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Geoff Bommer stood still as Fogle made his rushes to the basket, and by the end of the first half Fogle was playing with three fouls against him. He drew a fourth early in the second half. Although he finished the game and scored 33 points, he was forced away from the offensive boards and Charlotte won handily 99-83.
1. PROVIDENCE (8-2)
Forced to play without Tom McMillen, whose father died, Maryland looked to Len Elmore to take up the slack. The tall center, who warned future opponents a month ago that they would have to suffer for his team's disappointing one-point loss to UCLA, kept his promise by scoring 28 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in a 102-75 rout of Holy Cross in the first round of the Maryland Invitational. The Terrapins disposed of Boston College 58-37 in the finals.
Another UCLA victim, N.C. State, as determined to reassert itself as Maryland, took the Sugar Bowl tournament in grand style. David Thompson, cool against the Uclans, pumped in 60 points in easy-riding victories over Villanova and talented Memphis State. North Carolina warmed up for this week's Big Four showdown (State, Wake Forest and Duke) in Greensboro with a laugher in Miami. The Heels worked over Biscayne College 112-72, but to show he meant no disrespect Coach Dean Smith used 16 players and finished the three-platoon game with an all-freshman unit.
Back in Charlotte, where Smith's freshmen might have warmed the bench, Miami of Ohio, if not world beaters at least became Syracuse beaters. They spoiled the Orangemen's perfect 6-0 record 96-74 despite 34 points from Dennis Duval. But then the Redskins were beaten themselves, by Davidson, 97-87.
Vanderbilt returned from Christmas vacation a bit sluggish but quickly remembered what its success story was all about. The Commodore defense surrounded helpless Vermont in the second half, producing 10 steals in all, a 91-56 victory and a dandy 8-0 Vandy mark.
Everyone agreed that it would be defending champion Jacksonville against Western Kentucky in the Gator Bowl, and indeed it was—in the consolation round. Underdog Florida, unable to qualify its football team for the Gator Bowl, settled for a sneakish basketball championship, first wiping out a 19-point deficit against Jacksonville and winning 64-62, then thumping Duke 77-60 in the final. Said Jacksonville's badly disappointed Coach Bob Gottlieb, "One of the great sicknesses and tragedies of college basketball is that officiating can control the outcome of a game."
There is only one thing to say about Clemson's Wayne Rollins: simply that he is intimidating. The 7'1" freshman now has blocked 46 shots in his first nine games and the Tigers, 7-2, are off to their best start in 38 years. Against Furman and its own giant, Fessor Leonard, in the finals of the Poinsettia Classic, Rollins turned in eight blocks, five of them on Leonard. He also had 12 points and 12 rebounds, did a superlative defensive job and earned MVP honors. "They said Fessor [who is from Columbus] was the best big man ever to come out of Georgia," said Rollins, from Cordele. "Everyone has always said he was better than I am and I had the chance to prove a point." The score was 75-67.