What was the Louisville team doing in Washington, Pa.? Well, the Cardinals, who had just won 90-78 at West Virginia behind Darrell Griffith's 35 points, would have preferred being in Cincinnati, where they were to play the next day. But, the plane they were to have taken from Pittsburgh was grounded because of fog in Dayton, where the squad was to have landed. Hastily, the Cardinals arranged for a bus to whisk them to Cincy. But the bus whisked only as far as Washington before breaking down. There, during a two-hour delay for repairs, the players ate junk food and watched TV. Then the Cardinals hopped aboard their fixed-up vehicle—and it broke down again in Mount Sterling, Ohio, where the team bedded down in a motel. With the bus in working order again, the Cardinals made it to Cincinnati—21 hours behind schedule. There the weary players concluded an eight-day road trip by holding off the Bearcats 61-57 for their 17th victory in a row and the Metro Seven regular-season title. Louisville had begun the week with a 56-54 overtime win at Virginia Tech, thanks to a basket by Griffith with two seconds left.
There was some shuffling in the Big Eight standings, two-time losers Kansas State and Nebraska falling to second and third, respectively, while double-winner Missouri took a one-game lead. After an 83-68 triumph at Colorado, the Tigers beat Oklahoma State 93-81. In those games Curtis Berry tossed in 42 points and latched on to 23 rebounds.
Kansas State was toppled 48-46 by Kansas and 66-58 by Iowa State. The Wildcats blew a 12-point advantage against the Jay-hawks and lost when Booty Neal got a basket three seconds from the end. Since Coach Lynn Nance resigned three weeks ago, Iowa State has been guided by co-coaches Rick Samuels and Reggie Warford. "I think we are being discriminated against because we don't have a head coach," said Warford, complaining that too many fouls were being called on his team. But against Kansas State only 11 fouls were called on the Cyclones. And the Wildcats missed both their free throws, while Iowa State made 12 of 18. Samuels and Warford were delighted by the rejuvenated play of 6'11", 242-pound Dean Uthoff, a senior who had played well his first two seasons but only so-so since. Believing that Uthoff needed motivation, the coaches left a series of challenging notes for him before the Kansas State game. Uthoff, who said he felt like a caged tiger by game time, responded with 19 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.
Arkansas Guard Mike Young admits he is slow afoot. But he was quick enough to dart into the right corner, take a pass from U. S. Reed and score a basket that cut Texas A&M's lead to 44-43 with 1:22 to go. Reed had something to admit, too: he said he wasn't even touched by Rudy Woods of the Aggies when he drew a foul as he went up for a shot with four seconds to be played. Reed tied the game at 44—all by sinking one of two free throws and drew another controversial foul when A&M's Dave Goff fell on him while taking a desperation 45-foot shot. With no time on the clock Reed went to the foul line. After making the first of his two shots, Reed was engulfed by his teammates and never bothered with his second try. The Razorbacks' 45-44 triumph deadlocked them with A&M for the Southwest lead. Arkansas then squeezed past Rice 77-73 as Scott Hastings had 25 points and 16 rebounds. And the Aggies, with Vernon Smith netting 21 points and David Brit-ton 20, wiped out Texas 84-61.
Bradley sewed up the Missouri Valley title by handing Indiana State its worst home setback in seven years, 82-60. Mitchell Anderson continued to perform wondrous deeds for the Braves, sinking 16 of 22 field-goal attempts, scoring 32 points, grabbing nine rebounds and getting five assists.
1. LOUISVILLE (24-2)
2. MISSOURI (20-4)
3. TEXAS A&M (20-7)
George Raveling, the Washington State coach, has a reputation for delivering snappy one-liners. Speaking of Marv Harshman, his Washington counterpart, who is short on talented players, Raveling said, "I tried to find a Christmas present for him, but what do you give to the guy who has nothing?" Raveling's Cougars showed that they have something, shocking Pac-10 leader Oregon State 69-51. Firing Washington State's attack with 26 points was Don Collins, the conference's top scorer. Cougar Guard Bryan Rison, who had 20 points in that game, sank 23 of 25 free throws during an 81-66 drubbing of Oregon in which both he and Collins wound up with 31 points.
Arizona State was just half a game out of first place after beating Southern Cal 67-57. A hard-to-crack zone defense and 19 points and eight rebounds by Alton Lister were the Sun Devils' main assets.
UCLA got lots of points from two young players while defeating Arizona 90-78. The Bruins shot a remarkable .711 as a team, and sophomore Mike Sanders scored 24 points, freshman Ron Foster 28.
"I'm tickled pink," said Utah State Coach Rod Tueller after losing 84-83 at Brigham Young, where Fred Roberts of the Cougars had 26 points and 12 rebounds. If Tueller was so happy with a defeat, one can only imagine what joy he felt after his team tightened its grasp on the Pacific Coast AA lead by stopping Cal State Long Beach 96-90 and UC Santa Barbara 54-51. The Aggies got 73 points from Dean Hunger and 72 from Brian Jackson in the three games.
Scoring 30 points in two games is no big deal. But 30 by David Johnson accounted for 35% of Weber State's total as the Wildcats clinched the Big Sky title, winning twice. The Wildcats downed Nevada-Reno 57-55 when Johnson, who had 20 points, converted two foul shots with four seconds left. State then upped its record to 23-2 by outlasting Northern Arizona's stall 28-22.
Nevada-Las Vegas continued to play barn burners, beating Wyoming 66-64 and Colorado State 81-80. The Rebels, who are 19-5, have won eight times by four points or fewer. Vegas had another nail-biter on Sunday, losing to Kentucky 74-69 as Sam Bowie led the Wildcats with 23 points.
1. OREGON STATE (23-3)
2. WASHINGTON STATE (19-4)
3. BYU (20-4)
After a 95-70 loss to Kentucky, Florida Coach Ed Visscher said, "We are the Rodney Dangerfield of the league. Nobody gives us any respect." There was no lack of respect for the Wildcats, though, particularly for 7'1" freshman Sam Bowie, who had 19 points against the Gators. Bowie earned further stature in a game with Vanderbilt, scoring 20 points, pulling down nine rebounds and blocking six shots as Kentucky romped 91-73.
Louisiana State remained deadlocked with Kentucky for first place in the Southeastern Conference, and this week brings a showdown between the two. Unlike the Wildcats, the Tigers didn't breeze to their triumphs. Guard Ethan Martin was spectacular as LSU downed Tennessee 73-66, pumping in 25 points and picking up half of his team's 14 steals. Martin opened the game with a steal and layup, ended the first half the same way and began the second half in like manner. At Auburn, however, State resorted to a late five-minute freeze to lock up a 50-44 decision. Afterward, LSU Coach Dale Brown gave a pep talk to the losers, congratulating them for a gritty effort. Brown's words just might have helped Auburn. Next time out, the Tigers ended an eight-game losing streak by defeating Georgia 69-65 in overtime.
When it came to true grit, Indiana's Hoosiers displayed plenty of it. Mike Woodson, who had not played in 57 days following surgery for a herniated disc, sank his first three shots against Iowa. He ended up with 18 points and five rebounds as the Hoosiers won 66-55. Hardly had Woodson returned when Isiah Thomas of Indiana went out after bumping heads with Kevin Boyle of the Hawkeyes. Thomas, who needed 20 stitches, was back on the floor in the second half to add zip to the Hoosier attack with his deft playmaking and 12 points. Woodson continued his comeback against Minnesota, playing 39 minutes, scoring 24 points and passing off for five assists. All of which left Indiana tied with Purdue and Ohio State atop the Big Ten.
Last-place Northwestern jarred the Boilermakers 57-54 behind Mike Campbell's 21 points. Then, despite 30 points by Wes Matthews of Wisconsin, Purdue was a 69-61 victor. When Minnesota upset Ohio State 74-70, the big gun for the Gophers was Kevin McHale, who netted 20 points. The Buckeyes righted themselves by polishing off Illinois 71-57. The Illini got into a jam by missing 13 of their first 14 shots and were kept there by OSU's Herb Williams (18 points, 12 rebounds, four blocked shots) and Clark Kellogg (15 rebounds, 11 points).
DePaul was overwhelming, Mark Aguirre putting in 23 points as the Blue Demons beat Valparaiso 95-71 and then, in just 26 minutes, scored 30 more as Butler went down 103-79.
Two other independents, Marquette and Notre Dame, kept on winning. The Warriors fattened their record to 15-7 by sweeping past Xavier of Ohio 82-70 and Dayton 73-64. Leading the way for Marquette were Oliver Lee with 39 points and Sam Worthen with 38. Kelly Tripucka poured in 73 points as Notre Dame (19-4) avenged an earlier loss to San Francisco 78-66, beat Fordham 86-76 and ran away from South Carolina 90-66.
And now for a fish story. Bowling Green, which fell a game back in the Mid-American race by splitting two games while Toledo won twice, almost had to get along without starting Forward Mike Miday. He needed six stitches in his shooting hand after being bitten by his pet piranha, which let the big one (Miday is 6'7" and 218 pounds) get away.
1. DePAUL (22-0)
2. LSU (20-4)
3. INDIANA (16-7)
There were 14 minutes left and Georgetown trailed 38-23 at Syracuse when a capacity crowd of 9,521 joined the Sour Citrus Society band in a rendition of Auld Lang Syne. It seemed fitting. After all, this was the final game ever for the Orangemen at Manley Field House, where they had been 190-27 and where they had won their last 57 home games. If that little ditty didn't bring a few tears to the eyes of Syracuse fans, then the Hoyas most certainly did. When the music stopped, Georgetown got its offense humming. A pair of foul shots by Eric Floyd with five seconds remaining put the Hoyas on top for keeps, 52-50.
Three days later, Louis Orr of Syracuse was sizzling at St. John's. Orr took up the slack left by foul-plagued Roosevelt Bouie, snaring 17 rebounds and scoring the last of his 29 points on a layup that barely beat the final buzzer for a 72-71 Orange victory. With freshman David Russell coming off the bench to pump in 15 points in the first half, the Redmen had led by as many as 11.
Following a 68-51 loss at North Carolina. Jeff Lamp of Virginia glanced at the final statistics and crumpled the sheet. Among the numbers that irked Lamp were the Cavaliers' 1l-for-29 second-half shooting and the 13 rebounds pulled down by Mike O'Koren of the Tar Heels. What the stat sheet didn't show was that 6'11" Jeff Wolf held Virginia's 7'4" Ralph Sampson to 12 points—just two in the second half—and that he even worked around the big freshman for two stuffs. North Carolina, which also beat Georgia Tech 60-50, thus moved into second place in the ACC.
Against Clemson, Sampson had 32 points and Lee Raker 21, and Lamp assured Virginia an 89-87 triumph when he sank two free throws with four seconds to go. Tiger Coach Bill Foster noted with chagrin that his team had scored nine more field goals than the Cavaliers. Foster was consoled a bit when, playing at home against North Carolina State, Clemson won 78-70 despite having scored nine fewer baskets than the Wolfpack. That was the greatest number of points given up by State since its season opener. Earlier, the Wolfpack came from 16 points back to overtake Duke 76-59.
Peter Moss tossed in 22 points as Brown beat Princeton 58-50 and 33 as the Bruins handed Penn its first Ivy setback, 71-58.
1. SYRACUSE (22-2)
2. ST. JOHN'S (21-3)
3. MARYLAND (19-5)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
DON COLLINS: Washington State's 6'6" senior forward sank 23 of 39 field-goal tries and had 57 points, seven steals, 10 rebounds and four assists as the Cougars got into the thick of the furious Pac-10 race with two victories.