San Francisco, which last season left its 29-game winning streak in South Bend and was not quite the same afterward, has finally asserted itself. The Dons avenged their loss to Notre Dame with a solid 79-70 victory at the Oakland Coliseum. San Francisco outrebounded the Irish 39-25, harassed them with a 1-2-2 zone and broke open a tight struggle in the second half. With the Irish ahead 48-47, the Dons went on a tear, pumping in 16 of the next 18 points, 12 of them by Doug Jemison and Rod Williams. Notre Dame was also unable to handle Bill Cartwright, who broke loose for 20 points and nine rebounds. Convincing, too, were two WCAC victories in which James Hardy excelled. During a 101-68 romp over Portland, Hardy had 24 points, 14 rebounds and eight dunks. Then, with the Dons leading Seattle by only 61-58, Hardy capped his 26-point effort with three quick baskets: a slam, a fallaway jumper and a backdoor dunk. The Dons won 93-80.
Nevada-Reno stayed atop the WCAC by taking road games at Loyola Marymount 71-58 and Pepperdine 83-50. The Wolf Pack also threw a scare into Utah, leading 44-41 at halftime as Johnny High and Michael Gray hit on 13 of 20 shots. In the second half the Utes pressured High and Gray, held them to 4-for-20 shooting and won 80-70.
With a flurry of points from its guards and a surprisingly effective zone defense, UCLA took over undisputed possession of first place in the Pac-8. Ray Townsend had 23 points as the Bruins trimmed Oregon 90-72, and Roy Hamilton had 15 as they beat Oregon State 77-60. The zone, almost never used during John Wooden's days at UCLA, enabled the Bruins to pull away from the Ducks after David Greenwood sat down with four fouls early in the second half. Southern Cal lost to Oregon State 89-82 in overtime, and then beat Oregon 63-62.
New Mexico became only the third WAC team in 16 years to win successive games at Arizona State and Arizona. During a 91-84 win at State, the Lobos led in rebounds 51-32, made eight steals, blocked eight shots and got 23 points from Forward Marvin Johnson. Then, before the largest crowd in the state's history—15,156 fans jammed Arizona's 14,890-seat McKale Center—the Lobos stopped the Wildcats 93-81 as Johnson came through with 20 points.
Also winning a pair of WAC games was Colorado State, which jolted defending titlist Utah 72-64 and Brigham Young 76-66. In the latter game the Rams got 26 points and 12 rebounds from 6'5" sophomore Barry Young. Utah came back to top Wyoming 71-63. Utah State ran its record to 12-3 with a 75-73 win over Idaho State and a 102-66 triumph against James Madison.
Nevada-Las Vegas was coasting along with a 75-59 lead when Illinois State suddenly got hot. State pulled to within 93-90 on a shot by Guard Ron Jones, who had 34 points and 10 rebounds, but then Reggie Theus sank a foul shot for the last of his 26 points, and the Rebels prevailed 94-92.
Fresno State, which began the week with the best defensive average among Division I teams—the Bulldogs were allowing 55 points a game—improved on that. After beating Cal-Irvine 45-40 in their Pacific Coast AA opener, the Bulldogs dealt Cal-Santa Barbara a 73-53 setback.
It was bombs away when Freeman Williams of Portland State played against George Fox College. Last season's NCAA scoring champion unloosed 62 shots from the field, most of them from long range, and made 32 on his way to a 66-point game. State won the game 124-81 as Williams raised his scoring average to 32.1, 6.7 below his 1976-77 figure.
1. UCLA (13-1)
2. NEVADA-LV (15-2)
3. NEW MEXICO (11-2)
"We don't spend much time working on the opposition's game plan," said Kentucky Coach Joe Hall after a 101-77 win at Auburn in which Jack Givens had 25 points. "We just try to stay solid ourselves." Hall's Wildcats were plenty solid at home during a highly physical tussle with LSU. Despite being decked by an elbow, Kentucky's Mike Phillips tossed in 18 of his 23 points in the first half as the Wildcats built a 55-28 lead. Kentucky went on to win 96-76 and took command of the Southeastern Conference race.
Florida hung on for a 67-65 win over Vanderbilt, but then was beaten by Auburn 81-72 as Stan Pietkiewicz, a former Florida high school star, scored 29 points for the victors. Tennessee surprised Alabama 87-78.
While Michigan State stayed on top in the Big Ten, Minnesota flexed its muscles, winning twice. The Gophers, who played unaggressively during an earlier loss at Michigan, whomped Indiana 75-62 and Ohio State 72-47. Putting some claw into the Gopher game was 6'10" Mychal Thompson, whose two-game figures read: 41 points, 23 rebounds, 10 blocks, eight assists, innumerable intimidations. Michigan used a second-half zone to wear down Iowa 66-56 and then was jarred by Illinois 65-61. Next time out, Iowa bumped Purdue 66-60. The Boilermakers had earlier knocked off Wisconsin 79-70, after which the Badgers burned Indiana 78-65. Wisconsin's victory was built around its 2-1-2 zone and its guards, ballhandling freshman Wes Matthews (18 points) and sophomore Arnold Gaines (25).
"We were going around their zone, not through it. We had to do something." That's what Marquette Coach Hank Raymonds had to say after a 56-54 squeaker over St. Louis. What Raymonds did during the last four minutes was use a three-guard offense. The Warriors forced four late turnovers and went ahead with 58 seconds left on a jumper by Gary Rosenberger, Marquette's No. 3 guard. The Warriors then defeated UNLV 97-81.
Detroit smothered Oakland 99-58 as John Long scored 26 points, Terry Duerod 23 and Terry Tyler 13, plus 14 rebounds and six blocked shots. Tyler then got 24 points, 20 rebounds and six more blocks as the Titans beat Dayton 87-73.
Adding to their impressive records were DePaul (13-1) and Wisconsin-Green Bay (15-0). The Blue Demons beat Eastern Michigan 91-83 and Bradley 80-66 as Dave Corzine scored 58 points. Green Bay, the toprated Division II team, defeated Mankato State 101-65, Loras 62-47 and Wisconsin-Platteville 55-48.
1. KENTUCKY (12-0)
2. MARQUETTE (12-1)
3. MICHIGAN ST. (12-1)
"When we get the lead now, we build on it," said Duke's Jim Spanarkel after he scored 20 points during a 107-85 romp at Clemson. "Now we go out and attack." Other attackers were Mike Gminski (28 points) and Gene Banks (23). Banks, who almost missed a high school title game in Philadelphia because he and his mother went to church and lost track of time, prepared for the game by strolling along the banks of Lake Hartwell and "getting my thoughts together."
Duke continued to attack against North Carolina, forcing 22 turnovers, shooting .655 and pulling away for a 92-84 upset. "I've never seen a team put it together like Duke did," said Tar Heel Coach Dean Smith. Duke, which got 29 points from Gminski and 23 from Spanarkel, thus took over first place in the ACC. Phil Ford scored 29 points for Carolina, which had to play without Center Rich Yonakor, out with mononucleosis. Duke also demolished Lehigh 105-63. And the Tar Heels knocked off Wake Forest 71-69.
North Carolina State's young Wolfpack handed Maryland its third loss in a row, 88-82. Wake Forest defeated Clemson 91-90 in overtime. And Virginia's Bobby Stokes and Dave Koesters came off the bench to score 27 points and defeat the Wolfpack 74-68.
To counter Syracuse's height, Pitt started five players listed as frontcourtmen. It paid off as the Panthers outrebounded the Orange 45-39, got 30 points from Larry Harris and upset Syracuse 86-81. Dale Shackleford had 30 points for the Orange. In another road game, Syracuse rallied to beat Penn State 83-77.
Temple (12-1) won at Pitt 81-74 in double overtime and then held off Villanova 81-73. With 6'6" freshman Alex Bradley pumping in 23 points, Villanova defeated Massachusetts 71-64 to remain unbeaten in Eastern 8 competition. Rutgers won two non-conference games as James Bailey exploded. First he scored 43 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in a 79-71 win over William & Mary. Then he had 27 points and 15 rebounds as the Scarlet Knights clobbered Hawaii 95-75. Scoring honors in that game (31 points) went to teammate Hollis Copeland.
Georgetown's guards helped the Hoyas win twice. Derrick Jackson popped in 21 points in a 56-53 win over Navy, and John Duren made nine of 11 shots as the Hoyas held off South Carolina 47-43.
Three-time-winner Providence beat Brown 76-58, triumphed 76-59 at St. Joseph's and held off Penn 67-55.
High-scoring independents Holy Cross and Virginia Tech (both 11-1) got more big numbers. The Crusaders drubbed St. Peter's 104-65. Tech beat St. Bonaventure 94-89, West Virginia 99-88 and Canisius 85-70.
Two visiting independents worked hard for their wins. Detroit, down 40-33 at halftime, overhauled Iona 84-79 as John Long scored 28 points and Terry Tyler had 14 rebounds and blocked six shots. Their productivity offset freshman Jeff Ruland's 31 points and 15 rebounds. Notre Dame broke a 58-58 deadlock against St. Bonaventure with 13 straight points and hung on for a 79-78 decision.
With slick Guard Reggie Carter finally eligible to play after sitting out a year following his transfer from Hawaii, St. John's looked to be a far tougher team. Carter had 29 points and nine assists as the Redmen wiped out Fordham 97-56 and Boston College 76-54. In those games, George Johnson of the Red-men tossed in 45 points.
Wayland Baptist's No. 1-ranked women's team lost 98-86 at North Carolina State, where the Wolfpack shot .609 and got 23 points from Trudi Lacey.
1. SYRACUSE (12-2)
2. NORTH CAROLINA (13-2)
3. DUKE (12-3)
"They're so overpowering nobody's going to beat them," said Texas Coach Abe Lemons before facing unbeaten Arkansas. After the game, won by the Longhorns 75-69 before a crowd of 16,288 (the largest in Southwest Conference history) at Texas' Super Drum, Lemons said, "You can't believe everything I say." Making a winner of Texas were 6'7" JC transfer Tyrone Branyan and Guard John Moore. Branyan kept the Longhorns even in the first half by hitting six of his first seven jumpers. Moore busied himself with 20 points, eight assists and seven steals as Texas took the SWC lead. The Razorbacks, playing their fourth game in seven days, got 24 points from Sidney Moncrief.
Both teams had tuned up with wins at Houston, which was averaging 102.7 points. Texas beat the Cougars 100-89 as Jim Krivacs scored 29 points, and Arkansas won 84-65 as Marvin Delph got 24. The Razor-backs also cruised past Missouri-St. Louis 87-65 and set an SWC record with their .707 shooting while beating Rice 69-60.
Kansas continued to display its versatility, overcoming Oklahoma State 69-57 in a slow-paced game and zipping past Oklahoma 91-61. Against the Sooners, the Jayhawks got at least 13 points from all five starters and used a full-court press to force 23 turnovers.
Tied with Kansas for the Big Eight lead was Iowa State, which stunned Kansas State and Nebraska. The Cyclones stopped the Wildcats 82-77 as Big Eight scoring leader Andrew Parker had 27 points and 6'11" Dean Uthoff, the nation's top rebounder, had 15 points and pulled down 14 missed shots. Curtis Redding had 31 points for the losers. Iowa State then won 65-59 before the largest basketball crowd ever in Nebraska—14,747—as Parker had 21 points and Uthoff 16 and 12 rebounds. For the Cyclones that was the fifth win in a row, their longest streak in 11 years. Nebraska also lost 73-64 at Colorado, where the Huskers were outrebounded 47-27. Then Kansas State beat the Buffaloes 68-52.
Missouri based its hopes for an upset of Marquette on stopping the Warriors' front line. That gave senior Guard Jim Boylan shooting room at the top of the key, something the Tigers felt they did not have to worry about because Boylan had a 7.2 scoring average. But he sank 14 of 20 shots and scored 29 points, and Marquette won 70-52.
Memphis State trailed 40-31 when Cincinnati went into its four-corners offense. The Tigers double-teamed the ball, provoked 12 turnovers in 11 minutes and pulled in front 54-52. From then on, both teams used full-court presses, with the Tigers making theirs pay off with a 67-63 Metro 7 triumph. Earlier, the Bearcats had beaten St. Louis 66-55.
First-place Louisville struggled past Georgia Tech 90-84. The Yellow Jackets had a 37-32 edge in field goals, but were outscored 26-10 at the foul line. Rick Wilson put in 30 points for the Cardinals, and Darrell Griffith came off the bench with 5:44 left to score two big baskets on a scoop layup and a down-from-the-ceiling dunk.
1. ARKANSAS (14-1)
2. INDIANA STATE (12-0)
3. LOUISVILLE (10-2)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
MIKE GMINSKI: By sinking 31 of 43 field-goal attempts, scoring 75 points and grabbing 27 rebounds, the 6'11", 18-year-old sophomore led Duke to three victories and into first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference race.