North Carolina, the nation's best field-goal-shooting team, was throttled down to a miserable 27.3% in the first half by Atlantic Coast Conference cellar dweller Wake Forest. But N.C., led by Robert McAdoo, revived in the second half and put down the rebellion 71-59. Provoked by a Temple sign that proclaimed BIG FIVE BASKETBALL—THE NATION'S BEST, the awakened Deacons bounced back to chastise the Philadelphians 57-51. Willie Griffin hit 10 of 16 shots, most of them at least 20-footers, and scored a career record of 26 points to demolish the Owls.
Virginia's Bill Gibson proved what his fans had thought all along: that he can do no wrong, even when he tries. Losing to North Carolina State with 15 seconds to go, the Cavalier coach tried to call time-out to set up a last shot. None of his players saw his signal, but Frank DeWitt spotted sophomore Lanny Stahurski cutting for the basket and fed him the ball for the winning layup, 69-68. Virginia followed this triumph with a 62-58 victory at Clemson. Poor Clemson, which fell to Virginia Tech, too, 48-44, lost its third last-seconds four-point game of the week by yielding to South Carolina—62-58 again.
Florida State, before losing to Houston, broke Pan American's seven-game winning streak 109-83. As Ron King continued in a slump, 5'7" Otto Petty—King's high school teammate in Louisville—scored 24 points and got 10 assists. "Man, I've been driving on those big dudes all my life," Petty said, "but here I had just turned into a passer; we had so many great shooters."
Jacksonville U's seven-foot sophomore, Dave Brent, still favoring a leg broken in December, blocked 13 shots, got 18 rebounds and scored 15 points to lead the Dolphins past Furman 91-90. Gary Clark threw the ball high into the student section on an in-bounds play and earned possession of The White Brick, awarded for the worst play of a game. White Brick winners carry the thing to class, on dates and even in the shower.
Kentucky leaped over Tennessee into the SEC lead by nipping Alabama 77-74 and, after trailing by six points, edging past upset-minded Vanderbilt 85-80. All five Alabama starters hit in double figures against the wobbly Wildcats; as for the Commodores, they took Kentucky into overtime, barely missing a last-second shot in regulation time that would have won 78-76.
Maryland first slipped by North Carolina State on the road 66-65 when Rick Holdt's last-second shot circled the rim and toppled off, then butchered Duke 77-58.
1. N. CAROLINA (14-2)
2. S. CAROLINA (14-3)
USC's long-anticipated showdown with UCLA was rendered anticlimactic by the absence of injured Trojan star Paul Westphal and three recent USC defeats. Within 21 seconds Bill Walton crashed on them. "We were out almost instantly," Coach Bob Boyd said. "First Walton gets a three-point play, then the press forces a turnover and it's 5-0. The hope and objective of our whole offense was predicated on not playing from behind." Walton, whom Boyd called "super, super, superb," left the game with eight minutes to go after holding USC's two post men to one point apiece. Final score: 81-56.
When 6'8" Kansas transfer Leonard Gray made his long-awaited debut for Long Beach, 49er fans filled Anaheim Convention Center to capacity. Gray was everything his advance notices had predicted. He scored on his first 12 shots as a collegian. He hit all seven shots he took against UC-Irvine as Long Beach romped 83-62, then connected on his first five against Illinois State. For a while, though, that seemed not enough. The Redbirds, with the nation's No. 2 scorer Doug Collins sinking 10 of his first 15 shots, went 60% from the floor in the first half, and Long Beach had to change to a 1-2-2 zone before shutting off Collins and rambling to an 88-63 win.
Washington, lurking in the woods all winter, sneaked to a 14-3 record by whipping muscular Washington State 103-92. Charles Dudley moved inside against the smaller Cougar guards for a career high of 30 points, and big Steve Hawes added another 30. Meanwhile, Oregon beat Oregon State for the sixth straight time, 71-63.
After New Mexico trepidly entered Brigham Young's new basketball palace and slowed the running Cougars only to lose 70-62, Texas-ElPaso's Don Haskins came to town. "When it comes to slowdowns, they ain't seen nothin' yet," he drawled. It took BYU, averaging 85 points in the WAC, two overtimes and 50 minutes of basketball to get past the 50-point mark. The crowd heckled and Haskins said, "Sure, they love to see their Cougars run you right into the hardwoods. That's like cheering beef into the slaughter yards." UTEP lost anyway, 57-53.
Opening a 9-0 lead before Florida State got off a shot, Houston upset the Seminoles 94-86 by hitting 62% from the field in the first half. Hawaii lost to Westmont 90-89 but defeated UC-Irvine 88-79.
1. UCLA (17-0)
2. LONG BEACH STATE (18-2)
After five escapes from disaster, Marquette finally ran off a relaxing victory, beating De-Paul 79-61. The undefeated Warriors won with style, destroying a zone with crisp outside shooting and not allowing DePaul a field goal for over 10 minutes.
Louisville, the other Midwest leader, was stopped after 15 straight on its own court. Memphis State connected on 56.7% of its shots in the second half, played a tight zone defense and won 77-69. The Cards rebounded to defeat outmanned Drake 92-75.
The icing to Ohio State's stirring 82-77 comeback against Iowa fittingly came on a three-point play by Allan Hornyak set up by a slick pass from Luke Witte. Hornyak, who scored 37 points, hit nine of the Buckeyes' last 11 points, but the sentimental favorite was Witte, back in action finally after his hard times at Minnesota. He played near top form and ended with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Witte scored another 15 points when the Buckeyes cut down Wisconsin 79-69.
Purdue moved into Big Ten contention by defeating Michigan 84-74. Bob Ford and Bill Franklin accounted for 57 points and 32 rebounds. C. J. Schroeder made 10 straight free throws in the last eight minutes to lead Illinois to a 68-59 win over Northwestern.
Minnesota meanwhile lucked past Iowa 53-52 when a foul shot by Jim Brewer, the team's worst free-throw shooter, hung on the rim before falling through.
Missouri's top scorer, John Brown, who rushed back from a White House antidrug conference to play against Kansas State, said he was too nervous to ask President Nixon to suggest a play. Nixon undoubtedly would not have suggested that Brown foul out with nearly four minutes to go. Missouri lost 69-67 despite holding K State's leading scorer David Hall without a point. Missouri also had trouble with Kansas, committing 20 turnovers before escaping 64-60. "Had 'em all the way," said Mizzou Coach Norm Stewart, rolling his eyes heavenward.
Marshall wrecked Cleveland State 102-70 and rumbled by stalling Long Island University 70-61. Oral Roberts University pushed its record to 17-1 by beating William Jewell 112-92 and thrashing Oglethorpe 126-93. Creighton upset 17th-ranked Jacksonville 71-66.
1. MARQUETTE (17-0)
2. LOUISVILLE (16-2)
Corky Calhoun finished off collapsing Harvard with 14 points in the second half as Penn splattered the Crimson 84-60. The sixth-ranked Quakers hit eight of their first 11 attempts from the floor, and Phil Hankinson scored 20 points before leaving the game early. The next night in Hanover, N.H., Pennsylvania extended its record to 14-2 by downing tougher Dartmouth 86-66. Overshadowed by tall Penn, Dartmouth used a bizarre tri-angle-and-two defense which had 6'1" Gary Dicovitsky guarding 6'8" Bob Morse and 6'1" James Brown guarding 6'7" Corky Calhoun. Said high scorer Hankinson, "I made a vow after the Temple game that I would not allow any team to play us with a junk defense." Apparently he considered the triangle junk.
Dartmouth previously had moved past favored Princeton 81-79, also at Hanover. On Saturday the Tigers found some solace in beating up Harvard 91-66. Surprising Brown, winner of eight of its last nine games, knocked down Cornell 89-73 and Columbia 78-72.
Northern Illinois razed Buffalo 106-86 and Kent State 77-65 but was shaken 96-81 by St. Bonaventure. "This was the best game we've had all year," said Bonnie Coach Larry Weise. "They shot us through the grease," Huskie Coach Tom Jorgensen agreed.
Temple had to labor to beat Drexel 53-46 but dumped LaSalle 67-56 as the Explorers went 9:04 without a basket and missed 19 straight shots.
1. PENN (14-2)
2. PROVIDENCE (14-2)