Crimson basketball fans walked away from Saturday night's 83 to 87 loss to Columbia with one new ray of hope in an otherwise dismal season. Their optimism was based on the new-round ability of sophomore center Ed Blodnick to score against tough varsity competition.
The six foot, six inch center, facing Jack Molinas, one of the best players in the league, scored 19 points, although he played little more than half of the game. After replacing starter Dick Lionette midway in the second quarter, he forced Molinas to commit enough personal fouls against him to be yanked from the game by his coach before fouling out.
But it didn't matter much, since the whole Lion team hit for a phenomenal 46 percent of its shots from the floor in the game.
Bob Reins, the high scorer of the night with 23 points, was easily the game's standout player for his defensive work. Reins held Bill Dennis, the Crimson's best shot, to one point all night, and forced Coach Norm Shepard to bench his star when it was obvious he could not score.
The lack of Dennis' usual scoring touch proved costly to the Crimson early in the game. After tying Columbia twice in the first few minutes, the varsity rapidly fell behind to 39 to 21 at half-time. But paced by Bob Gremp, Forrest Hanson, and Blodnick in a second-half comeback, the Crimson pulled up to only ten points behind in six minutes.
The Yardlings earlier scored their tenth win of the season by topping the Northeastern freshmen, 77 to 46.