1. ST. BONAVENTURE (12-0)
2. COLUMBIA (10-3)
3. LA SALLE (11-3)
The pot was boiling at Niagara. While Villanova's well-designed zone defenses were holding Calvin Murphy to 24 points, lowest of his career, and the Wildcats were beating the Purple Eagles 74-57, some Niagara students broke out MALONEY MUST go and WIN DESPITE JIM signs. Three days later Coach Jim Maloney resigned, effective at the end of the season, charging he had been hampered in recruiting and scheduling by Athletic Director Taps Gallagher. That stirred Murphy and his teammates against Canisius. Calvin fired in 48 points, Manny Leaks pulled down 14 rebounds and Niagara won 95-74. "We promised the coach we would win for him," said Murphy. "I was psyched," claimed Leaks.
St. Bonaventure had no such problems. Everybody was happy after the unbeaten Bonnies smeared DePaul 77-67. Especially 6'11" sophomore Bob Lanier, who scored 25 points, blocked eight shots and had 14 rebounds and six steals.
Some other independents were beginning to flex their muscles, too. St. John's, after a 65-61 overtime win over Georgetown, buried St. Francis 83-50. Boston College rallied to beat Boston U. 102-80, while Army, surviving a cold spell, outlasted Fordham 67-65.
Philadelphia basketball was acquiring that old look. La Salle routed Loyola in New Orleans 70-51, and then, with Larry Cannon scoring 30 points and Bernie Williams 26, the Explorers poured it on Syracuse 105-81. Temple beat Penn 72-64 and Wake Forest 84-73, and St. Joseph's defeated Xavier of Ohio 71-60 and Mount St. Mary's 80-66.
Dartmouth tried a slowdown against Princeton, but lost anyway 59-39. However, the Indians must have learned something. Next time out they beat Penn 56-54 for their first win. And Princeton trounced Harvard 99-71. But Columbia (page 22) was the Ivy League's biggest worry. The Lions battered Colgate 94-68.
1. HOUSTON (16-0)
2. NEW MEXICO STATE (14-2)
3. TEXAS AT EL PASO (10-2)
The big talk in Houston, naturally, was about next week's game in the Astrodome between No. 1-ranked UCLA and No. 2 Houston. Meanwhile the unbeaten Cougars made it 16 straight. With Elvin Hayes scoring 31 points, they trampled West Texas State 98-53.