With Santa Clara and San Francisco splitting a home-and-home series, surprising Pacific, 4-0 in the West Coast Athletic Conference, took over the league lead as it beat St. Mary's twice, 98-73 and 101-59. Bill Stricker scored 30 points in the first win; the Tigers outrebounded the Gaels 62-37 in the rematch. A lineup of senior Center Pete Cross and four sophomores won 70-64 at home for USF as Guard Terry Senn scored 14 of 15 free throws in the second half against the Broncos. Despite fouling out with nine minutes to play, Cross outrebounded Santa Clara's tough Dennis Awtrey, and Dons' Forward Johnny Burks outscored the Broncs' Ralph Ogden 21-20. Three nights later at Santa Clara, USF's free-throw shooting turned foul as the Dons lost 72-60. They missed five consecutive one-and-one chances at the close of the first half and then lost a three-point edge late in the second period when Santa Clara reeled off eight straight points.
Oregon State, which opened the week last in the Pacific Eight, suddenly looked like a contender after easy wins over Washington and Washington State. The Beavers blistered the Huskies with a 62% shooting average and stymied them with a tight zone defense as they won 60-47. Against Washington State, OSU scored the final 16 points of the first half to build an insurmountable 33-17 lead and then coasted to an 80-65 victory.
Brigham Young and Utah visited their state's best team, Utah State, and each nearly came away with a victory. The Cougars led by 10 points before the Aggies shifted to an aggressive man-to-man defense, forced 14 turnovers and rallied for their 97-94 win. The Redskins pushed State into overtime, but they lost 106-98.
Weber State jumped into the Big Sky Conference lead with a 120-72 home-court win over Gonzaga and a pair of road victories at Montana State, 73-70 and 66-52. The two wins away from home put Weber one up on its toughest Big Sky rival, Idaho State. The best the Bengals could do after beating Idaho 79-75 was split back-to-back road games at Montana, losing the opener 81-73 and taking the second game 96-89.
New Mexico State, which earlier had won by 30 points against Hardin-Simmons on the road, needed Jimmy Collins' six consecutive field goals in the second half to defeat the Cowboys at Las Cruces 83-75. Texas at El Paso jumped ahead in the Western Athletic Conference with thumping 73-59 and 108-64 wins over Arizona and Arizona State.
1. UCLA (12-0)
2. NEW MEXICO ST. (15-1)
There are, Davidson Coach Terry Holland thanks the good Lord, no more saints on the regular-season schedule. His Wildcats, 11-2 and beaten earlier by St. John's, lost last week to St. Joseph's 90-81. Guard Danny Kelly fired in 33 points for the Hawks, including 15 in the last 11 minutes, while Mike Hauer added 27 and, more important, held Davidson's Mike Maloy to only 13.
The Hawks, no longer blessed, lost 89-80 to Georgetown, which also downed Columbia 72-68, a team it had lost to the year before by 41 points. The Hoyas came from 10 behind in the second half as sophomore substitute Mike Laughna scored 18 points.
Previously unbeaten Niagara was a double-upset victim. Villanova's "ball" defense held Calvin Murphy to three points under his average, the Wildcats' Howard Porter scored 32 points and grabbed 18 rebounds and Fran O'Hanlon recorded 12 assists as the Philadelphians topped the Purple Eagles 102-92. Niagara then lost to St. Peter's 77-73.
Wake Forest, trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half at North Carolina, stormed back to upset the Tar Heels 91-90 despite Charles Scott's 43 points. John Lewkowicz of the Deacons dropped in two free throws with four seconds remaining to clinch the victory.
Still, the week's biggest upset belonged to little Stetson, which trapped Missouri Valley Conference favorite Louisville at Orlando 87-80.
South Carolina stayed atop the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 63-42 win over Virginia, then added a 59-56 victory over non-league opponent Furman.
1. S. CAROLINA (12-1)
2. ST. BONA (10-0)
Al Williams is the only starter back from the Drake team that finished third in the NCAA tournament in March, and no one except Coach Maury John figured the Bulldogs could repeat as Missouri Valley Conference champion. But last week, with six junior-college stars from as far away as Rockville Centre, N.Y. and Houston replacing graduated players, Drake defeated Bradley 65-55 and Cincinnati 63-57 to stay on top in the MVC. The transfers, already feeling right at home, combined with Williams to shoot 55% in the second period and pull away from a half-time tie with the Braves. Against the Bearcats, New York's Jeff Halliburton scored two baskets in the closing minutes to snuff out a Cincinnati rally that had cut Drake's lead from 15 points to two.
At the tail end of the Missouri Valley race, Memphis State reluctantly kept alive its unhappy streak. The Tigers lost 77-61 to Tulsa for their 26th consecutive league defeat over three seasons. In the three years it has been a member of the MVC, Memphis State has won just one conference game.
After losing to Drake, Bradley faced UCLA at Chicago in a game that shaped up as a rout. The star of the Braves is 5'4" Frankie Sylvester, and players that size are hardly the sort to intimidate the tall Bruins. But Bradley Coach Joe Stowell turned to the slowdown offense that had bothered UCLA before, and his team, shooting only 19 times in the first half, led at intermission 30-26. Then the Uclans, also as before, edged ahead in the second period for a 61-56 victory. The next night they defeated Loyola of Chicago 94-72.
While defending champion Colorado lost its Big Eight opener to Nebraska 60-58, Kansas State took a stronger hold on the league lead by winning 71-64 on the Cornhuskers' court. The Wildcats next defeated St. Francis (Pa.) 78-71.
1. HOUSTON (12-1)
2. KANSAS ST (12-3)
"It wasn't a tremendous performance. Workmanlike, but chaotic at times," said Illinois Coach Harv Schmidt after winning at Northwestern 101-80. Most of the confusion was caused by Illini Co-captain Mike Price, who usually plays guard but was all over the floor against the Wildcats. Starting in the backcourt, 6'3½" Price set up four straight baskets by Center Greg Jackson with his passes. Shifting to forward, he used his size 37 arms to pull down 12 rebounds, lops in the game. Price then moved into the pivot when Jackson fell into foul trouble and frustrated the Wildcats with his quickness under the backboards. Later in the week Illinois added a 75-73 win at Michigan to run its Big Ten record to 5-0, including three victories on the road. In the two-point decision over the Wolverines, substitute Guard Bob Windmiller tossed in a 50-foot two-hander for the Illini as the first-half buzzer sounded.
Toledo, which had the lead in the MidAmerican Conference, was jolted out of the race by the league office and Ohio University. The Rockets were forced to change their two opening MAC victories into forfeit losses when it was discovered that leading scorer Steve Shay had not completed the required number of credits last semester. Ohio, which also defeated defending champion Miami 81-61, then stopped Toledo 88-79 to regain its spot as the league's co-favorite, along with Bowling Green. The Falcons beat Miami 64-59 and Kent State 73-67.
Kentucky took sole possession of first place in the Southeastern Conference, but not before a few nervous moments in its 72-71 win at Georgia. The Wildcats needed seven points from Mike Pratt in the final four minutes to clinch the victory. Later, Kentucky ended Tennessee's hopes of challenging in the SEC by handing the Vols their fourth consecutive league loss 68-52.
Dean Meminger's 19 points led a total of four Marquette regulars who scored in double figures as the Warriors defeated Southern Illinois 67-57 for their 36th straight win at home.
1. KENTUCKY (13-0)
2. MARQUETTE (12-1)