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U.S. Women Lose Luggage, Uniforms and Finally the Game in Moscow

December 21, 1987

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology of Terre Haute, Ind., the first U.S. college team to play basketball in the Soviet Union, lost to Bauman Institute, 96-79, at Moscow.

It was a troubled trip for the Rose-Hulman team, which lost its luggage on a flight between Chicago and Brussels.

That left the Engineers with no uniforms or change of clothes. The Soviets provided the team with powder-blue T-shirts with numbers written in chalk.

Only five Rose-Hulman players had basketball shoes at game time, presenting Coach John Mutchner with a substitution problem. "I substituted by shoe size," he said. His players shared sneakers.

Mutchner said the game was played with a rubber ball commonly found on playgrounds, and that the floor resembled "barn wood." Also, no official scorebook was kept.

The Soviets players were courteous and the officiating was similar to American officiating, Mutchner said.

The Engineers continue their trip through Europe until Jan. 2.

"We're having a good time, but we stink," Mutchner said.

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