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"It was unbelievable," said Ohio State Coach Eldon Miller after beating Indiana 66-63 in overtime, despite having trailed 55-46 with two minutes to go in regulation time. Carter Scott triggered the comeback, scoring 11 of the Buckeyes' last 20 points. Ohio State, which also stopped Northwestern 73-61, remained unbeaten in the Big Ten.
Second-place Iowa won twice at home. The Hawkeyes defeated Illinois 58-52, going into a four-corner offense midway through the second half. They then trimmed Minnesota 81-64, forsaking the anticipated four corners and running the clock down with a weave. Freshman Kevin Boyle had 29 rebounds and 28 points in those games.
Michigan State took a tumble, losing 49-48 at Michigan and 83-65 at Northwestern. Against the Wolverines, the score was 48-48 when Michigan freshman Keith Smith was fouled going for a shot as time expired. While State Coach Jud Heathcote vehemently argued the call, Smith, who was waiting to go to the free-throw line, was taunted by Gregory Kelser of the Spartans. "He told me I was too young for this kind of pressure and that I didn't belong in the Big Ten," said Smith, who overcame the psych by sinking his first shot. The Wolverines then squeezed past Illinois 56-54 on Marty Bodnar's layup at the buzzer, the third time in their past four outings they won in the last instant.
Scoring only two field goals in the final 10 minutes at Florida would usually be enough to add up to a loss for any team. Alabama, however, sank 21 of 25 foul shots during that span and won 77-66. The Crimson Tide also was a 68-67 victor at Mississippi State, giving Alabama a piece of the Southeastern Conference lead.
Sharing first place was Vanderbilt, which started off with a 57-56 victory at Florida, after the Gators had zipped ahead 20-4. But the Commodores couldn't catch Tennessee, which led by 14 at halftime. Vandy pulled to within one point with 1:38 left and worked for a last shot, only to have Bert Bertelkamp steal a pass. Bertelkamp fed the ball to teammate Terry Crosby, who was fouled with six seconds remaining. Instead of Crosby, a 71.4% free-throw shooter going to the line, it was Bertelkamp, an 82.6% marksman, who stepped in. "Me and Bert made it up," Crosby confessed. "Coach didn't know about it." A Vanderbilt player spotted the trickery, and Crosby had to shoot the free throws, making both as Tennessee won 71-70. Next time out, the Commodores outscored Auburn 10-2 down the stretch at home to pull out a 66-59 triumph.
Because his hearing aid had conked out, Coach Hank Raymonds missed the announcement that Sam Worthen had tied a Marquette single-game mark with his 13th assist against Oral Roberts. "I was ready to take him out," said Raymonds, who found out about the record in time and left Worthen in long enough to get his 14th assist in the Warriors' 75-60 victory.
1.NOTRE DAME (12-2)