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PHILADELPHIA BIG 5
In the News: 1964-1965

 

From the Daily Pennsylvanian, January 25, 1965:

 

Hawks Overcome Neuman and Penn, 88-72, Jeff tallies 2

By Lance Laver

 

Dick Groat once said that he wished sometimes that he had played professional basketball instead of baseball, because, during his court days at Duke, he found he could control and win a game on his own, whereas on a diamond he felt helpless.

But Groat never had to play against a thrid-ranked St. Joseph's team; otherwise he might have had different thoughts on the matter.

Jeff Neuman played against the Hawks last Saturday, so brilliantly, in fact that he received a standing ovation from the 9220 fans as he limped off the Palestra court with 18 seconds to go, the victim of a muscle cramp and perhaps frustrated pride. For his Penn team had lost the game, 88-72.

 

Brilliant Assist

Only Neuman's effort saved the Quaker's from total annhilation at the hands of the powerful Hawks, who led by as many as 18 points late in the contest. Before that, whenever St. Joseph's threatened to break the game open, Neuman was around to lead the Quakers back. At one point, he moved Penn to within seven at 57-50 with a spectacular half-court pass to John Hellings for an easy lay-up.

All told, Neuman collected 29 points, tying his career high set against Columbia a week earlier, and had five assists and as many rebounds. His 13 straight foul shots gave Neuman a total of 64 of 73 for the season, or 87.7% accuracy.

But in the end, St. Joseph's superior over-all strength was too much for the short-handed Quakers. Playing for the first time with ineligible center Frank Burgess, Penn was outrebounded 56-41, with the Hawks' Cliff Anderson garnering 23 of them. Anderson was held to a mere eight points by Stan Pawlak, but Pawlak in turn was held to ten points and only two rebounds by Marty Ford.

For awhile it appeared that Penn might make a game of it. Neuman hit a jump shot to open the scoring, and in the next ten minutes of play Penn held leads of 4-3, 9-8, 11-10, and 14-13. But the Hawks then scored twelve straight points on five lay-ups and a pair of fouls to vault into a commanding 25-14 lead, never again to seriously be challenged.

Much of Penn's dilemma stemmed from Hellings' early foul trouble. Big John, who played one his finest games of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds, picked up three quick fouls and left the game at 12:54, not to return until the second half. With Hellings gone, the Hawks opened up their offense, fast breaking the Quakers to distraction after sweeping the defensive boards following Penn's first shot. St. Joseph's led at halftime, 41-30, with Tom Duff and Ford each scoring 11 points.

Hellings played the entire second half, in which St. Joseph's outscored Penn, 47-42. But Duff was hitting almost at will, ending up with 22 points and 14 rebounds, and added to Billy Oakes play-making (nine assists) and scoring (20 points), the Quakers' fate was sealed.

 

Play of the Game

When Penn ran off 10 of 11 points to close the gap to 57-50 with 10:58 remaining, St. Joseph's came right back to score 11 of the next 12 to lead by 68-51. During Penn's spurt, Neuman pulled off the play of the game. Meeting Oakes at the mid-court line, Neuman wrestled the ball from his grasp, dribbled behind the back and past two defenders, and hit Hellings with a bullet pass underneath. John missed the shot, but tapped it in seconds later.

Penn (8-6) thus suffered its third straight Big Five setback, needing a win now against Villanova this Wednesday to avoid suffering the ignominy of a winless City Series slate. St. Joseph's, now 15-1 on the season, is 1-0 in Big Five action.