American University guard Stan Lamb was forced to miss Saturday night's game against Lehigh, but the Eagles did not have to look far for someone to make up for the absence of their leading scorer.
Forward Leon Kearney, Lamb's roommate, pumped in 18 points, including 10 in the second half when AU broke open the game to help the Eagles to an 85-74 East Coast Conference victory at Fort Myer.
Boo Bowers led all scorers with 27 points, sinking 13 of 20 field-goal attempts, and added six assists. American, now 5-1 in the ECC and 10-7 overall, shot 60 percent from the field.
Lamb, a 24-point scorer, has been suspended because of academic difficulties, but is expected to rejoin the team as soon as he completes some course work. He may play Wednesday against Drexel, which is a surprising 12-1 this season.
Host Villanova shot 67 percent in the second half to make up a one-point halftime deficit and went on to thump an injury-riddled George Washington team, 89-77, in Eastern Eight play.
Colonial guard Bob Lindsay saw his first action in six weeks as he returned from a knee injury. Lindsay, who was not expected back until this week, played 14 minutes, scoring six points, before he slipped on some water from a leaking roof and limped out of the game.
"The cartilage is still a little sensitive," said GW trainer Tom Sulkowski, who added that Lindsay suffered no new structural damage. "He should play Thursday against Florida State."
The Colonials, who started without forward Tom Glenn (strained knee tendons), trailed by as many as nine points late in the game. Three baskets by Brian Magid pulled them to within four, 77-73. But Villanova then went to the four corners and scored eight straight points.
Illinois State had won 29 straight at home going into Saturday night's game against Howard, which had lost its last three. Neither team's streak was broken as State pummeled the Bison, 88-62, on 60 percent shooting from the floor.
Seven-foot center Joe Galvin scored 22 points on eight-for-10 shooting and Ron Jones added 21 for the Redbirds, now 13-4. Howard, now 9-7, was led by Larry Spriggs' 19 points.
In other area games, George Mason got 24 points and 17 rebounds from sophomore center Andre Gaddy and 19 points from Keith Lewis in a 77-70 victory over visiting Frostburg State; University of the District of Columbia creamed Gallaudet, 100-61, and visiting Lincoln, Pa., crushed Southeastern, 105-79.
Nationally, third-ranked UCLA walloped Arizona State, 95-79; sixthranked Michigan State beat Iowa in overtime, 83-72; No. 9 Louisiana State eased by Mississippi, 70-69, also in overtime; No. 12 Syracuse defeated Canisius, 103-92; No. 15 Texas A&M downed Texas Tech, 68-63, and Kansas State upset No. 20 Kansas, 96-69. put its game out o reach. David Greenwood scored 2 points and Roy Hamilton added 20.
Mike Brkovich's two free throws en abled Michigan State to tie Iowa a the end of regulation. Earvin Johnson scored 25 points for the Spartans.
Freshman forward Rush Rudolph canned two free throws after the clock had run out to give LSU its victory. The overtime was forced when Ole Miss' Tom Warda missed the front end of a one and one after regulation time had run out.
Center Roosevelt Bouie and forware Louis Orr each scored 27 for Syracuse. Canisius' Ron Peaks scored a game-high 32 to raise his career total to 1,024.
Freshman Rudy Woods scored 21 points to lead Texas A&M, whose victory was cemented by Tyrone Ladson's four free throws in the final 90 seconds.
Rolando Blackman (27) and Steve Soldner combined for 55 points to spark Kansas State.