St. Joseph's Coach Jack Ramsay, who has been known to fling his coat in the air when things aren't going so well for his Hawks, was in a mood to toss it clear out of Philadelphia's jammed Palestra last Saturday night. So-so Villanova, beaten by tough little St. Francis (N.Y.) 51-48 earlier in the week, matched St. Joe's basket for basket and got the last one—a lay-up by Eric Erickson with four seconds to go in overtime—to upset the Hawks 63-61.
St. Bonaventure's Larry Weise had his problems, too. He lost top rebounder Miles Aiken with a knee injury and then suspended his temperamental sophomore, Mike Rooney, for "unwillingness to cooperate." After that, unbeaten Niagara had no trouble at all whipping the Bonnies 80-63.
In the Ivy League, Yale raised an eyebrow or two by beating Princeton 62-61. The Elis' luck ran out against Penn, however. Yale made a first-class run at the Quakers but lost 60-50. Meanwhile, Princeton's Bill Bradley stretched his run of consecutive free throws made to 25 and the Tigers beat Brown 81-67.
For almost everybody else it was a hohum week. Canisius sifted through Providence's scrambling zone easily enough in the first half, but had to do some scrambling of its own to hold off the rallying Friars 80-75. Seton Hall's Nick Werkman, the nation's top scorer, was "held" to 48 points-trimming his average to 31.3—as the Pirates beat Rider 79-47 and Fairleigh Dickinson 81-63. Barry Kramer led NYU past Acadia 57-41 and Boston U. 67-58; LaSalle beat Manhattan 78-61. The top three:
1. ST. JOSEPH'S (10-3)
2. NYU (9-2)
3. PENN (10-1)
The Southeastern Conference was a carnival of surprises. While Mississippi State was still enjoying its big victory over Auburn, Alabama bushwhacked them 77-72 in overtime. James (Wilkes) Booth, a spindly 6-foot-3 jump shooter, ruined State with six points in the extra period and 20 in the entire game. Then Alabama beat down Georgia 67-61 to take the SEC lead. Meanwhile, Auburn recovered from its single lapse to trounce Mississippi 79-44 and Florida 81-56.
Unbeaten Georgia Tech was beginning to try Coach Whack Hyder's patience. Tech barely made it by Georgia 72-70 and then had to go into overtime to edge Mississippi 73-71. But Kentucky's Adolph Rupp was again at peace with the world—and Cotton Nash. With Nash rolling up 78 points, the Wildcats ran over Vanderbilt 106-82, LSU 63-56 and Tulane 81-72.
Duke won easily enough over Navy 85-70 and Clemson 78-67, but the Atlantic Coast leaders were concerned about Wake Forest, especially after the Deacons beat North Carolina 78-70 and Virginia Tech 76-63. Against Carolina, Coach Bones McKinney shrewdly set up his offense around 6-foot-10 Bob Woollard, hoping to get the Tar Heels' Billy Cunningham into foul trouble. It worked just fine. Cunningham scored 25 points, but he drew his fourth foul early in the second half and, when Carolina went to a zone to protect him, the Deacons were in.
West Virginia, with Rod Thorn back in form, was taking care of its Southern Conference challengers one at a time. Thorn scored 28 points as Davidson fell 89-73, and 30 more to help the Mountaineers past pesky George Washington 100-97. Assistance also came from an unlikely source. William & Mary lured Virginia Tech into its little Blow Gym and upset the Gobblers 78-63. The top three:
1. DUKE (12-2)
2. GEORGIA TECH (11-0)
3. WEST VIRGINIA (10-3)
The Missouri Valley Conference was living up to its reputation (see page 5). For a while North Texas State bothered Cincinnati, but Ron Bonham broke out with 29 points and the Bearcats won 75-58. Tulsa was even more difficult. The fired-up Hurricanes had Cincy in a 32-32 tie at half time. Then Bonham began to hit. He made seven straight field goals, wound up with 30 points and the Bearcats took their 31st in a row 67-57. Versatile Wichita rattled St. Louis with a ball-stealing full-court press, then hit the Bills with a fine fast break to win 71-65. Against Bradley, the Shockers worked their running game out of a tight man-to-man. Sophomore Dave Stallworth scored 35 points, and the Braves succumbed 79-69.
More and more, Illinois looked like the best in the Big Ten. Although it bumbled frequently, and gave up 33 points to Ohio State's gangling Gary Bradds, the Illini shot excellently. Sophomore Tal Brody led a second-half rush that beat the Bucks 90-78. Purdue collapsed earlier and lost 106-82. But Indiana, an 85-71 winner over Purdue, and Ohio State, which bounced back to beat Michigan 68-66, were still hopeful.
Colorado seemed determined to turn the Big Eight race into a one-team romp. The Buffs got 29 points from Milt Mueller and defeated Missouri 92-69. Loyola, running like all get-out, overwhelmed Marquette 87-68 and Western Michigan 107-69, while rough-tough Notre Dame beat DePaul 82-62 and Detroit 105-70. The top three:
1. CINCINNATI (13-0)
2. LOYOLA OF CHICAGO (15-0)
3. ILLINOIS (11-1)
For a while at least, Texas had the Southwest Conference lead all to itself. The lanky Longhorns brushed aside Baylor 76-38 and Texas Tech 78-58, but co-leader Texas A&M stumbled against SMU. As long as Bennie Lennox and Paul Timmons dropped in shots from the outside, Texas A&M stayed ahead of SMU. But Timmons fouled out and the Aggies, quite unwisely, switched to an inside game. The watchful Mustangs closed their defensive ranks, Dave Somerville and Gene Elmore began to hit and SMU came from behind to win 71-68.
Arizona State's running game faltered ever so slightly, but big Art Becker and Joe Caldwell, with 54 points between them, got the Sun Devils safely past Brigham Young 89-84. Then, when Utah threatened State, a timely zone defense and Gary Senitza's long shots put the Utes in their place, 80-65. Loyola of New Orleans tried a slow, deliberate offense against Houston—"It sort of rocked you to sleep," said Houston Coach Guy Lewis later. The wide-awake Cougars forced Loyola out of it with a zone press, and Houston won 66-59. The top three:
1. ARIZONA STATE (14-1)
2. TEXAS A&M (10-3)
3. TEXAS (8-5)
California's Big Six hopes sagged sharply. First Stanford, then UCLA treated the Bears roughly. Stanford needed two overtime periods to catch Cal, winning 70-68 on little Lou Shupe's basket. UCLA Coach Johnny Wooden, looking for more balance against the Bears, put playmaker Walt Hazzard up front and sophomores Fred Goss and Gail Goodrich in the backcourt. It worked, and Fred Slaughter matched Camden Wall's 17 points as the Bruins won 63-58. USC squeezed past Washington 64-61, then lost to the Huskies 62-61.
Stanford hardly looked menacing while losing to Oregon State 65-58 as All-America Quarterback Terry Baker, playing forward for a change, scored 25 points. But things were different the next night. Baker was just another ballplayer, and Stanford ran away from the Beavers 96-69. Colorado State and Utah State won again. The Rams outscored Wyoming 75-69; Utah State trimmed Montana State 84-58. The top three:
1. STANFORD (10-3)
2. OREGON STATE (9-4)
3. UCLA (11-4)