SI Vault
 
BASKETBALL'S WEEK
Mervin Hyman
March 02, 1959
THE SOUTH
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
March 02, 1959

Basketball's Week

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

11

Ron Hannon

G

6-0

13

Mike Brady

G

6-1

21

Lee Sager

F

6-5

23

Jim Klosek

C

6-4

33

Darryle Kouns

G

6-2

35

Joe Bobula

F

6-0

41

Chuck Darby

F

6-2

43

Ross Gagliano

F

6-3

51

Bob Strauss

F

6-5

55

Fred Kaiser

G

5-11

THE SOUTH

The pressure was on at Lexington, and Auburn's Tigers, licking their chops after 30 straight victories, acted more like tabby cats as they lost to wily Kentucky 75-56. Using a jaw-to-jaw man-to-man, the Wildcats reduced the Auburn shuffle, which sets up a continual screen to force the opposition to switch on defense, to a mere walk and dropped the Tigers into a first-place SEC tie with Mississippi State, winner over Georgia 76-56 and LSU 75-67. Johnny Cox outjostled the smallish Tigers off the boards (see right) and tossed 18 points into the Kentucky pot while sophomore Billy Lickert held Auburn's frustrated Rex Frederick to five points and scored 18 of his own. Explained Coach Adolph Rupp: "We just stayed with them. We made them make a lot of mistakes they didn't want to make....It was superb defense."

North Carolina needed 10 points in the last two minutes by York Larese and Lee Shaffer to put down a late North Carolina State surge and shake off its most persistent pursuer 74-67 at Chapel Hill. But Coach Frank McGuire had a complaint about his Tar Heels: "They don't have the killer instinct. They're too nice." Three nights later, the league leaders were indeed too polite and found themselves upset by mediocre Maryland 69-51, as Jerry Bechtle scored 28 points.

West Virginia continued its ownership of the Southern Conference, drubbing VMI 91-55 and George Washington 89-86 for its fifth straight unbeaten league season. But the Mountaineers must do it all over again this week in the conference tournament to earn an NCAA bid. Eastern Kentucky, however, had its NCAA ticket after squeezing by Western Kentucky 72-70 to clinch the Ohio Valley crown.

THE EAST

Dartmouth placed one impatient foot on the threshold of the Ivy League championship, trapping Princeton 71-59 at Hanover for its 14th straight. The Indians stifled the Tigers with a choking zone and late freeze as Rudy La Russo, a jack rabbiting 6-7, dominated the boards and the scoring. But the Tigers still have a chance to get even when the two teams meet again Friday night at Princeton.

Navy moved toward its year-end tussle with Army (see page 8), whomping Georgetown 72-47 and Pitt 80-55, while the Cadets, after beating Williams 93-77, lost to slick Manhattan 94-77; St. Joseph's outhustled Bucknell 87-64 and La Salle 70-63 to all but clinch the Mid-Atlantic title; Providence surprised NIT-bound St. Bona venture 53-50; NYU and Fordham were tapped by the NIT after the late-blooming Violets bombed Villanova 78-60 and the Rams edged Canisius 66-62. Fordham also beat Detroit 93-73.

THE MIDWEST

The fight was practically over in the Big Ten when Michigan State, the league's shortest-standing and tallest-jumping team, polished off Northwestern 71-68 and Purdue 94-87 to open up a cozy three-game bulge over the field. It was the same in the Big Eight, where Kansas State gained a near lock on the crown by beating Oklahoma 78-55 and Oklahoma State 62-50 for its 17th in a row.

Cincinnati was almost, but not quite, out of the woods in the Missouri Valley after Bradley snipped St. Louis' 14-game winning string 72-65 and Houston also caught the Billikens with their rebounds down and shocked them 64-57. Meanwhile, Cincinnati overpowered Miami (O.) 102-73 and Wichita 88-74 as Oscar Robertson piled up 77 points, but the Bearcats still must face second-place Bradley and St. Louis. NCAA-bound Marquette downed Xavier 79-70.

Continue Story
1 2