1. PROVIDENCE (12-1)
2. ST. JOHN'S (10-3)
3. ST. JOSEPH'S (13-3)
The first thing a small but typically noisy band of St. Joseph's rooters did when they trooped into St. John's Alumni Hall last week was to unfurl the inevitable banner: THE HAWK FLIES HIGHER THAN THE DOVE. As it turned out, ST. JOHN'S skinny 6-foot-7 Sonny Dove flew higher than any Hawk. He scored 28 points, picked off 24 rebounds and, along with 6-foot-6 Bobby McIntyre and 6-foot-7 sophomore Rudy Bogad, took the boards away from smaller St. Joe's. What's more, the Redmen surprisingly—and easily—solved the Hawks' multiple defenses, including their usually effective presses. St. John's strategy was impeccable. Against the presses, hustling little Al Swartz moved right into the double team and then quickly passed off to the free man. Against the zones, Swartz got the ball to Dove and McIntyre (he scored 25 points) in the corners, and they shot over the frustrated Hawks. Even St. Joe's man-to-man was no problem.
Meanwhile, St. John's own sturdy man-to-man defense held flashy playmaker Matt Guokas and the other Hawks down until the Redmen made their move midway in the second half. Then Dove, McIntyre and Swartz pulled St. John's away for a startling 82-72 upset. When it was all over, first-year Coach Lou Carnesecca could hardly contain himself. "They were fantastic, the greatest," he gushed. St. Joseph's Jack Ramsay had no excuses. "They handled pressure better than we thought they could," he admitted. "They just beat us all the way."
St. Joseph's game was better when the Hawks got back to Philadelphia's Palestra. Guokas' skillful passes were back on target; Cliff Anderson, the 6-foot-4 jumping jack, consistently plucked away rebounds from Penn's taller players and scored 23 points; Billy Oakes flipped in 19 and St. Joe's beat the stubborn Quakers 79-69. TEMPLE, the other Philly hotshot, put sophomore Clarence Brookins in the backcourt against Manhattan and he got the Owls moving. The meticulous Jaspers, playing their beautifully disciplined pattern offense, had Temple in a 52-52 tie with 10 minutes to go. But Brookins and big Jim Williams rattled off 10 quick points and that finished off Manhattan. Temple, now 14-2, won 76-66.
Some other eastern independents also bolstered their already substantial records. FAIRFIELD (12-1) trounced Southern Connecticut 90-58 for its 12th straight; PENN STATE (10-3) beat Pitt 66-62; ST. BONAVENTURE (10-3) edged Canisius 80-76; ARMY (10-4) ran over Colgate 97-60; DUQUESNE (9-4) sneaked past La Salle 79-77; RUTGERS (8-3) defeated Fordham 62-57.
Providence was idle but Coach Joe Mullaney took the opportunity to dispel some notions about his Friars. "We're not the fourth-best team in the country," he said, referring to Providence's rating in the national polls. "We're not even as good as we were last year. But I'd like to get one thing straight. We've got a good team, not a one-man gang. Jimmy Walker does what he's supposed to do. He's not really any better than he was last year—it's just that we have to call on him more." And, Mullaney might have added, it is a pleasure.
1. DUKE (14-1)
2. KENTUCKY (12-0)
3. VANDERBILT (14-2)
While unbeaten Kentucky and Vanderbilt rested, a couple of SEC rivals jockeyed for position behind them. But Tennessee, once considered a likely challenger, was just about out of the race. The Vols, for all their precise gamesmanship, lost their fourth league game, to AUBURN 51-46. The Tigers went along with Tennessee's deliberate style and played it even better than the Vols. Tee Faircloth, Ronnie Quick and Lee Defore simply beat Tennessee to the boards and the basket. Auburn took Alabama, too, 90-71, for third place behind Vanderbilt while FLORIDA, a 65-52 winner over Georgia, and idle Mississippi State also had one loss apiece.