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M Strides Ever Closer To Cage Crown

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M Strides Ever Closer To Cage Crown

By Wayne DeNeff

Michigan (10-2) was striding
resolutely today toward its
: ;''" Ten basketball cham-

, i in 16 years and a shot
at itie national title.

The Wolverines could take
another long step in that di-
rection tonight without lifting
; "' ^! "' ^•"^•I'lbling Illinois

f; the meas-
ure ui i.-u-iecluer Ohio State
(10-2) in a game to be played
at Champaign, the Wolverines
would be just one victory
away from at least a sharp
of the league crown.

And a share is all it'll talu; ii.;

send them to the regional
tournament a t Minneapolis
because the Buckeyes have
^ represented the Big Ten in the
;' NCAA event in three of the
last four years.

Conference rules are ex-
plicit—in the event of a tie
among the teams which have
previously represented the Big

- Ten in the tournament, the
team or teams which most re-

(cently competed would be


' Michigan and Ohio State

each will play two more con-

, ference games.

The Buckeyes, who could
move a few percentage points
ahead of the Wolverines, at
least temporarily, with a vic-
lory tonight, will wind up their
campaign with Michigan Slate

- 7-6) at Columbus on Saturii,

Michigan will play at lovvct
I;. (2-9) on Saturday and will fin-
s ish at home against Purdue
I (6-5) a week from today.
| It will not be easy for either
K of the leaders,
t The Hawkeyes will be want-
It ing to win their last home
"game for t h e i r departing
coach, S h a r m Scheuerman.
Fourth-place Purdue is an-
other toughie in a tough con-

Illinois could recover a good
'deal of its pride, jolted by

seven defeats in its last eight
games, by bumping the Buck-
eyes. Michigan State joins
Michigan as the only confer-
ence schools to beat the Bucks
this season.

Nobody in Ann Arbor is sell-

ing the Illini short as a team
capable of upsetting OSU ;!ii< i
the way they made t

Dave Strack's record-setting
hoopsters hustle here last Sat-
urday for an 89-83 victory. It
was the 19th victory in 22

games, the most ever won s.i:

a Michigan team in one sea-

Just when it looked as if it
was time to start counting
them out, the Illini started
scrambling back. With less

DAZZLING PLAY: It was a dazzling
play, perhaps the finest of the season, when
Michigan's Cazzie Russell, flying out of

bounds. Hipped the ball backhanded past
Illinois' Tal Brody and into the hands ot
Oliver Darden who scored a basket.

than 10 minutes to play they
were threatening to turn Yost
Fieldhouse into the glummest
basketball house in the na-
tion. Michigan's lead had been
trimmed to 61-60 by the hot-
shooting visitors who chose
an away-from-home court to
produce their best target work
of the year. Illinois had been
averaging .420 per cent per
game but rippled the nets for
.544 (31-57) against Michigan.

But at 61-60, Capt. Bob Can-
trell proved again that col-
lege coaches shouldn't write
of! a youngster s i m p I y be-
cause he's less th; : feet
tall. The 5-10 Can; .lied
his cagers by swishing a pair
of jump shots from 20 'to 25
feet away.

He gets those key baskets
late in the game, said Wiscon-
sin Coach John Erickson when
he explained how he had plot-
ted Wisconsin's defense to
throttle Cantrell a week ago
Saturday. And thats' exactly
what the Michigan floor boss
did—came up with key bas-
kets—to •;'-••!-'-- 'he Michigan
ship whit waving a bit
in the face ui Hie Illinois fire.

If Cantrell steadied the ship,

;.^ ; .ii ".. "ie Russell got

:mg at high
-am. Although he is
posed to rank with
<.anire]i or Larry Tregoning
as a defensive sharpy. Rus-
sell came r "ith a pair of
key intc .s following
Cantrell';-) Da.-i^i,;-) and teamed
with Buntin tor three baskets
^ 26 seconds as Michigan
iined ahead to 75-65.

.Michigan built its lead to
81-69 but still the Illini refused
to say "Uncle." With center
Bill Buntin out of the game on
fouls and Cantrell with four,
the Illini rushed back into a
threatening position by out-
scoring the home team, 10-2,

to make it 83-79 with 1:17 to
play. It was similar to a rally
which cut Michigan's lead
from 53-44 to 55-54 when Bun-
tin was benched with four

But Russell got loose for an-
other layup and when George
Pomney hit a pair of free
throws to make it 87-81 with
13 seconds to play the Illini
finally took the 10 count.

Sophomore Oliver Darden
made it a six-point victory
stead of four with a jii;

shot that was in flight when
the final buzzer sounded.

Michigan was prepared for
Illinois' zone defense even
though it is rarely used by
Coach Harry Combes. "We
figured there was no other
way for them to try to stop
us along the bas' said
Strack after the ...

It was another great day for
Russell even though he was
not 100 per cent healthy be-
cause of an ankle injury suf-
fered in the overpowering
triumph over Wisconsin. The
injury limited Russell's re-
bounding a little but he scored
28 points, eclipsing the var-
sity record with his 24th point
on a layup with 3:32 to play.
Russell now has 539 points
for the season, five more than
Buntin scored a year ago as a
sophomore when he broke
John Tidwell's record of 520
whir ince the
1959 ••'

It really v, v for the

Darden, 6-7 sophomore for-
ward, played perhaps his
finest game and hit on nine
of 15 field-goal attempts to
pace Michigan's team shoot-
ing average of .500 (39-78)
Russell netted 12 of 22 and
Cantrell four of eight.

Russell and Darden hooked

up in one of the season's most
startling plays. Russell had
taken a long pass from Can-
trell on 'u'eak but lost
the balJ i ii'eaked for the
basket. Flying out of bounds,
he flipped the ball backhand-
ed to Darden on t' side
of the hoop and •'1 went
up for the two points.

Darden was Michigan's sec-
and high scorer with 19 and
Ri.intin hit 18. These two men

pi the Wolverines, in com-
.nand of the backboards—
Buntin pulling down 14 re-
bounds and Darden 13, just
three less than the Illinois
team total. Michigan's re-
bound edge was 44-30. .

Illinois' fine effort was paced
by the 6-8V2 Skip Thoren with
26 points while sophomore
Don Freeman showed Michi-
gan fans why college scouts
had pursued him in the Chi-
cago area at the same time

they s flicked iii 2&. points. The tal-
ented Illini guard, Tal Brody,
was kept under his 18.8 aver-
age by Cantrell. Brody scored
13, five on free throws.



Thoren 10 6-6

Freeman 8 6-7

Redmon 3 0-2

Brody 4 5-6

Edwards I 0-1

Bauer 0 2-2

Vopicka 5 2-2



26 Tre'ing 3 2-2 8

22 Darden 9 1-1 19

i Buntin 8 2-3 18

13 Russell 12 4-5 28

2 Cantrell 4 0-1 8

2 Pomey 3 2'3 8

12 Myers 0 0-0 0

Herner 00-0 0

Totals 31 21-26 83 Totals 39 11.15 89

-38 45-8..
.45 44—B9



ILLINOIS (30); Thoren, 7; Redmon,
7; Freeman, 5; Brody, 4; Edwati;'-
Bauer, 2; Vopicka, 1; team, 1.

MICHIGAN (44): Buntin, 14;

13; Russell, 6; Tregoning, 5; Pomt.,. vi,
Cantrell, 1; Myers, 1; team, 1.


ILLINOIS (13): Thoren, 4; Brody, 4;

Freeman, 3; Redmon, 1; Vopicka, 1.

MICHIGAN (20): Buntin, 5; Cantrell,
5; Darden, 3; Pomey, 2; Myers, 2;

Tregoning, 2; Russell, 1.


OFFICIALS: Louis Fillippi and Stan

DRIVING FOR LAYUP; ;; span's Larry i rf
(35), with both arms flying, drives for a layup which Illinois'
Bogie Redmon (left) attempts to block. Sophomores Catzzie
; 3) of Michigan and Don I - .. (right foreground)
are in good rebound posr »