of the season. Freshman sixth man Cal Dixon streaked downcourt on a fast break, and dropped a delicate behind-the-back pass to Don Fleming, who contributed a dunk to complete the picture play.
Dixon followed the assist with a three-point play, and Mannix hit another long jump shot for what was to be the biggest lead of the half, 17-9, as the game neared the one-quarter mark.
Play moved toward the sloppy and sluggish, but surprising rebounding by Mannix, some offensive spark by Dixon--despite a bothersome tendency toward the bad shot--kept the Crimson ahead by two-to-five point margins in the middle going of the first half.
But it was the freshman forward Flatt who left the bench to guide the offense. He nailed four straight field goals to boost the hoopsters' lead to 31-25 at the 4:59 mark, and led all scorers for the half with ten points.
After a needless Mannix foul allowed Yale to tie the score with 2:45 left, the teams traded baskets until the authorities pasted Harvard's Tom Clarke with a technical foul that cost the Crimson cagers three points. But Crimson captain Bob Allen hit two foul shots to knot the game at 41-41--a fitting close to the foul-filled half.
Three players were tied for second behind Flatt in the halftime scoring. Mannix, Allen and Fleming each collected eight; but O'Keefe's 11 points--three points more than his eight-per-game average--proved the key factor.
The bad news came early and in abundance for Harvard in the second half. Four players with three fouls--Allen, Mannix, Harris and Clarke--all struggled to play gingerly. Allen's fourth foul and a spate of early turnovers meant an expanding Yale lead.
Harvard's sixth team foul, pushing the team into the penalty situation, came with 11:35 remaining, a fact that haunted the squad. Taylor's classy 11-footer kept the gap at four, and Fleming's foul shot brought the Crimson within three at the three-quarter mark before the bottom fell out.
Last year's Ivy League Rookie of the Year Tim Daaleman upped the margin to an imposing nine by notching a layup with just eight minutes remaining. The curtains were closing when Flatt picked up his fourth foul with seven minutes remaining and the Crimson down by 11; his tough play inside had livened a stagnant offense.
A Harvard fullcourt press--hurt by a superb out-of-bounds save by the out-standing freshman Leondis--conceded two quick layups for a 71-60 score
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