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Although Penn continued to dominate the East, Fordham extended its unbeaten string to 12 with a 102-78 smashing of Holy Cross. Kevin Stacom of the taller Crusaders scored 28 points, but Charlie Yelverton's 16 and a total of 36 points from two sophomores, Bart Woytowicz and Ken Charles, more than compensated.
St. Bonaventure, still operating without its most effective player, Matt Gantt, had to go without its other center, Tom Bald-win, against Kent State, conquerer of Purdue at Lafayette and loser of only three games by a total of just six points. The Bonnies won anyway 85-68. Unfortunately, three days earlier they were knocked off the undefeated list by Detroit, whose 7-5 record belies its fast improvement. Reviewing a defective first half, Detroit changed to a man-to-man defense from a zone, thereby overcoming an 11-point deficit and winning 75-73. "We're proving we can play under pressure." Detroit Coach, Jim Harding said. Then he almost lost to Loyola of Chicago and added, "But a lot of it is self-instigated."
Undismayed by subzero temperatures and a big dedication-night crowd at North Dakota State's new fieldhouse, Villanova scorched North Dakota 103-63 and North Dakota State 94-61. State was able to shoot over Villanova's zone in the first half, but when the zone began collapsing against the drive-and-fade jump shooters, the Dakotans were smothered.
Villanova had less trouble in giving St. Peter's the gate. The Wildcats ran past St. Peter's so quickly, in fact, that they looked like the Villanova track team off to an early start in the indoor season. "Where's the defense?" St. Peter's Coach Don Kennedy kept screaming. What defense? St. Peter's, giving up an average of 98 points going into the game, lost 118-84. Said Villanova's Jack Kraft about the Peacocks' one-way game: "Let's say they gamble on your missing."
Brown was eased out of an almost unprecedented Ivy League lead by Columbia 79-74. Previously a loser only to high-ranked South Carolina and Tennessee, Providence was beaten rather soundly by Boston College 83-71. Coach Dave Gavitt, who had implied before the game, perhaps a trifle too broadly, that Providence was the best team in New England, was reduced to saying afterward, "At least we'll never have to face Jimmy O'Brien again." O'Brien, the Eagle captain, scored 28 points. Boston College has now upset: Providence; Harvard at Boston Garden; St. John's at Jamaica, Queens and Davidson on its Charlotte court. Or is upset the correct word? Undefeated Massachusetts (10-0) was idle.
La Salle, now 9-1, walked away from Temple with a 63-58 victory when the Owls committed four turnovers and managed to hit just one field goal in the last four minutes. Niagara salvaged a 61-55 victory over Canisius in Buffalo, changing from a zone to a man-to-man in the last eight minutes to forestall a Canisius slowdown.
1. PENN (11-0)