St. John's (page 48) and Columbia each won twice, easily and impressively. The Lions put down Georgetown 103-62 and Niagara 107-84 as Jim McMillian scored 48 points, Roger Walaszek 47 and Heyward Dotson 42. Calvin Murphy of Niagara had one of his poorest shooting nights of the season (13 of 40), but added 21 foul shots against Columbia for a total of 47 points.
Jim McDaniels of Western Kentucky had 36 points, not good enough to keep La Salle from winning 88-81. But 32 points and 22 rebounds by John Fultz gave Rhode Island an 81-72 win over Vermont.
1. NOTRE DAME (12-2)
2. PURDUE (9-2)
3. OHIO STATE (9-2)
"He's the best opponent I've faced all year," said Detroit's Spencer Haywood of 6'10" Luther Rackley of Xavier. Until he got into foul trouble, Rackley had outscored Haywood 21-14. After that, Haywood had a lark, winding up with 34 points as the Titans won 98-84.
Kansas, which lost the Orange Bowl football game when it was discovered it had an illegal 12th man on the field, played for more than a minute with a player who had fouled out and still dropped a vital Big Eight contest to Iowa State 78-72. First-place Colorado (4-0) defeated Kansas State 73-69. Tulsa remained atop the Missouri Valley, beating St. Louis 89-66 and Memphis State 70-69, thanks to a tip-in by Larry Cheatham in the waning moments. It was the fifth loss in the last 10 seconds for the Tigers, who have dropped five MVC games by a total of six points. Drake stopped Cincinnati 69-64.
Murray State and Western Kentucky were tied for the Ohio Valley lead. The Thoroughbreds held off Middle Tennessee 70-68, while the Hilltoppers beat Morehead 87-86. Tom Slater's only field goal came with 44 seconds to go, and it gave Miami of Ohio a 71-69 Mid-American win over Bowling Green. Earlier, the Redskins downed Ohio U. 67-53. Kent State beat Bowling Green 59-54, Western Michigan 93-63 and outsider Florida State 76-67.
Sophomore Forward Jim Cleamons had 31 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as Ohio State padded its Big Ten lead with a 98-85 win against Michigan. "Cleamons," said Michigan's John Orr, "wasn't just great; he was super great. He drove, shot, rebounded, passed off, did everything."
Independents Dayton and Notre Dame won twice, the Flyers stopping Louisville 69-67 and DePaul 86-83, the Irish beating Air Force 88-53 and Detroit 84-77.