The big four all came crashing down. In a series of rousing games that ended the first half of the 1959-60 season, Texas A&M, LaSalle, Villanova and Cincinnati each met their first defeat. Next week most college teams will desert the courts and take on midterm exams.
Cincinnati, despite a surprisingly easy victory over St. Louis 79-57, invaded Bradley's Peoria gym, where the Braves had won 30 in a row, with justifiable trepidation. Though the marvelous Oscar Robertson scored 46 points, his teammates couldn't pick up the rest of the load, and Bradley won 91-90 (see page 18), took over first place in the Missouri Valley Conference. Meanwhile, Drake turned hot, upset St. Louis 57-55.
In the Big Ten, Northwestern seemed to have adopted the slowdown tactics that are spreading across the country. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, Ohio State was of no mind to play that game. After crushing Delaware 109-38, the conference leaders wrapped Jerry Lucas' ailing ankle in tape, took advantage of his 28 points and rebounding to beat ball-controlling Northwestern 81-64. Said Northwestern Coach Bill Rohr: "It's like hunting elephants with a BB gun when they play tip-tap-two with that ball."
Illinois and Iowa were not giving up the title fight just yet, however. The Illini shrugged off 43 points by Terry Dischinger, Purdue's brilliant sophomore, and whipped the Boilermakers 81-75, then outscored Michigan State 96-88. Hustling Iowa beat the same two opponents, outplaying Michigan State 92-79, Purdue 63-54.
Kansas State, over its early-season jitters, defeated Oklahoma State 54-49, Oklahoma 76-68, led the Big Eight after Oklahoma stopped Iowa State 65-47. Talented little Jimmy Darrow flipped in 52 points to help Bowling Green surprise Mid-America Conference leader Toledo 86-82 in overtime, but the Rockets shot back, whipped Marshall 61-53.
Notre Dame beat DePaul 73-70, St. Francis (Pa.) 75-56; Detroit outlasted Marquette 89-85. The top three:
1. BRADLEY (12-1)
2. CINCINNATI (13-1)
3. OHIO STATE (11-2)
Villanova, like Cincinnati, discovered there is no place like home. West Virginia lured the Easterners to Morgantown, where it had won 39 straight, turned Jerry West loose and won 89-81. West got 30 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists. Earlier, he had led the Mountaineers past William & Mary 94-72, Virginia 102-81.