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Stokes first unanimous choice for MVP

Gains top honor in NIT as Frankies take 4th spot; Dukes cop championship

Maurice Stokes, St. Francis College’s 6-foot-6 center who amazed Madison Square Garden fans with his all-around brilliance on both offense and defense in four National Invitation Tournament games, is the first player to win the most valuable player award by a unanimous vote.

In addition, it was only the second time that a player from a losing team was selected for the honor. Ernie Calverly of Rhode Island State’s also-rans earned the laurels in 1946.

Standing ovation

Stokes received a standing ovation from the crowd of 18,496 Saturday night following the presentation of team awards to Duquesne, and Dayton’s runner-up squad.

All Stokes did in four games was score 124 points — an average of 31 per contest — and play superbly on defense with masterful control of the boards.

He had plenty of help in wins over Seton Hall and Holy Cross in the first round and quarterfinals but had to give a one-man performance against Dayton in the semis. Stokes clicked for 42 points as the Frankies bowed in overtime, 79-73.

In the consolation game Saturday with Cincinnati, Stokes piled up 31 points in a losing cause. But the Red Flash again proved to be a tough nut to crack. They finally lost 96-91 in an extra period.

The Frankies led Cincinnati by as much as eight points in the second half following a nip-and-tuck struggle in the first 20 minutes. St. Francis prevailed, 42-40, at intermission.

Frankies blow lead

St. Francis blew its second-half lead and trailed by nine points (80-71) with a minute and a half to play. Behind 83-77 with little time remaining, the Frankies turned on the heat. Stokes moved in for a layup and then passed off to Frank Puschauver for another twin-pointer to make it 83-81. With 2 seconds left, Stokes took an out-of-bounds pass from Emil Wandishin to knot the count and send the game into the overtime.

The Frankies held the lead for the last time in the extra period at 90-89. Jack Twyman’s deuce for the Bearcats sent Cincy ahead to stay.

The Frankies were handicapped by the absence of Jim McClellan, 6-5 freshman. He was hurt in the game with Dayton, but the injury didn’t show up until the next morning. He wasn’t in uniform for the consolation scrap.

All-tourney team

First team

F–Dick Ricketts, Duquesne

F–Johnny Horan, Dayton

C–Maurice Stokes, St. Francis

G–Si Green, Duquesne

G–Frank Nimmo, Cincinnati

Second team

F–Tom Heinsohn, Holy Cross

F–Dick Bouschka, St. Louis

C–Bill Uhl, Dayton

G–Ed Fleming, Niagara

G–Jack Sallee, Dayton

Honorable mention

Mickey Winegrad and Jim Fallon of Duquesne, Chris Harris of Dayton, Jack Twyman and Phil Wheeler of Cincinnati, Jim McConnell and Charley Hoxie of Niagara, and Charley Tyra and Phil Rollins of Louisville.

Banquet tonight

The Frankies will be honored by the St. Francis Booster Club at a banquet this evening in the Venetian Gardens. The affair will start at 6:30. Tickets for the event will be available at the gardens. Ladies are welcome.

St. Francis G F Tot.

Saller, f 6 5-7 17

Wandishin, f 4 7-9 15

Stokes, c 12 7-13 31

Puschauver, g 8 4-7 20

Milinski, g 1 0-1 2

Watro 2 2-5 6

Langton 0 0-0 0

Daniels 0 0-0 0

— —- —

Totals 33 25-42 91

Cincinnati

Twyman, f 13 3-6 29

Wheeler, f 3 6-9 12

Plunkett, c 5 2-2 12

Nimmo, g 11 5-7 27

Lammert, g 3 6-8 12

Hood 1 0-1 2

Vogele 0 0-2 0

Ernst 1 0-0 0

— —- —

Totals 37 22-35 96

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