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BASKETBALL'S WEEK
Herman Weiskopf
January 20, 1969
EAST
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January 20, 1969

Basketball's Week

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EAST

1. ST. JOHN'S (10-2)
2. VILLANOVA (10-1)
3. COLUMBIA (11-1)

Howard Porter of Villanova, emerging as the finest sophomore in the East, was almost too good for his team's good. The 6'8" center scored 36 points and pulled down 26 rebounds in an 87-62 victory over St. Joseph's, but in snaring one of those rebounds his flailing elbow struck teammate Johnny Jones, breaking his glasses, cutting his face and sidelining him for most of the last half. It was, in so many fighting words, a typical Big Five wing-do. The mascots had to be separated after the St. Joseph's Hawk knocked the head off the Villanova Wildcat and then cowered as the Wildcat whipped him with his tail.

Zone defenses, fast becoming the trend across the country, helped contain high-scoring Calvin Murphy of Niagara. Murphy, who began the week with a 38-point average, was forced into the middle by a 2-1-2 zone used by Canisius and scored only 16 points. That was good enough to carry Canisius to a 70-60 upset. Villanova also zoned Murphy and double-teamed him when he got the ball. Murphy got 26 points; but Porter had 23 before being hurt, and the Wildcats had a 73-68 win.

Providence destroyed the zone the best way possible as Jim Larranaga and Vic Collucci scored from long range to defeat St. Bonaventure 70-59. The Bonnies came back to beat St. Francis 88-65, but Providence lost its next game to Boston College 90-84.

A strong second half enabled St. John's to defeat Seton Hall 66-45 despite 34 points by Mel Knight. The Pirates later ended a five-game losing streak by overcoming Army's usually fine defense, scoring on 66% of their shots for an 81-66 victory.

Injured Ken Durrett of La Salle, described as definitely out, proved very much in. He scored 46 points as the Explorers beat Creighton 103-84 and Syracuse 83-63. Another hot shooter from Philadelphia was Temple's Joe Cromer, who had 35 points in a 107-83 rout of Penn. "I didn't shoot like Joe Cromer, I shot out of my mind," said Cromer, who spent a week last year at a basketball camp run by Penn Coach Dick Harter. Duquesne stopped Creighton 66-59.

Columbia climbed atop the Ivy League with a 4-0 record after beating Yale 71-49, and Brown, which led until the final minute and a half, 54-52. Princeton and Penn both beat Dartmouth and Harvard.

After 10 straight losses Connecticut surprised Syracuse 103-84 and, despite John Fultz's 46 points, Rhode Island 102-92. Holy Cross, which beat Rhode Island 82-61, was upset by Fordham 61-59 when Bill Mainor sank a jump shot with two seconds left.

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