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Idaho State (7-8), using a full court press, led the Big Sky Conference after defeating Weber State 67-65. Weber also lost at Seattle 74-70 as Willie Sojourner, getting his usual 25 points, again looked lonesome.
1. USC (14-0)
In Philadelphia's noisy Palestra" unbeaten Penn downed 14th-ranked Villanova 78-70 for its 15th straight victory. As a standing-room crowd of 9,200 vibrated approval or dismay, the Quakers' stout offense, led by Guard Steve Bilsky, forced Villanova out of three different zones—a 1-2-2, a box-and-one and a triangle-and-two on Bob Morse and Dave Wohl. The win was the more impressive because Villanova shot 55.2% and led 39-34 at the half. But when the Quakers got the enemy into a man-to-man, it was their game. "I was almost amazed at the man-for-man," Bilsky said disdainfully. "Maybe they thought we'd hold the ball."
Shooting only 26 for 62, Penn also belted Temple, administrator of Fordham's only loss. Craig Littlepage, who had a lot of big nights in high school but found obscurity at Penn, scored six points at key moments (increasing his average to three per game) as his team won 62-48.
Villanova did beat St. Bonaventure soundly 80-67, even with Matt Gantt back in the Bonnies' lineup. Howie Porter, who pulled down 18 rebounds and scored 22 points, and Hank Siemiontkowski held Bonaventure's leading scorer, Greg Gary, to one field goal.
Massachusetts won its 11th without a loss by beating Boston U., but the Redmen finally fell to Providence by one point, 73-72, when they missed three shots in the last 18 seconds. One was by Julius Erving, the country's seventh leading scorer, who was held to 19 points. The Friars' sophomore guard, Ernie DiGregorio, scored 33 and set up numerous baskets.
Duquesne, beginning to look like the team it should have been two years ago, beat St. Bonaventure by a whopping 89-68 margin for the Dukes' sixth straight (including Monday's win in overtime over Notre Dame). Jarrett Durham led the Dukes with 25 points, 10 of them during a 16-point spurt that put the game away.
La Salle picked up easy wins over Niagara 96-79 and Lafayette 93-82.
1. PENN (15-0)