The big four all came crashing down. In a series of rousing games that ended the first half of the 1959-60 season, Texas A&M, LaSalle, Villanova and Cincinnati each met their first defeat. Next week most college teams will desert the courts and take on midterm exams.
Cincinnati, despite a surprisingly easy victory over St. Louis 79-57, invaded Bradley's Peoria gym, where the Braves had won 30 in a row, with justifiable trepidation. Though the marvelous Oscar Robertson scored 46 points, his teammates couldn't pick up the rest of the load, and Bradley won 91-90 (see page 18), took over first place in the Missouri Valley Conference. Meanwhile, Drake turned hot, upset St. Louis 57-55.
In the Big Ten, Northwestern seemed to have adopted the slowdown tactics that are spreading across the country. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, Ohio State was of no mind to play that game. After crushing Delaware 109-38, the conference leaders wrapped Jerry Lucas' ailing ankle in tape, took advantage of his 28 points and rebounding to beat ball-controlling Northwestern 81-64. Said Northwestern Coach Bill Rohr: "It's like hunting elephants with a BB gun when they play tip-tap-two with that ball."
January 25, 1960
Illinois and Iowa were not giving up the title fight just yet, however. The Illini shrugged off 43 points by Terry Dischinger, Purdue's brilliant sophomore, and whipped the Boilermakers 81-75, then outscored Michigan State 96-88. Hustling Iowa beat the same two opponents, outplaying Michigan State 92-79, Purdue 63-54.
Kansas State, over its early-season jitters, defeated Oklahoma State 54-49, Oklahoma 76-68, led the Big Eight after Oklahoma stopped Iowa State 65-47. Talented little Jimmy Darrow flipped in 52 points to help Bowling Green surprise Mid-America Conference leader Toledo 86-82 in overtime, but the Rockets shot back, whipped Marshall 61-53.
Notre Dame beat DePaul 73-70, St. Francis (Pa.) 75-56; Detroit outlasted Marquette 89-85. The top three:
1. BRADLEY (12-1)
2. CINCINNATI (13-1)
3. OHIO STATE (11-2)
Villanova, like Cincinnati, discovered there is no place like home. West Virginia lured the Easterners to Morgantown, where it had won 39 straight, turned Jerry West loose and won 89-81. West got 30 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists. Earlier, he had led the Mountaineers past William & Mary 94-72, Virginia 102-81.
Virginia Tech continued to threaten West Virginia's Southern Conference lead. Tech beat Marshall 79-72, got a welcome pickup from a rejuvenated Bob Ayersman (55 points in two games) to defeat Davidson 96-51, William & Mary 92-91 in overtime.
Georgia Tech's Coach John (Whack) Hyder was breathing easier after his Yellow Jackets ran away from Mississippi 91-66, Georgia 80-64, came back in the closing seconds to tie Vanderbilt, win in overtime 74-66. Roger Kaiser, with 32 points, was the Tech hero as he dropped in two foul shots with nine seconds left in the game, got the Jackets going in the extra period with a field goal. "We're over the hump," predicted Hyder. "We got the ones that counted."
While veteran Bill Lickert went for treatment of an ailing thigh, Kentucky did its best to keep step with Tech in the SEC race. Sid Cohen scored 26 points and the Wildcats beat Tulane 68-42, then set down Tennessee 78-68.
The picture in the Atlantic Coast Conference fell slightly out of focus in a weekend in which Maryland upset front-running Duke 56-48, and last-place North Carolina State beat Wake Forest 51-45. North Carolina managed to stay sharp, carefully shot its way past NC State 62-51, Virginia 76-57, moved into first place. The top three:
1. WEST VIRGINIA (15-1)
2. GEORGIA TECH (13-1)
3. NORTH CAROLINA (9-3)
It took some doing, but SMU pulled the rug out from under Texas A&M, brought down the Aggies 66-64. The Mustangs' Kim Nash and Jan Loudermilk never let Carroll Broussard, brilliant Aggie sophomore jump-shooter, out of their sight, held him to four points while 6-foot 7-inch Steve Strange took command of the boards and scored 34 points. SMU had more trouble with much-beaten Baylor, barely edged the Bears 73-71 in overtime. Texas managed to get by Arkansas 72-66, but the Longhorns caught Broussard and Texas A&M on the rebound, lost 72-61. At week's end, Arkansas rolled over Rice 74-63, joined Texas A&M, Texas and SMU in a four-way tie for the Southwest Conference lead.
Border Conference leader New Mexico State showed little regard for home-court streaks, made itself very much at home in Tempe while ending Arizona State's 21-game string 66-58, added a 71-57 victory over Texas Western. The top three:
1. TEXAS A&M (11-1)
2. SMU (10-4)
3. NEW MEXICO STATE (13-3)
Philadelphia was suddenly shorn of its undefeated teams. LaSalle, back from Kentucky with a 63-58 win over More-head State, gave in grudgingly to Syracuse and Ed Goldberg, who proved too hot to handle, 91-84 in double overtime. However, the Explorers recovered in time to edge Georgetown 80-79.
Dartmouth was still atop the Ivy League after trouncing Harvard 66-53 and 71-56, but Princeton and Cornell were in strong positions to challenge the Indians. The Tigers upset Brown 71-57; Cornell was in second place after overcoming Columbia 76-72.
NYU tightened up its defenses, held Army to three field goals in the last half and won 60-50; St. Joseph's easily defeated Lehigh 83-69, Muhlenberg 85-71; St. John's showed improvement, beat Georgetown 87-78; perplexed Manhattan lost to Hofstra 67-57 and Navy 84-51; St. Bonaventure's sharpshooting Tom Stith tossed in 63 points, including the winning ones, as the Bonnies outshot the NIBL's Cleveland Pipers 123-121 in an overtime exhibition game. The top three:
1. NYU (9-2)
2. VILLANOVA (10-1)
3. ST. JOSEPH'S (11-3)
It was UCLA's turn to upset the form. Coach Johnny Wooden scrambled his lineup, came up with the right combination and watched his Bruins beat USC 63-62. Center John Berberich provided the scoring punch with 23 points, gave UCLA control of the boards. Next night it was USC's Coach Forrest Twogood who applied a shakeup. He benched leading scorer Johnny Werhas, and the Trojans ran away from Oregon State 84-59. But California still had the best system: a steady lineup and tenacious defense, careful shooting and superb rebounding by Darrall Imhoff and Bill McClintock. All ingredients were in fine working order as Cal turned back Washington State 54-43, Washington 79-39.
Utah State's Coach Cec Baker, normally a taciturn man, was jumping with joy after his durable Aggies thumped Wyoming 88-60 and Colorado State 73-65, zoomed to the top of the Skyline Conference. But Utah, still smarting from its defeat at the hands of the Aggies, was far from finished. The Utes clubbed unsuspecting New Mexico 112-81, got Billy (The Hill) McGill to shoot over Denver's collapsing defense for 20 points and won 75-62. Said McGill: "Every time I got the ball, seemed like everybody collapsed on me. I thought they had five men and their bench on me at the same time." The top three:
1. CALIFORNIA (14-1)
2. UTAH STATE (13-2)
3. UTAH (13-2)
The Boston Celtics reacted like the old pros they are when Philadelphia ran its winning streak to 10 and barged within 2½ games of first place in the East. Bob Cousy rallied the slumping Celts, helped them beat the Warriors twice, 124-112 and 129-123. The wins boosted Boston's lead back to 4½ games. Pro basketball was still looking for a way to stop Wilt Chamberlain, who picked up 166 points in four games, but the big Warrior last week had to take second honors to two veterans: Syracuse's Dolph Schayes, who became the first player in league history to score 15,000 points (see page 25), and Cincinnati's Jack Twyman, who got 59 points against Minneapolis.