With just nine seconds to play and his team trailing lightweight Xavier of Ohio by two points, Canisius' Mike Macaluso stepped to the foul line for two free throws. Up went his first shot. It missed. Hold everything. Macaluso chose to bounce his next shot off the backboard, hopefully into the hands of a teammate who would take the rebound, score two points and send the game into overtime. Up went Macaluso's intentional miss, off the backboard and, swish! into the basket. So Xavier won 74-73. "When we try to miss, we can't," moaned Canisius' Coach John Morrison.
"I don't believe freshmen should play on the varsity," said freshman Gerry Kavanaugh. The doubting one tossed in seven crucial points as Lafayette defeated La Salle 77-68 at home and then hit a perfect 8-for-8 second half in a 94-92 victory over Rutgers. "I still think freshmen should compete on their own level while becoming acclimated to the school," maintained Kavanaugh, who scored enough academically to make the dean's list. Less to that than meets the eye, he said: "I didn't know anyone first term. I didn't have any friends. So I stayed in my room and studied."
Playing with happy abandon, Long Islander Phil Hankinson poured in 24 points, had 10 rebounds and led pent-up Penn to a 77-69 victory over Villanova. Three nights later teammate Ron Haigler, from Brooklyn, grabbed 17 rebounds and scored with only two seconds left to beat Manhattan 52-51. "We play New York-type basketball," said Hankinson afterward, "and that's a lot of fun. You learn to play with a certain amount of creativity. You go to the beach, play ball, the girls watching you. There's nothing I'd rather do than run and jump and get my body turned on."
On the other side of the coin is King Gaskins, a freshman who scored 21 points as Holy Cross (8-8) defeated previously unbeaten Assumption 81-76. "The real difference for me is that basketball is no longer fun here," said Gaskins, a former schoolboy All-America. "The problem is that although I think I am having a pretty good year, I can't seem to please Coach George Blaney. But I realize a good part of this is at least partly my fault. I'm a moody person having trouble trying to adjust." Learning of Gaskins" bit of introspection, Blaney became moody himself. "Remarks like he made shouldn't be in print," said the coach. "I plan to talk with him." Naturally.
Up against Temple without Mel Davis, who is redshirted with a knee injury, St. John's again turned to Bill Schaeffer, this time for 38 points, second highest of Schaeffer's career and one shy of the Alumni Hall record set by Rick Barry in 1964. The Red-men won 93-84.
1. PROVIDENCE (10-2)
2. ST. JOHN'S (11-2)
It all depends upon where you're sitting. Marquette Coach Al McGuire, for instance, was sitting on the bench (sometimes) when his sharpshooters came up cold, hitting only 29.9% from the field, and lost to Minnesota 64-53. That made two straight defeats for Marquette. "Minnesota is well balanced and well coached," said McGuire afterward. "They look to me like the best team in the Midwest." Four days after that a pro scout sitting in the stands watched Minnesota lose to Indiana 83-71. Said he of the Gophers: "Their guards are weak, they don't have any quickness and they're not very smart."
It was a heady victory for Indiana (12-2), and it gunned the Hoosiers into a tie with Purdue for the Big Ten lead. "The biggest part," said Indiana Coach Bob Knight, "was at the end of the half. We could have been down seven points, but we hit four big free throws and cut it to one. It was like starting even again."
Thus energized, Indiana hit nine of its first 11 shots in the second half to go in front 54-50. Minnesota's frustration showed when Clyde Turner, who led all scorers with 30 points, fouled out with 1:32 left. As he went to the bench he tossed an obscene gesture at the Hoosier crowd.
Purdue's jump to the top came after a stunning 63-62 victory over Michigan, which had been unbeaten in the conference. With Wisconsin spoiling Michigan State's bid for a seventh straight road victory, 93-80, the scrambled weekend results gave new life to second-echelon teams like Ohio State. The Buckeyes ended a three-game skid by downing Georgia Tech 85-79 and then getting by Iowa 75-72.
1. MINNESOTA (12-2)
2. MARQUETTE (12-2)
For UCLA haters it turned out to be the week that wasn't. This was to be the big test: San Francisco and Providence back to back. Good-by easy schedule, good by streak, good by Uclans. For icing, the Bruins would face the nationally ranked pair without Tommy Curtis, the fiery point man in their one-guard offense who was home with the London flu. San Francisco, which owns the 60-straight streak UCLA was rapidly closing on, stepped in first with its towering front line—and fell in a heap 92-64. That made UCLA 58 in a row.
"It's frustrating," said USF Coach Bob Gaillard. "About the only way, truthfully, to beat them would be to play them at home, play a perfect game, shoot 60%, have the personnel to match up with them—and even then I don't think you could do it."
Next up were the Friars from Providence, and on the strength of some fantastic shooting by Ernie DiGregorio they hung on for half a game. Then they too fell 101-77.
"We tried every sophisticated type of defense—the 2-2-1, the full press, the combination press, man-to-man, half-court press, matchup in a 2-3 zone," said Dave Gavitt, who coaches the Friars. "Nothing worked." Coming up for the Bruins were Loyola of Chicago and a chance to tie the record, and then Notre Dame and a shot at breaking it.
Last week, Steve Smith, Loyola of Los Angeles' 6'8" center who is averaging 22.5 points and 13.4 rebounds, was honored at a basketball writers' luncheon. Smith couldn't thank everybody enough for making him what he is.
"I want to thank my trainer for keeping my body in shape," he said. "And my coach, Dick Baker, for pulling me through. When the season started I was a psychological Disneyland. I was a basket case. Well, he nursed me through. Oh, and I'd like to thank Bill Barron, the sports publicity director. Everything I get credit for is his doing. For example, when we played Southern Cal I went to the free-throw line early in the game and someone in the stands yelled, "You're overrated, Smith.' That made me feel great because I didn't think anyone even knew who I was. Bill must have got the word out."
1. UCLA (14-0)
2. LONG BEACH STATE (14-1)
Two weeks ago when a fractured kneecap cost Texas Larry Robinson, its ace forward and last year's Southwest Conference player of the year, Coach Leon Black moaned: "There is simply no way to describe his value to our team." Now perhaps Black could find the right words. As defending champion, Texas opened conference play by losing to Baylor 85-79, and then Saturday was upended by Arkansas 76-72—at home. In the SWC nobody but nobodies lose at home and it didn't take long for the unbeatens to be reduced to two: Arkansas and Texas Tech. Arkansas' big gun is hotshot Guard Martin Terry, who hit for 29 against the Long-horns. Texas Tech had no problem easing past TCU 87-65 after starting the second half with only a six-point lead. In the Atlantic Coast Conference, Wake Forest threw a tight 2-1-2 zone at North Carolina and for 11 minutes everything went fine for the Demon Deacons. Then the Tarheels went into one of their patented explosions, scored five points in 13 seconds, and the 2-1-2 crumbled 99-80.
Against Duke the Tarheels fell behind by three at halftime, but dipped into their bench to get 20 points from John O'Donnell and won 82-71. North Carolina State had no problems against Clemson, winning 86-76, while Maryland spiked Navy's guns 76-67.
Vanderbilt, still trying to get untracked in the Southeastern Conference, heard Coach Roy Skinner warn that Mississippi State could be trouble. With 1:24 remaining the Commodores finally pushed to a 69-69 tie. But Mississippi State had the ball. "Hold for the last shot," ordered State Coach Kermit Davis. Freshman Rich Knarr missed the signal and, with 40 seconds left, missed a shot too. Down came Vandy's Lee Fowler with the ball. Fouled, Fowler sank two. A few seconds later he sank two more after another foul and Vandy pulled it out 75-69.
Kentucky, which had moved up into a tie for second place in the Southeastern Conference behind Alabama, ran into trouble against Tennessee and lost 65-64. Key to Tennessee's victory was Mike Edwards, a guard with a long memory and a hot hand. Last year Edwards missed a bonus free throw with four seconds to play and Kentucky won 67-66. This year Edwards pumped in 22 points, mostly on shots from 25 feet or deeper. "I didn't sleep much after that game last year," he said, "and it bugged me all during the off-season. People wouldn't let me forget." They will now.
1. N.C. STATE (13-0)
2. MARYLAND (11-1)