With 1:34 left and the score 64-all, Pitt decided to play for the final shot at Penn State. But with six seconds to go the Panthers lost the ball on a traveling violation. State inbounded to Ron Brown, who faked around Billy Knight and arched a 30-foot jumper that went through the net as the buzzer sounded. Thus was the nation's longest winning streak ended at 22. Brown, who hit on 14 of 20 field-goal attempts and finished with 32 points, was also tenacious on defense. While the rest of the Lions played a zone, Brown guarded Knight, limiting him to 12 points. Earlier, Pitt had made 11 of 12 foul shots in the last four minutes to hold off Temple 56-49 and Penn State beat West Virginia 83-63 behind Brown's 22 points.
"There isn't much you can do when he wants to play," said Rhode Island Coach Jack Kraft of Providence's Marvin Barnes. For a while it seemed that Barnes, the country's leading rebounder, was loath to play against the Rams. But after being tardy for pregame warmups, Barnes grabbed 23 rebounds and scored 23 of his 32 points in the second half as the Friars won another close one, 76-73. Kraft's postmortem: "It should be illegal for anyone to jump that high." Three nights later Barnes was the first Friar on court for warmups and had 23 points and 21 rebounds in a 112-86 win over Assumption.
"Their defense was immense," said Brown Coach Gerry Alaimo after losing an 89-72 game and a share of the Ivy League lead to Penn. Supplying much of the Quakers' oats was John Engles, who popped in 10 of 15 shots and had 22 points. Penn solidified its grip on first place by halting Yale 90-79 while Brown lost another, this one to Princeton's even more immense defense, 70-49.
March 3, 1974
About the only thing La Salle did wrong against Villanova was to show up with the wrong jerseys. Wearing borrowed shirts, the Explorers forced 27 turnovers, outrebounded the Wildcats 55-29 and won 104-66—the widest margin ever in Philly's Big Five play, which dates back to 1897. La Salle lost to Duquesne 81-63 and beat Rutgers 82-76.
After trailing Boston College 36-30 at the half, St. John's came out shooting and was on target with 79% of its attempts, winning 80-72. Leading the resurgence was Glen Williams, a freshman from the Virgin Islands, who sank seven shots in a row. Then, with Mel Utley canning 23 points, the Redmen downed Seton Hall 68-53. Massachusetts humiliated Maine 108-38 to win the Yankee Conference title, as the Black Bears made only 19% of their shots.
"The lights are so bright here that I had trouble shooting," said Dennis DuVal of Syracuse after an 80-60 win at Niagara. "I took one shot that went over the backboard." Once accustomed to the lights, DuVal scored 22 points. The Orange also held off George Washington 80-79.
Two other hotshots were Lee Hollerbach of Bridgeport and Ernie Farange of New Hampshire. Without realizing it, Hollerbach had eclipsed the NCAA record for consecutive field goals when his 21st straight shot broke the mark held by Notre Dame's John Shumate. In a 72-69 loss to Iona, he made it 22 before finally missing. As for Farange, he hurled one of those half-court desperation shots in the last two seconds—and in it went to nip Holy Cross 68-67.
1. PITTSBURGH (22-2)
2. PROVIDENCE (23-3)
When North Carolina State Coach Norm Sloan learned his team had taken over the No. 1 spot in the polls last week he wondered "if it would be detrimental or positive." His Wolfpack then went out and accentuated the positive, crunching Duke 113-87 with David Thompson getting 40 points and 14 rebounds. He again excelled in an 80-75 win over Clemson, scoring 14 of State's last 20 points and 35 in all. Thompson's final basket, which came with the Pack ahead 76-75, was a work of art. After teammate Moe Rivers had missed a layup, Thompson rebounded, flipped back out to Rivers, then took a sharp pass under the basket and sank a twisting reverse layup.
Bobby Jones poured in 47 points as North Carolina bopped Miami of Ohio 83-69 and Virginia 94-61. And Len Elmore had 48 as Maryland downed Duquesne 98-72 and Duke 64-61.
Tennessee Coach Ray Mears altered his defense while trying to make it look like the same 1-3-1 zone Vanderbilt had penetrated so easily while beating the Vols a month before. Offensively, Mears sought to exploit a flaw he said he detected in the Vandy zone in front of the basket. When it came time to execute, the Vols did: they shut off the Commodores' shooting room in the corners and, with Ernie Grunfeld taking close-in pot shots and scoring 23 points, the Vols stunned the Commodores 59-53. That left Vanderbilt, which had beaten Auburn 89-79, in a tie for the Southeastern Conference lead with Alabama. The Crimson Tide scored heavily to win twice, defeating LSU 99-87 and giving Kentucky its most humbling home loss since 1926, 94-71.
South Carolina took care of Virginia Tech 82-71, but Jacksonville, after topping Stetson 71-62, had its hopes for a tournament bid deflated by Furman 71-61. Florida State boosted its NIT chances by running away from South Alabama 105-63.
1. N.C. STATE (22-1)
2. MARYLAND (19-4)
With the score 65-65, New Mexico Coach Norm Ellenberger called time-out. Explaining his last-gasp strategy against Colorado State, he later said: "I did a little chalk work. Then I thought, 'What good is chalk with six seconds left?" My parting words were, 'Somebody shoot before six seconds tick off.' "So Pat King, who had not scored a field goal all night, complied and sank a jumper that gave the Lobos victory. Next night they defeated Wyoming 78-67 to earn a tie for the Western AC lead. Sharing the top spot was Arizona, which whomped Brigham Young 118-90, and set a WAC scoring mark by inundating Utah 122-92. A game behind the leaders were two-time winner Arizona State and Texas-El Paso. The Sun Devils overcame a 40-24 deficit to stop Utah 72-68 and downed BYU 100-77. The Miners also fought their way back from a 15-point disadvantage to defeat Wyoming 77-74 in overtime and then bounced Colorado State 58-46.
"We had intensity, something that's been lacking for a long time," said Coach John Wooden after UCLA resurrected itself by demolishing Washington State 93-68 and Washington 99-65. Keith Wilkes pumped in 31 points in the latter contest and Ralph Drollinger, the 7'1" fill-in for Bill Walton, was superb in both games when the redhead was in foul trouble or rested his knees. USC edged closer to the March 9 showdown against the Bruins for Pacific Eight honors. The Trojans beat Washington 79-64 and Washington State 86-59 as Guard Gus Williams established a new Southern Cal high for assists by raising his total for the season to 123.
San Francisco clinched at least a tie for the West Coast AC title by beating Loyola 76-60 and Pepperdine 68-55 while Seattle lost to Nevada-Reno 84-72 and Nevada-Las Vegas 85-75. Long Beach State won the Pacific Coast AC championship by blasting Cal State-Los Angeles 95-68 and Santa Barbara 98-61. Deadlocked atop the Big Sky Conference were Montana and Idaho State. The Grizzlies beat State 73-58 and, with Ken McKenzie getting the last two of his 28 points in the final second, stopped Boise State 58-56. Idaho State's Bengals regrouped by narrowly squeezing past Montana State 75-72.
Creighton, on the road as usual, beat Cal-Irvine 83-52 and Hawaii 63-59 before losing a rematch to the Rainbows 61-60.
1. UCLA (20-3)
2. LONG BEACH ST. (22-2)
Trailing Indiana (page 14) by one game in the Big Ten, Michigan sank 19 of its first 21 shots en route to a 111-84 victory over Purdue. Mike Robinson's three-point play with four seconds left made Michigan State a 73-70 winner over Northwestern. Some notable losing streaks ended: Illinois got past Iowa 91-84 to snap its longest ever at 11 games; and Wisconsin topped Ohio State 68-56 for its first conference road win in 15 tries and its first at Columbus since 1954.
With John Shumate zeroing in for 51 points and pulling down 27 rebounds, Notre Dame walloped Western Michigan 85-68 and West Virginia 108-80. Although playing only 29 minutes against the Mountaineers, Adrian Dantley grabbed 12 rebounds, had five steals and 41 points.
Another independent, Marquette, beat Manhattan 73-59 and Detroit 61-53. Memphis State, however, lost to Drake 95-86 and to Bradley 94-81. And Cincinnati, after clipping Xavier 68-56, lost to Davidson 67-62.
Few people listened a short while ago when Texas Coach Leon Black insisted that Texas Tech had not yet sewed up the Southwest Conference title—it had only a two-game lead over his Longhorns. Now many more are listening, for Texas upended Tech 75-74 and Texas A&M 88-81. Larry Robinson of the Longhorns had 30 points against Tech and 34 against the Aggies. And Harry Larrabee doubled his 13-point average with 26 in the A&M game. Said Aggie Coach Shelby Metcalf of Larrabee: "He's the smartest player in the conference. From the shoulders up, he's an All-American."
Kansas State, which used a man-to-man defense against Oklahoma when it lost its only Big Eight contest, resorted to a 2-1-2 zone and full-court press this time and came away with a 90-67 win. That kept the Wildcats half a game up on Kansas, which also roughed up the Sooners, 98-80.
Ohio U. assured itself of at least a tie for the Mid-American title when it squeaked past Central Michigan 79-78 in overtime. One game back were Toledo, which routed Miami of Ohio 81-68, and Bowling Green, which beat Western Michigan 68-63.
Louisville and Bradley knocked off St. Louis by scores of 93-85 and 92-80 respectively. For sheer scoring power, nobody surpassed Illinois State, which gobbled up Northern Illinois 130-93. Robert (Bubbles) Hawkins erased Doug Collins' Redbird record by one as he poured in 58 points.
1. NOTRE DAME (22-1)
2. MARQUETTE (21-3)