Three times last week eastern teams got help from some improbable sources. Temple's Bob Harrington lost one of his contact lenses early in the game against Bucknell and had to go to the bench. His three brothers rushed home by taxi and found an old pair of Bob's glasses. Back in the game, Harrington sank a layup to break a 40-40 tie, then hit three straight jumpers, and Temple won 61-53. Providence's Bob Simoni, on the bench in street clothes because of an ailing knee, got a doctor's clearance to play late in the first half against St. Louis. He scored two quick baskets, and the Friars went on to an upset win, 64-57. Providence also needed some late heroisms—a layup and two free throws by Vinnie Ernst in the last 45 seconds—to squeak past St. Francis 68-67.
Villanova's Richie Richman, who quarterbacked the Wildcats against Oregon State in the Liberty Bowl on Saturday afternoon, took over on the basketball floor that same night when Playmaker Wally Jones fouled out. He helped Villanova take Niagara, an earlier 76-67 winner over Dayton, down to the final buzzer. But Niagara's Bill Kennedy sank a last-minute jump shot, and the Eagles won 73-71. St. John's, too, took a turn at making life miserable for St. Louis. The Redmen matched St. Louis' obdurate defense with one of their own and came from 10 points behind to beat the Bills 54-48.
Pitt surprised Duquesne by opening with a full court press and a furious fast break in the Steel Bowl final, and the bewildered Dukes never recovered. Little Dave Roman scored 20 points, big Brian Generalovich got 25 more as Pitt won easily, 85-59.
December 24, 1962
St. Joseph's, after a severe 74-46 drubbing by Wake Forest, went to a straight zone to contain NYU's Barry Kramer. It didn't stop Kramer, who scored 29 points, but St. Joe's won anyway, 74-64. Penn and Princeton were still undefeated. Penn downed Swarthmore 104-58 and held off Vanderbilt to win 74-70; the Tigers' Bill Bradley scored a total of 53 points in a 93-68 romp over Colgate and a 65-54 defeat of Navy. The top three:
1. NIAGARA (5-0)
2. PITT (4-1)
3. PRINCETON (5-0)
"This team is just plain selfish," complained Kentucky's Adolph Rupp. "Until these boys start playing like a team instead of five selfish strangers we aren't going to win anything." Last week the Wildcats got together. They fed the ball to Cotton Nash and Don Rolfes for 37 points and beat Florida State 83-54. Northwestern triple-teamed Nash, but he got away from his tormentors long enough to score 27 points as Kentucky won 71-60.
It might take more than togetherness for Kentucky to finish on top in the SEC, however. Challengers were turning up all around the Wildcats. The latest was Auburn, which shuffled in and out of Texas Tech's 2-1-2 zone with calculated efficiency and beat the Raiders with a flawless performance, 86-57. And there was always Mississippi State, a 77-66 winner over Memphis State.
Duke looked more formidable than ever against Vanderbilt and Clemson. When Art Heyman encountered stiff resistance from Vandy's defenders, he turned passer, and the Blue Devils won 90-70. Against Clemson, Heyman fired in 30 points, and Duke downed the passive Tigers 92-67. But Louisville caught the weary Blue Devils with their defenses dragging. The Cardinals were only one point behind with 2:27 to go when Heyman (who scored 35) dropped in two free throws. Duke hung on to win 76-75.
West Virginia missed ailing Rod Thorn, who sat out most of the game with a sprained ankle, but Jim McCormick picked up the lagging Mountaineers with 16 points and led them past Richmond 78-59.
Western Kentucky was hospitable to a fault when Bowling Green came to town. The Hilltoppers gave BG Coach Harold Anderson (who retires after this season) a Kentucky country ham, a Kentucky colonelcy and one of Coach Ed Diddle's famous red towels. Then they gave the Falcons the game 83-58. The top three:
1. DUKE (6-0)
2. MISSISSIPPI STATE (5-0)
3. AUBURN (3-0)
It was just no week for Kansans. They expected Cincinnati to maul their two top teams, and the Bearcats did, beating Kansas State 75-61 (see page 84) and Kansas 64-49. But they weren't quite prepared for what Arizona State did to them. With Joe Caldwell, Tom Cerkvenik and Art Becker popping merrily away at the end of a fast break, the slick Sun Devils beat Kansas 71-62, then Kansas State 77-72.
Ohio State came back rusty after a week's layoff for exams but still had enough poise to turn back TCU 74-62. But Big Ten trouble loomed ahead for the Buckeyes. Illinois won its third straight, over Iowa State 76-73 in overtime, sophomore Bill Buntin led Michigan past TCU 82-60 and Evansville 71-64, and Minnesota put down Bradley 73-63 before losing to DePaul 76-74.
Loyola of Chicago was still knocking over opponents at a 100-point-per-game clip. The Ramblers trounced Wisconsin at Milwaukee 107-47 and South Dakota 105-58. Notre Dame looked almost as good against tougher competition. With 6-foot-9½ sophomore Walt Sahm taking in the rebounds, the unbeaten Irish overwhelmed Western Michigan 82-68 and Creighton 74-48. Marquette outlasted Kansas State 72-71, and Dayton lost to Seattle 75-58. The top three:
1. CINCINNATI (6-0)
2. OHIO STATE (5-0)
3. LOYOLA (4-0)
Texas A&M's Bob Rogers had two things going for him when his Aggies took on Houston at College Station: a 27-home-game winning streak and a plan. Rogers knew that Houston likes to work the ball in close, then bring its off-side forward in for a pass. So he had his boys beat the forward to the spot. That threw the Cougars off stride, and Bennie Lennox' basket with 42 seconds left won for the Aggies 69-67.
While Texas A&M and SMU, which beat LSU 83-68 and Tulane 99-75, flourished, Texas and Arkansas had their troubles. The rangy Longhorns lost to LSU 75-66 and Oklahoma State 69-65; Arkansas bowed to Oklahoma State 46-45 and Tulsa 76-68. The top three:
1. ARIZONA STATE (5-0)
2. TEXAS A&M (4-1)
3. HOUSTON (5-1)
Oregon State's Slats Gill just couldn't believe it after California ball-hawked its way past his Beavers 61-59. "Mel Counts gets 29 points and we still can't break 60," groused Gill. The next night he threw a zone defense at Cal, Counts got 28 and this time Oregon State broke 60. It also won, 70-60.
While Stanford was having trouble squeezing past San Francisco 44-43, UCLA and USC took turns walloping two Big Eight visitors. The Bruins drubbed Oklahoma 101-64 and Missouri 72-55; USC beat the same pair, 66-51 and 77-70.
Unbeaten Colorado State, playing its usual waiting game, was too much for Arizona. The Rams converted 35 free throws and won 75-65. The top three:
1. STANFORD (3-0)
2. COLORADO STATE (4-0)
3. SEATTLE (4-0)