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The Doctor's In

By Michael Stankiewicz, Special to The Crimson

LONG BEACH, Calif.--Sophomore guard Tarik Campbell's layup at the buzzer in the Crimson's 81-77 overtime loss to Long Beach State, December 29, marked the end of an 0-4 winter break for Harvard that included losses to Duke, Colgate, USC and the 49ers. But the 2-9 Crimson entered 1991 in the same position that it entered winter break: first place.

But Harvard Coach Peter Roby knows that it's hard for any team that has lost so consistently to turn it around in Ivy competition, which resumes tomorrow against Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H. No one can be upset with defeats at the hands of nationally-ranked Duke and USC, but a one-point loss to previously-winless Colgate and the overtime loss to Long Beach are nothing but demoralizing.

"I'm not happy about being in a close game," Roby said. "I'm sick of losing close games. I won't be happy unless this game helps us do some damage in the next two weeks."

The next two weeks includes critical Ivy games against Dartmouth, Cornell and Columbia. And a team that has won only two games in its first six weeks is going to have to find at least two more in the next week to be in contention in the Ivies.

Roby's goal of playing the Boston Colleges and the Dukes and playing in the Long Beach Classic is to prepare his squad for the Ivy League race. For every team here at the Classic, that was the purpose, and Long Beach St. came out the winner. After participating in the NIT Tournament last year, the 49ers stumbled to a 2-5 start. But Long Beach St. Coach Seth Greenberg is buoyed for the 49ers Big West opening game after their sweep of Harvard and Brooklyn in the Classic.

"During the course of a season, you're going to have certain things happen to turn it around," Greenberg said. "Good things happen and it builds your character. We said we wanted to use this to get ready for the league. We wanted to come out of here feeling better about ourselves. We did not play as well as we'd like, but the way we won has got to help our self-image."

No such luck for the Crimson's self-image. But Harvard has to be encouraged by its play in the Classic. The Crimson played the Trojans close for the first 11 minutes, trailing by four, 26-22. And against the 49ers, who averaged a three-inch height advantage at each position, Harvard controlled the game until the overtime period.

"We showed we can take on just about anybody if we execute," Harvard Co-Captain Ralph James said. "We just have to take care of the ball."

"If we take from [the Classic] the understanding that we can play with just about anybody, especially anybody in our league, then we'll have gotten we wanted out of the trip," Roby said.

Most important to gaining confidence is remedying the problems that have hampered Harvard all season long: lack of depth, turnovers and rebounding.

With Peter Condakes and James missing action earlier this season and starting center Mike Minor missing all of the Classic, Harvard has been unable to overcome its weak bench. A healthy season is critical for Harvard to overcome its rebounding woes. The Crimson surrendered 43 offensive rebounds to the Trojans and 49ers, and its opponents are averaging 17 per game.

"We have a very small margin for error," Roby said. "We're small. We don't have a lot of depth."

"Going out for the tip, we had the biggest guy on the Court," Roby said about the USC game. "What USC is doing is is praying that you don't need to be big to be good. If you're well-coached and you're disciplined and you have athletes that will hit the boards, you're going to win."

Exactly what the Crimson will have to be to compete with Princeton and Yale, especially to overcome a 2-7 start.

The Tigers and the Elis have gotten off to impressive starts.

"If they pressed us, we were going to ram it down their throat, and we did all that," Roby said about the Long Beach St. game. "We were going to challenge their guards, even though we were seven inches smaller. We did all that and we came up short and that's frustrating. These guys need to be rewarded for doing things the way we want them to do so that they can really be convinced that what we're asking them to do is going to allow us to win our league."

And the only rewards come on the scoreboard.

49ers, 81-77 at Long Beach, Calif. HARVARD  35-35-7--77 Long Beach St.  31-39-11--81

HARVARD (77): Tyler Rullman 2-8 2-2 7; Ralph James 7-21 5-7 20; Ron Mitchell 6-9 2-2 14; Tarik Campbell 4-8 3-6 11; Matt McClain 3-6 0-0 6; Peter Condakes 5-11 1-2 15; Jabbar Abdi 0-1 0-0 1; Anikar Chhabra 2-2 0-0 4.

Totals: 29-66 13-19 77

LONG BEACH ST. (81): Kevin Cutler 9-13 5-6 23; Bryon Russell 0-3 1-2 1; Frankie Edwards 2-6 3-6 7; Kenny Jarvis 1-8 0-0 2; Lucious Harris 10-21 6-10 28; Bobby Sears 0-2 0-0 0; Ronnie Winbush 3-7 2-3 10; Troy Joseph 3-8 4-10 10; Chris Tower 0-4 0-0 0; Adam Henderson 0-0 0-0 0.

Totals: 28-72 21-37 81

Three-pointers: Condakes 4, Rullman, James; Harris 2, Winbush 2. Fouled Out: James, Mitchell. Rebounds: Harvard 39 (Mitchell 9); Long Beach St. 55 (Joseph 14). Assists: Harvard 18 (Campbell 14); Long Beach St. 14 (Jarvis, Harris 4). Steals: Harvard 6 (Campbell, McClain 2); Long Beach St. 9 (Harris 6). Blocks: Harvard 1 (James); Long Beach St. 5 (Cutler 2). Total Fouls: Harvard 25; Long Beach St. 18. Turnovers: Harvard 19; Long Beach St. 17.

Attendance: 1626.

Red Raiders, 76-75 at Hamilton, N.Y. HARVARD  30-45--75 Colgate  27-49--76

HARVARD (77): Tarik Campbell 1-3 0-3 2; Tyler Rullman 9-17 3-4 22; Peter Condakes 0-6 6-7 6; Matt McClain 9-16 1-1 19; Ron Mitchell 3-7 13-15 19; David Lapointe 0-0 1-2 1; Jabbar Abdi 1-3 0-0 2; Mike Minor 2-3 0-0 4.

Totals: 25-54 24-32 75

Colgate (81): Dave Goodwin 4-7 4-4 14; Jim Cook 0-2 0-0 0; Devin Hughes 5-11 6-7 17; Jack Ehretsman 3-7 4-4 10; Jay Armstrong 6-11 0-0 12; Hasan Brown 1-1 0-3 3; Brennan Lothery 1-1 2-2 4; Jack Ruppert 0-0 0-0 0; Jason Whatley 1-1 0-0 2; Jonathan Stone 6-12 2-2 14; Steve Benton 0-1 0-0 0.

Totals: 27-56 18-22 76

Three-pointers: Rullman; Goodwin 2, Hughes. Fouled Out: Armstrong. Rebounds: Harvard 38 (Mitchell 15); Colgate 27 (Stone 6). Assists: Harvard 7 (Campbell 5); Colgate 5 (Goodwin, Ehretsman, Armstrong, Brown, Stone). Steals: Harvard 6 (Mitchell, Campbell 2); Colgate 11 (Ehretsman 5). Blocks: Harvard 1 (Mitchell); Colgate 2 (Whatley 2). Total Fouls: Harvard 17; Colgate 23; Turnovers: Harvard 15; Colgate 10.

Attendance: 300.

Blue Devils, 103-61 at Briggs Cage Duke  52-51--103 Harvard  25-36--61

DUKE (103): Christian Laettner 9-11 4-5 24; Grant Hill 4-14 2-3 10; Crawford Palmer 4-7 6-7 14; Bobby Hurley 5-10 0-0 12; Thomas Hill 3-5 2-2 8; Marty Clark 3-8 6-6 12; Bill McCaffrey 2-7 5-5 10; Antonio Lang 2-2 2-8 6; Greg Koubek 0-3 0-0 0; Brian Davis 1-8 1-2 3; Christian Ast 2-3 0-0 4.

Totals: 35-78 28-38 103

HARVARD (61): Ron Mitchell 5-12 7-10 17; Tyler Rullman 5-12 2-2 12; Mike Minor 3-6 0-0 6; Matt McClain 2-13 0-0 4; Tarik Campbell 1-12 0-1 2; Peter Condakes 1-7 1-2 3; Jabbar Abdi 6-8 1-2 13; Anikar Chhabra 1-1 2-2 4.

Totals: 24-71 13-19 61

Three-pointers: Laettner 2, Hurley 2, McCaffrey. Fouled Out: Campbell. Rebounds: Duke 57 (Laettner 14); Harvard 42 (Mitchell 15). Assists: Duke 21 (G. Hill 7); Harvard 14 (Campbell 6). Steals: Duke 9 (Laettner 3); Harvard 8 (Mitchell 3). Blocks: Duke 5 (Laettner 2); Harvard 0. Total Fouls: Duke 17; Harvard 27; Turnovers: Duke 14; Harvard 19.

Attendance: 3000.

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