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Each fall Peanuts,the comic strip, depicts Charlie Brown attempting to kick a football held by his friend Lucy.
Charlie rears back, takes aim and plows, full steam ahead, at the waiting football.
Just as he gets there, though, the devilish Lucy removes the ball, causing ol' Chuck to fall right on his derriere.
The strip ends with Lucy laughing and Charlie lying on the ground in disgust.
It never fails. It is the same story every fall. Nevertheless, Charlie is back out there each football season ready to kick again, and eventually fall again.
So goes the plight of the Harvard men's basketball team.
Each night the team heads out on the court more determined than ever to kick the football. It seems, however, that each night there is someone there to remove the ball and leave the Crimson with a loss.
Last night it was Brown playing the role of Lucy.
The Bears withstood Harvard's fierce charge and determination; and in the game's closing minutes, walked away smiling and with a victory.
Brown stole a win in what was perhaps Harvard's best game of the season, its best attempt at getting off a clean kick.
On offense, the Crimson opened up its game slightly allowing for contributions from a variety of sources.
Sophomore David Demian led the Harvard effort with 17 points, including seven of the team's first nine points and two key three-pointers in the second half.
The Crimson also pounded the ball inside, getting big numbers from its three big men, Kyle Snowden, Chris Grancio and Paul Fisher.
The Harvard defense took its best aim at a victory as well.
The Crimson shut down the Bears' second leading scorer, Brian Lloyd, holding him to a goose egg in the points column on the night.
Lloyd's only contribution to the game was a technical foul that allowed Harvard to jump out to its biggest lead, 53-44.
Harvard also did a fine job defensively on Brown star guard Eric Blackiston. He managed to score 19 points, but was silent for much of the second half.
In the end though, Brown rose to the occasion and assumed the role of Lucy.
The Bear defense turned its play up a notch, holding Harvard scoreless for a five minute stretch late in the game.
On offense Brown did just enough to win. Four consecutive points by Blackiston sandwiched in between two lay-ups by the Bears' Steve Silas ultimately spelled defeat for the Crimson, taking Brown from a 60-58 deficit to the final victory margin of 66-62.
In the end Harvard's hurried shots fell short, and the Crimson ended the game with yet another loss.
Just as Harvard was poised to make its run at victory, to finally connect with the football, it came crashing back to earth.
Yet Harvard may be able to take solace in a different Charlie Brown story.
After years and years of losing, the Peanuts' baseball team finally won a game.
Charlie Brown, the hard-luck kid himself, stepped up to the plate and hit the game winning home run.
After all, the familiar saying on Charlie goes, "You're a good man, Charlie Brown."
It can be said, you're a good team, Harvard basketball. Now we just have to kick the ball.
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