Air Force, California and Nebraska all flew to Morgantown, W. Va. for the Mountaineer Classic. There, with John Coughran dropping in 25 points and clearing the boards 19 times, California won the championship game from West Virginia 63-51.
Philadelphia's Palestra also had visitors for a tripleheader, only one of whom went away a winner. That was Oregon State, whose coach, Ralph Miller, confessed he became a "raving maniac" as he watched his boys blow all but one point of a 10-point lead before regrouping for a 56-50 win over Temple. In the other games, La Salle held off Biscayne 69-67 and Penn put down The Citadel 67-34. La Salle prevailed, thanks to the improved shooting of Frank Doyle, who sank eight of 14 shots after correcting a hitch in his jumper. As for Penn, it overcame a stall by The Citadel, which kept the score down to 6-6 after the first 7:12 before committing nine quick turnovers.
Upstate New York teams had mixed results. Cornell toppled Penn State 74-65 for its first home victory in a year, then was brushed off by Colgate 77-68. Despite 40 turnovers, Maryland enjoyed its visit to Canisius, where Tom McMillen accounted for 32 points in a 107-80 romp. St. Bonaventure beat Thomas More 98-87 and Bowling Green 83-70 but lost 73-70 to Georgetown in overtime. The touring Falcons then played Niagara, and the light-fingered Purple Eagles stole the ball 17 times en route to a heavy-handed 100-77 win. Earlier, Niagara lost 67-62 to Villanova, which rose to 3-0, outbattling tough Philadelphia Textile 69-59. American U. took a 20-9 lead over Syracuse, then wilted away 84-73.
Bill Kapler of Princeton did not take a shot against Rutgers but he had a large hand in the Tigers' 51-47 victory. Kapler repeatedly blocked shots by high-voltage freshman Phil Sellers, who missed 13 of 18 and wound up with 17 points.
LIU ended little Bentley's 28-game regular-season victory streak 82-78, Iona stopped Army 82-64, Harvard took Spring-field 122-98 and Fordham beat Yale 95-81. Providence got 25 points from Ernie DiGregorio as it opened with a 94-58 laugher over St. Francis of Brooklyn, and Fairfield, the area's most improved team, remained undefeated with wins over two St. Francises, of Brooklyn and Loretto, Pa.
1. PROVIDENCE (1-0)
2. PENN (3-0)
Following Tennessee's 56-30 loss at Marquette, Vol Coach Ray Mears said he felt the Warriors were capable of beating anyone. "Their pressure defense is better than anything I've seen UCLA play," Mears said. But the Warriors were less impressive against Memphis State, nearly wasting away a 16-point lead before hanging on 72-69.
Evangelist Oral Roberts forgot the benediction at the dedication ceremonies for the Titans' new $11 million arena. As for the players, they almost forgot how to win, though they did take all three games at home, beating Wisconsin 90-76, Idaho State 95-82 and Murray State 79-78. Wisconsin led the Titans by 12 points, only to have David Vaughn rally his team with 17 straight points. Idaho State outrebounded the Titans, who led the nation in that department a year ago, but Richard Fuqua salvaged that game with 31 points.
John Brown of Missouri did it all. In a 55-second span against Purdue, he broke open the game by sinking a hook shot, driving in for a layup and then picking up a loose ball, and putting in another. Brown finished with 35 as the Tigers won 84-75. Later against Ohio State, the 6'7" Brown brought 7' Luke Witte to earth, outscoring him 24-9 as the Tigers won their fifth in a row 69-62.