For all its famed hospitality, Kentucky has never been very friendly to visiting basketball teams. At least that was the way it was until Dayton's Flyers swooped down on the Bluegrass State last week and came away chanting My Old Kentucky Home. Coach Don Donoher's team first smashed Louisville's 25-game home-court winning streak by pasting the Cardinals 72-56. With four sophomores in the starting lineup, Louisville lost a seven-point first-half lead and could not overcome the tenacious Dayton defense or its disciplined offense. While Ken May popped in 21 points for the Flyers, the Cardinals missed 54 of 80 shots and Center Mike Grosso, the only upperclassman on the starting five, rarely handled the ball. He scored a career low of four points. Dayton later defeated Eastern Kentucky 67-63, proving that the best of the Bluegrass teams, the University of Kentucky (page 22), better watch out. The Flyers' next two games are this weekend in the Wildcats' annual Christmas tournament.
Another underrated Ohio team stayed in the state and had a doubly good time. For the second consecutive week Ohio University, which defeated Purdue only seven days earlier, throttled one of the Big Ten's best. To add to the fun, the victim this time was intrastate rival Ohio State, which fell 82-80 in Columbus. The Bobcats, who had never defeated the Buckeyes before, beat OSU at what in the past has often been the bigger school's game, depth and muscle. Ohio U. led in rebounds 39-37 and solid Guard John Canine scored 25 points. But losing Coach Fred Taylor hit the main reason for the surprising outcome when he said, "They got 23 points from their bench, we got nothing. They're a very confident team that doesn't fear foul trouble because they have enough depth and also enough flexibility." The OSU loss left Illinois as the only undefeated Big Ten contender. The Illini stopped Depauw 91-57 and Creighton 57-51.
LSU Coach Press Maravich was asked several weeks ago what he thought his chances were in the Southeastern Conference and he replied to the reporter, "How much of a chance have you got with Raquel Welch?" Doubtless the sportswriter's possibilities have not improved since then, but LSU's have—dramatically. The Tigers defeated Loyola of New Orleans 100-87 and Tulane 97-91 last week to remain unbeaten, and also came up with an important SEC victory by knocking off Vanderbilt 109-66. Pete Maravich set a league record of 61 points in that game and still was not the whole story for LSU. Fighting under the backboards with Vandy's 7'4" Steve Turner, the Tigers' 6'6" Al (Little Apple) Sanders came out ahead in rebounds 17-5 and in courage, too. Sanders had several stitches in his head at halftime to close a laceration opened during the first-period skirmishing and finally had to be sent from the court by the referee with 1:47 left in the game because the cut was opened and bleeding again.
Rudy Tomjanovich scored 32 points as Michigan upset Marquette 86-78 and Michigan State's sophomore Ralph Simpson had 42 in the Spartans' 86-71 win over Western Michigan. Another high scorer was Notre Dame's Austin Carr, who led the way as the Irish increased their record to 5-0. Carr poured in 42 points to break his own court record at Notre Dame's Athletic and Convocation Center in a 112-92 victory over Northern Illinois. Against St. Louis the 6'4" guard put the Irish back in the game after they fell behind 6-0 by popping in 11 consecutive points. Notre Dame's pressure defense, sparked by Mike O'Connell's steals and rebounding by slender Collis Jones, gave the Irish a 65-53 win.
Purdue won twice, 100-64 over Butler and 116-95 over Idaho State, but suffered a severe jolt when Rick Mount limped off the court with a knee injury in the first half of the Butler game. The Rocket is expected to be out of the lineup for at least two weeks.
2. OHIO U. (3-0)
There is a tradition at Nebraska that the home fans do not sit down until the Cornhuskers score their first points of the game. Last week against Duquesne the crowd barely had risen for the opening tap before it was down again and watching its team shoot away to an upset victory 82-77. From the time that Tom Scantlebury took the tip-off and drove directly in for a basket until Marv Stewart arched in a 35-footer at the buzzer to finish the first period, the Huskers put together what Coach Joe Cipriano called "the best half I can remember." Nebraska led 44-26 at intermission and then relied on Stewart's three driving layups in the closing minutes of the game to head off a Duquesne comeback. The Dukes scored four more field goals than Nebraska but lost the game at the free-throw line as they committed 27 fouls. The Cornhuskers were not as sharp in the Bluebonnet Classic where they dropped their opening-round game 112-82 to host Houston, which now has won the tournament eight years straight. The Cougars remained unbeaten by defeating Kent State in the final 74-66.
Big Eight favorite Colorado picked up easy wins over outmanned Texas Tech 75-56 and Evansville 97-66, but strong competition is brewing for the league race beginning after Christmas. St. Louis attempted to slow down on Missouri's speedsters and still lost 66-61. The Tigers also defeated Northern Michigan 105-70. Henry Iba's Oklahoma Staters rolled up a pair of point totals that not long ago would have nauseated their defense-minded coach. The Cowboys broke a school scoring record in a 96-73 victory over MacMurray and then Bob Buck's rebound shot with one second to play topped Trinity 80-78. Kansas was a double winner, too, scoring 76-60 over Wisconsin and 72-71 over Loyola of Chicago.