South Carolina looked as though it might be able to challenge North Carolina for the Atlantic Coast Conference title. The Gamecocks won the Quaker City Tournament in Philadelphia 62-59 by slowing down La Salle's hurry-up offense, and then won their ACC opener from Clemson 77-62. In winning the Quaker City affair, South Carolina used only five players, four of them sophomores. One of those youngsters—John Roche—had 24 points and eight assists against La Salle and won the MVP award.
1. ST. JOHN'S (9-2)
2. VILLANOVA (8-1)
3. COLUMBIA (9-1)
Frank Gillen took a shot he did not want. The result was a 68-67 Villanova victory over St. Bonaventure. With four seconds left and the Bonnies in front 67-66, the Wildcats missed a foul shot. Jim McIntosh of the Wildcats strained for the rebound and tapped it back to Gillen. "I just wanted to go up in all that traffic and get fouled," Gillen said later. "I didn't expect to get a shot off. But I had a chance, so I shot." The Wildcats, trying earlier to contain Bob Lanier of the Bonnies, boxed him away from the backboard with two and sometimes three men, floating one man in front of him. Still, Lanier sank 11 of 15 shots. Exercising somewhat similar strategy, the Bonnies had overplayed Villanova's Johnny Jones in the first half. Jones scored just one point during that time, but Howard Porter got 14. In the second half, the Bonnies eased up on Jones and worked over Porter, only to have Jones plunk in 16 points and Porter another 11.
La Salle won a ball game—89-68 against Hofstra—but lost a ball player, Ken Durrett, a 6'7" sophomore with a scoring touch. He injured his right knee in the game and if he suffered torn ligaments—as it is feared—he will be through for the season.
Jack McKinney gave his St. Joseph's team a pep talk with 6:36 left and Indiana leading 67-60 in a game to settle third place in the Quaker City Tournament. "You have to do it now," McKinney implored his players. "It has to come from your guts." After his Hawks had outscored the Hoosiers 17-1, McKinney said, "That is 'superstomach' play, to stick in there that long." Mike Hauer's 36 points did not hurt the Hawks' cause, either, in their 80-72 win.
Princeton rallied, too, coming from nine points back in the last 10 minutes to defeat Penn 59-56 as Jeff Petrie scored 14 of the Tigers' last 18 points. The next day the Tigers stopped Army 51-42, making it the fourth straight loss for the Cadets—their longest losing streak since 1956-57. Twenty-seven points by Jim McMillian carried Columbia to its ninth win in 10 games, a 79-52 victory over Cornell. A string of 14 consecutive points in the second half helped Temple to beat Navy 92-68. Providence, however, had to labor through three overtimes before downing Canisius 88-84.
1. UCLA (9-0)
2. SANTA CLARA (12-0)
3. NEW MEXICO STATE (11-0)
UCLA had the distinction of winning on both coasts, taking the Holiday Festival final at Madison Square Garden by defeating St. John's 74-56 and beating Tulane at home 96-64. The Redmen gave the Bruins a hard time in the first half, trailing only 31-27. Then MVP Lew Alcindor, who had 30 points, got busy in the second half and the Bruins pulled away. Against the Green Wave, Alcindor was charged with a technical foul after he protested a foul by throwing the ball in the air. Coach John Wooden promptly benched him, with 12:30 left, but by that time he had 34 points.