March 2, 2009

M. Basketball Loses Harvard Heartbreaker

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[img_assist|nid=35665|title=Losing with Louis|desc=Junior guard Louis Dale (12) dribbles towards a Harvard defender during the Red’s 71-70 loss Saturday.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
In last year’s dramatic game, junior Alex Tyler scored a layup to give the team a comeback win after being down by 5 with 30 seconds on the clock. This year with the game on the line, junior Louis Dale penetrated to the lane but wasn’t able to connect.
“I came off a double screen,” Wittman said. “After that, Louis was the second option. He got the ball and made a play. And it didn’t go our way.”
With a win, the Red could have clinched at least a share of the Ivy League title. In a good twist, the loss sets up an exciting weekend for Newman Nation. The Red can win the league title outright next weekend with a win over Penn and a Princeton loss, or two wins.
“We just got to work hard this last week in practice,” Dale said. “Make sure we win these last two games coming up and win the Ivy League championship.”
The game was different from the first affair between the two squads at Newman Arena weeks earlier. Harvard standout Jeremy Lin redeemed himself from his eight-turnover performance by scoring 20 points and helping to shut down Wittman after he went on a scoring spree in the second half.
“He played well tonight,” Wittman said. “You don’t expect him to have eight turnovers like he did the last game. We knew he was going to come out and be ready to play.”
At one point in the second half, Wittman looked unstoppable. The Ivy League Player of the Year candidate scored 13 points in a four-minute stretch but was held quiet after the Crimson adjusted to him. The strategy worked well for the Crimson as the rest of the team struggled to score, with only senior center Jeff Foote reaching double digits with 14.
“The overplayed me a little bit more,” Wittman said. “Overplayed me on the screens more, I hit a couple shots, so I knew they were going to do that.”