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Sluggish after losing to UCLA, Providence was tied by Massachusetts at halftime but finished in a frenzy to win 91-78. Then, after what Coach Dave Gavitt labeled the worst practice he's ever seen, the Friars went on East Coast TV, hit on their first nine shots from the field, used five different defenses and needed it all to stave off Jacksonville 87-84.
Steve Hocker, St. Bonaventure's 5'9" sophomore guard, took the first shot against Canisius and scored. In the first half he tried only one more. At intermission Coach Larry Weise told him: "Start firing. Shoot any time you're open." Hocker did, scoring seven of 10 more from the floor, and the Bonnies won 68-58.
Four minutes into a game against Canisius, Boston College Coach Bob Zuffelato called for a new ball. "That one is lopsided," he stormed. It didn't help. Canisius drew away in the second half and went on to an easy 78-58 victory.
"We're playing much better," said Holy Cross Coach George Blaney. The Crusaders had won four straight to bring their record to 8-8 and the school announced plans for a new 5,000-seat basketball arena. But then Holy Cross took on Boston University, committed eight straight turnovers during one stretch and was upset 75-66.
The Palestra in Philadelphia is a musty old brick arena. To Phil Hankinson, a Penn senior, it is Camelot. "I remember my first visit there four years ago," he said. "It was empty but my imagination filled in the rest." Imagine this: 16 points for Hankinson, 16 rebounds and real strong defense to lead Penn over La Salle 57-45 and to a fourth straight Big Five championship.
Temple Guard Rick Trudeau turned on his radio and heard that Coach Harry Litwack was retiring after the season. "He's a great coach and deserves a great season." Inspired, Trudeau had a career high of 21 points as Temple won 71-50 over Pitt.
Joe DiCocco went in against Duquesne with a pale 61.7% average from the foul line, and with 1:38 to play in a tight game the La Salle junior was 0 for 3 from the line. "I thought if they were going to foul anybody, it would be me," he said. Duquesne did, DiCocco twice converted one-and-one tries and La Salle won 69-67. So much for high-level strategy.
1. PROVIDENCE (12-2)