COLLEGE BASKETBALL—FLORIDA SOUTHERN defeated Mount St. Mary's of Maryland 73-68 in Springfield, Mass. to win the NCAA Division II title.
Potsdam (N.Y.) State won the NCAA Division III championship with a 67-65 overtime victory over Augustana College of Illinois in Rock Island, Ill.
Westark Community College of Fort Smith, Ark. beat Lincoln (Ill.) College 67-50 in Hutchinson, Kans. to win the national junior-college title.
Louisburg (N.C.) College won the women's national junior-college title by defeating Moberly (Mo.) Junior College 65-63 at Overland Park, Kans.
PRO BASKETBALL—While Boston and Philadelphia. Nos. 1 and 1A in the Atlantic Division, were seesawing as the team with the best record in the NBA, it was New York that was playing like a champ. Shooting 59% from the field, the Knicks upset the 76ers 120—109 and then staged their best defensive effort of the season in beating Indiana 114-89. Three more triumphs followed, running New York's victory streak to six, and Michael Ray Richardson was the standout in all three. In a 116-103 triumph over Central Division champion Milwaukee (page 46), Richardson scored 28 points; at Indiana he got 26 in a 110-107 win; and in a 119-105 victory over Cleveland he had 27 points, 19 assists and 15 rebounds. The 76ers went from their embarrassing loss at New York to a humiliating one, 126-120 in overtime at New Jersey, the Nets getting 28 points from Mike Newlin (page 28). Boston, with triumphs over New Jersey (133-125) and Washington (112-91 and 128-116) and a loss to Atlanta (108-97), was half a game ahead of Philly at week's end. In the Western Conference, Golden State was still fighting for a postseason berth. The Warriors lost 114-112 in overtime to Midwest Division champion San Antonio on Spur Paul Griffin's two free throws with a second left in OT. After beating Houston 118-117 on Bernard King's jump shot with four seconds remaining, Golden State lost to San Diego 139-113 and defeated Phoenix 114-105. That kept the Suns' magic number for clinching the Pacific Division title at two.
BOWLING—MARSHALL HOLMAN defeated Wayne Webb 181-168 to win a $100,000 PBA tournament in Overland Park, Kans.
BOXING—SALVADOR SANCHEZ retained his WBC featherweight title with a tenth-round TKO of Roberto Castanon in Las Vegas.
FENCING—THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA won the NCAA title, defeating defending champion Wayne State 113-111 in Kenosha, Wis. PAUL FRIEDBERG of Penn finished first in the individual sabre competition, while GIL PEZZA and ERNEST SIMON of Wayne State won the èpèe and foil titles, respectively.
GOLF—DONNA CAPONI defeated Pat Bradley by three strokes to win a $200,000 LPGA tournament in Las Vegas. She shot a three-under-par 286.
HOCKEY—After losing 4-2 to Boston, which got two goals by Rick Middleton (page 42), Hartford defeated Montreal 9-3, tying the highest goal total allowed by the Canadiens over the last 11 seasons. Three nights later, Montreal let Dave (Tiger) Williams of Vancouver know that he shouldn't have said what he said—an anti-French-Canadian slur—following the Canuck-Canadien game on Dec. 17. On the first shift of their rematch, Williams high-sticked Montreal's Chris Nilan, who gave Williams the butt end of his stick in return. Later, Guy Lapointe and Mario Tremblay simultaneously crunched Williams, who then high-sticked Canadiens Goaltender Richard Sevigny. Ninety-eight penalty minutes worth of fighting ensued. On his way to the penalty box after a shouting match in the second period, Williams got involved in another brawl when he and Tremblay went at one another. In all, there were 186 minutes in penalties handed out in the game, and Montreal won 5-3. In the second period of Buffalo's 14-4 victory over Toronto, the Sabres scored nine goals, to set an NHL single-period record. Wayne Gretzky had four assists in Edmonton's 5-3 defeat of Minnesota, the tying goal in a 1-1 deadlock with the North Stars and one goal and four assists in a 6-6 draw with Los Angeles to bring his point total to 145. That left him just seven short of the NHL record set in 1970-71 by Phil Esposito, with seven games left to play. Mike Bossy of the Islanders was also chasing an Esposito record: 76 goals in a season. With eight games remaining, his total stood at 65. With a 6-2 loss to Toronto and a 3-3 tie with Washington, first-place St. Louis' margin over the Islanders—once as many as seven points—had shrunk to three.
HORSE RACING—SUN CATCHER ($5.40), Alonzo Guajardo up, defeated Prince Majestic by a length to win the $168,050 New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds. The 4-year-old ran the 1¼ miles in 2:03[2/5].
Nell's Briquette ($10.20), ridden by Bill Shoemaker, beat Bee a Scout by three-quarters of a length to win the $138,800 Santa Susana Stakes at Santa Anita. The 3-year-old filly covered the 1[1/16]th miles in 1:42[4/5].
MOTOR SPORTS—The team of HURLEY HAYWOOD, BRUCE LEVEN and AL HOLBERT, averaging 106.044 mph over the 5.2-mile course, won the 12 Hours of Sebring (Fla.) endurance race in a Porsche Turbo.
SWIMMING—TEXAS won the AIAW championship in Columbia, S.C., defeating Stanford 587.5 to 545.5 on the strength of five firsts by the Longhorns' Jill Sterkel—the most ever at the AIAW meet. Two of her times, 22:41 in the 50-yard free and 53.10 in the 100-yard butterfly, were good for American records. STANFORD set U.S. women's marks in the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays, with times of 1:31.12 and 3:19.70, respectively, and NORTH CAROLINA swam the 200-yard medley relay in a record 1:42.63.
TENNIS—JIMMY CONNORS defeated Gene Mayer 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 to win a $175,000 tournament in Rotterdam.
Chris Evert Lloyd beat Mima Jausovec 6-4, 6-4 to win a $150,000 tournament in Boston.
TRACK & FIELD—WILLIE BANKS set an American triple jump record of 56'7¾" in Los Angeles, surpassing the mark of 56'6¾" set by James Butts in 1978.
MILEPOSTS—CLEARED: By a jury in Maricopa County (Ariz.) Superior Court, former Arizona State Football Coach FRANK KUSH, 52; of claims of battery against and misrepresentation of a scholarship situation to former Sun Devil player Kevin Rutledge.
NAMED: As coach of the New Jersey Nets, effective at the end of this season, LARRY BROWN, 40, who guided UCLA to a 42-17 record over the last two seasons, to replace Bob MacKinnon, who will become the Nets' general manager. Bruins Assistant LARRY FARMER, 30, was named as Brown's successor at UCLA.
RETIRED: As of the end of this season, Center WES UNSELD, 35, after leading the Baltimore, Capital and Washington Bullets to the playoffs in 12 of his 13 seasons with the team and to the NBA championship in 1977-78. Unseld, who was the league's MVP and Rookie of the Year in 1968-69, has been offered a vice-presidency of the Bullets and Capital Centre.
SIGNED: To a five-year, $2.9 million contract with the Chicago White Sox, Catcher CARLTON FISK, 32, who batted .284 over 11 seasons with Boston.
DIED: PAUL D. (Daffy) DEAN, 67, star pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1934 to 1939 and brother of Jay Hanna (Dizzy) Dean; of a heart attack; in Springdale, Ark. He pitched a no-hitter and two World Series victories in his rookie year. His lifetime record was 50-34 with a 3.75 ERA.
James F. (Jumbo) Elliott, 67, the track coach at Villanova University since 1935; of a heart attack; in Juno Beach, Fla.
Irving Jaffee, 74, who won the 10,000-meter speed-skating title at the 1928 Olympics in St. Moritz and the 5,000 and 10,000 at the 1932 Winter Games in Lake Placid; of cancer; in La Jolla, Calif.
Frank C. (Trader) Lane, 85, baseball's man in motion who, between 1933 and 1979, was business manager, general manager or scout for 11 major league teams; after a long illness; in Richardson, Texas. It was estimated that during his career he worked out more than 300 deals involving more than 700 players.