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M. Basketball Remains On the Unbeaten Path

* Scott's near triple-double leads Crimson, 81-70

By Katherine E. Wagner, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

It doesn't get much better than this.

Continuing in its dream-like start to the 1997-98 season, the Harvard men's basketball team (5-0) triumphed over Holy Cross this past Saturday with an 81-70 victory over the Crusaders (2-6).

The win increased the Crimson's unbeaten streak to start the season to five games--the team's best start in 13 seasons.

"This was a huge win for us," said sophomore guard Damian Long. "It was the third time in three years that we had the chance to go 5-0, and we finally did it. Plus, it gave us the opportunity to avenge last year's at-home loss to Holy Cross."

"Every win is a big win, especially early in the season," said captain Mike Scott. "We have a pretty new team, having lost four seniors, and so it's great to build up that confidence."

A Crimson victory, however, was no guarantee from the outset.

Holy Cross proved early on to be a formidable opponent. The two teams battled fiercely throughout the first 20 minutes of play.

A 10-5 Crusader run gave the opposition a 35-40 advantage shortly before halftime.

The Crimson, however, refused to give up the fight, unwilling to blemish a thus-far perfect record.

Scott answered this run with a confidence-boosting three-pointer at the halftime buzzer, ending the half with a 38-40 score.

It proved the beginning of the end for the Crusaders.

"We really grabbed momentum back at the very end of the first half," Long said. "Mike Scott had a huge, huge three-pointer right as the buzzer sounded to end the half."

Scott and Long combined for 13 points in quick succession as Harvard took a 63-58 advantage with more than seven minutes remaining in the final quarter.

The Crusaders rallied back, narrowing the gap to 70-66, but another three-pointer by Scott with 1:45 remaining ensured the victory.

Scott led his team in scoring, tallying a total of 24 points--a career high. He also recorded 10 rebounds and 9 assists.

Also surpassing the ten-point mark were Long with 17 points, junior guard Tim Hill with 14 points, and junior center Paul Fisher with 10 points.

This impressive offensive showing, however, was not the only factor in the Crimson victory.

Defense was the word for the final 20 minutes of play.

Harvard stepped up its defensive play tremendously in the second half, allowing the Crusader's a field goal percentage of only 39. Holy Cross had shot 52 percent during the first half.

"We definitely picked up on defense in the second half," Long said. "In the first half we gave up too many points--we allowed them too many easy shots and baskets."

"They shot over 50 in the first half," Scott said. "We just weren't getting the job done. In the second, we definitely had a renewed intensity on defense."

Harvard will need to carry this intensity and momentum through the week--the team faces a strong opponent in B.U. this Wednesday. HARVARD  81 HOLY CROS  70

HARVARD, 81-70 at Worcester, M.A. Harvard  38  43  --  81 Holy Cross  40  30  --  70

HOLY CROSS: Shea 0-0 0-0 0; Spitler 0-0 0-0 0; Nelson 0-0 0-0 0; Hightower 3-5 2-4 8; Boddicker 1-6 0-1 2; Curry 3-7 0-0 6; Stowers 2-3 0-0 5; Waters 5-11 2-4 15; Hopkins 0-0 0-0 0; Kalbacher 0-0 0-0 0; Pegues 5-7 6-8 16; Kerr 5-14 7-10 18. TOTALS 24-53 17-27 70.

HARVARD: Lewis 0-2 0-0 0; Hill 2-11 8-8 14; Beam 1-2 2-2 4; Dexter 1-1 0-0 2; Long 7-9 0-1 17; Scott 10-16 1-2 24; Clemente 4-6 0-1 9; Fisher 4-10 2-2 10; Ewing 0-1 1-2 1. TOTALS: 29-58 14-18 81.

"B.U. played shorthanded this weekend, without two of its key players," said Long. "Still, they only lost by eight points to Alabama--a tough school.

"It'll be a tough game, but we're eager for the opportunity to avenge last year's loss at-home."

Perhaps, however, the team's attitude towards its game against the Terriers was best summarized in the words of its captain.

"From game to game, the goals don't change. We want to keep the field goal percentage low for the other team and keep strong rebounding.," said Scott. "We're just going to go out there and play the best basketball game we can."

The game tips off at 7 p.m. Wednesday at B.U.'s Case Gymnasium.Crimson File PhotoSKYIN: Captain MIKE SCOTT tied his career high in points with 24 against Holy Cross.

HARVARD, 81-70 at Worcester, M.A. Harvard  38  43  --  81 Holy Cross  40  30  --  70

HOLY CROSS: Shea 0-0 0-0 0; Spitler 0-0 0-0 0; Nelson 0-0 0-0 0; Hightower 3-5 2-4 8; Boddicker 1-6 0-1 2; Curry 3-7 0-0 6; Stowers 2-3 0-0 5; Waters 5-11 2-4 15; Hopkins 0-0 0-0 0; Kalbacher 0-0 0-0 0; Pegues 5-7 6-8 16; Kerr 5-14 7-10 18. TOTALS 24-53 17-27 70.

HARVARD: Lewis 0-2 0-0 0; Hill 2-11 8-8 14; Beam 1-2 2-2 4; Dexter 1-1 0-0 2; Long 7-9 0-1 17; Scott 10-16 1-2 24; Clemente 4-6 0-1 9; Fisher 4-10 2-2 10; Ewing 0-1 1-2 1. TOTALS: 29-58 14-18 81.

"B.U. played shorthanded this weekend, without two of its key players," said Long. "Still, they only lost by eight points to Alabama--a tough school.

"It'll be a tough game, but we're eager for the opportunity to avenge last year's loss at-home."

Perhaps, however, the team's attitude towards its game against the Terriers was best summarized in the words of its captain.

"From game to game, the goals don't change. We want to keep the field goal percentage low for the other team and keep strong rebounding.," said Scott. "We're just going to go out there and play the best basketball game we can."

The game tips off at 7 p.m. Wednesday at B.U.'s Case Gymnasium.Crimson File PhotoSKYIN: Captain MIKE SCOTT tied his career high in points with 24 against Holy Cross.

HOLY CROSS: Shea 0-0 0-0 0; Spitler 0-0 0-0 0; Nelson 0-0 0-0 0; Hightower 3-5 2-4 8; Boddicker 1-6 0-1 2; Curry 3-7 0-0 6; Stowers 2-3 0-0 5; Waters 5-11 2-4 15; Hopkins 0-0 0-0 0; Kalbacher 0-0 0-0 0; Pegues 5-7 6-8 16; Kerr 5-14 7-10 18. TOTALS 24-53 17-27 70.

HARVARD: Lewis 0-2 0-0 0; Hill 2-11 8-8 14; Beam 1-2 2-2 4; Dexter 1-1 0-0 2; Long 7-9 0-1 17; Scott 10-16 1-2 24; Clemente 4-6 0-1 9; Fisher 4-10 2-2 10; Ewing 0-1 1-2 1. TOTALS: 29-58 14-18 81.

"B.U. played shorthanded this weekend, without two of its key players," said Long. "Still, they only lost by eight points to Alabama--a tough school.

"It'll be a tough game, but we're eager for the opportunity to avenge last year's loss at-home."

Perhaps, however, the team's attitude towards its game against the Terriers was best summarized in the words of its captain.

"From game to game, the goals don't change. We want to keep the field goal percentage low for the other team and keep strong rebounding.," said Scott. "We're just going to go out there and play the best basketball game we can."

The game tips off at 7 p.m. Wednesday at B.U.'s Case Gymnasium.Crimson File PhotoSKYIN: Captain MIKE SCOTT tied his career high in points with 24 against Holy Cross.

"B.U. played shorthanded this weekend, without two of its key players," said Long. "Still, they only lost by eight points to Alabama--a tough school.

"It'll be a tough game, but we're eager for the opportunity to avenge last year's loss at-home."

Perhaps, however, the team's attitude towards its game against the Terriers was best summarized in the words of its captain.

"From game to game, the goals don't change. We want to keep the field goal percentage low for the other team and keep strong rebounding.," said Scott. "We're just going to go out there and play the best basketball game we can."

The game tips off at 7 p.m. Wednesday at B.U.'s Case Gymnasium.Crimson File PhotoSKYIN: Captain MIKE SCOTT tied his career high in points with 24 against Holy Cross.

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