It was a frustrating week for Purdue Coach Ray Eddy. First, Northwestern caught his team looking ahead to Ohio State, wrapped up talented Terry Dischinger in a collapsing zone and upset Purdue 64-62. Then, Ohio State, playing with its usual devastating efficiency, took the steam out of the hopeful Boilermakers and thrashed them 92-62. Although even so stout a defender as OSU's crowding John Havlicek had trouble tying down Dischinger, who flitted away deceptively for 26 points, the Buckeyes never let things get out of hand. When the Purdue defense sagged to surround Jerry Lucas, backcourt sharpshooters Larry Siegfried and Mel Nowell shot over the harried Boilermakers for 21 and 17 points, respectively. Meanwhile Big Luke, moving gracefully in and around the pivot, passed off when he found himself hemmed in, hooked and jumped for 17 points when given room and used his uncanny sense of timing to haul down 17 rebounds. "Who do you try to stop?" moaned Eddy. "We've never been so outmanned in our lives. This is truly a great team." But the unbeaten Buckeyes were not yet out of the treacherous Big Ten woods. They must still worry about Iowa and Indiana, which returned from a three-week layoff to overtake pesky DePaul 81-78.
Oklahoma State's wily Hank Iba may not win many Big Eight games this year, but his meticulous ball-control game has the chief contenders muttering to themselves. Kansas State finally managed to shake off the close-fisted Cowboys, but needed some aggressive ball-swiping and nine straight points in the last few minutes to beat them 45-43 and remain within reach of first-place Kansas.
Missouri Valley leader Bradley, bothered by Marquette's zone in an annoyingly close first half, broke out of the trap with a well-executed fast break to win 84-68. St. Louis, mixing slowdown with tight defense, held St. John's Tony Jackson to 11 points and beat the Redmen 60-57 (see page 48). Meanwhile, Cincinnati was quietly getting ready for a real run at the Missouri Valley title.-The improving Bearcats, in second place, beat Drake 80-70 for their ninth straight. More significantly, Cincinnati will play all but one of its remaining league games at home. The top three:
1. OHIO STATE (14-0)
2. BRADLEY (14-1)
3. INDIANA (9-3)
Dartmouth's shrewd Doggie Julian, like many another college coach, is troubled by the increasing number of games won at the foul line. But, unlike most coaches, Doggie has a solution: award three points for a field goal. Last Saturday, Dartmouth and Boston U. experimented with the Julian plan. Dartmouth shot 34 field goals to BU's 22 and won 119-89. The only noticeable difference: the score was higher.
While St. Bonaventure wrestled with midyear exams and St. John's was losing in the Midwest, Army began to emerge as a postseason tournament candidate. The Cadets beat Hofstra 77-74 in overtime, then surprised Ivy League leader Princeton 64-62 on Ron Hannon's last-second basket for their eighth straight. Villanova, after losing to Pitt 57-55, continued its downhill slide against St. Joseph's. The hustling Hawks got a hot hand from Bill Hoy, who scored six points in the last two minutes, and edged the Wildcats 64-63. Temple, held to 14 shots in the second half by a stringent LaSalle defense, still managed to win 63-57. The top three:
1. ST. BONAVENTURE (14-1)
2. ST. JOHN'S (10-3)
3. ARMY (12-4)
The Big Five was ready for a showdown. USC and UCLA, after warming up on mutual foes, were looking ahead to their two-game series this weekend. The rugged Trojans hurried past Air Force 74-51 and Denver 68-52: the Bruins tumbled Denver 85-64 and Air Force 89-78.
The Skyline, too, was heading for a decision. Colorado State U., which protected its uneasy lead by beating Wyoming 73-55, will tackle Utah Thursday at Salt Lake City. But the Utes, who grubbed out a 55-51 slowdown victory over Santa Clara, will be raring to run again. The top three:
1. USC (14-2)
2. UTAH (12-5)
3. UCLA (12-3)
It is like the quiet before the storm in this usually turbulent area. Mississippi State, perched at the top of the SEC, was wary of Florida after the Gators ganged up on Georgia, chasing the Bulldogs with a fast break and whipping them 90-68. Duke celebrated North Carolina's withdrawal from the ACC championship tournament (see page 4) with a 79-59 victory over Clemson; Southern Conference leader West Virginia, fired up by sophomore Rod Thorn, beat William and Mary 76-69; Louisville's big front line was too much for Kentucky Wesleyan and the Cardinals won 82-66. The top three:
1. NORTH CAROLINA (12-2)
2. DUKE (14-1)
3. LOUISVILLE (15-2)
The Southwest Conference was idle but two of its teams ventured outside with satisfying results. Arkansas, beaten by Tulsa's full-court press in December, avoided a similar disaster by having Guards Jerry Carlson and Clyde Rhoden dribble around it. The Hurricanes quickly ran out of wind, and Arkansas won 66-58. SMU and Oklahoma City, both ragged enough to make it close, traded errors but the last one belonged to the Chiefs. With five seconds to go, they let SMU's 6-foot-6 Jan Loudermilk flip in a left-handed hook shot and they lost 68-67. Observed OCU's Abe Lemons wryly: "It looked like a consolation game in a YMCA league." The top three:
1. TEXAS (10-5)
2. HOUSTON (11-6)
3. TEXAS A&M (8-6)