Fans in Portland had high hopes for a high score against Oregon State because a Lomax would be leading them. Unfortunately for them, the Lomax was cheerleader Terry, brother of the rifle-armed football quarterback, Neil. Terry dresses up as a mouse for Viking home games, which was fitting, because Portland State went down meekly to the Beavers 102-58. Leading the way for Oregon State was 6'8" freshman Charlie Sitton, who went 11 for 11 from the field and scored 23 points. "They were trying to stop Steve [Johnson, the center], and Charlie was able to get into the holes," said Beaver Coach Ralph Miller. Johnson also contributed, shooting eight for 12 from the field and scoring 19 points. Oregon State was 62.9% as a team. The torrid shooting continued as the Beavers hit 62.3% in a 92-57 romp over Portland.
Arizona State had to struggle to beat New Mexico 86-83 in Albuquerque. "I like big games. I definitely feel differently," said Kenny Page, explaining the Lobos' tougher-than-expected showing. "Their ranking makes you even more excited. You want to knock them off and send them home crying." Page scored 35 points on 15-for-26 shooting, but the big heartbreaker and crowd-silencer was Sun Devil Guard Byron Scott, who scored 33 points. Scott was oblivious to the noise in New Mexico's pit. "It was a great crowd," he said. "I enjoyed it. It's nice to have 17,000 people come to see you." Earlier in the week Scott held reigning Big Eight Player of the Year Rolando Blackman of Kansas State to 14 points in an 84-61 Sun Devil romp.
UCLA Guard Rod Foster got inspired for his game against Pepperdine after hearing NBC commentator Al McGuire say archrival Oregon State deserved to be ranked ahead of the Bruins. "I got kind of upset about that," said Foster, who scored 12 points and added four steals in an 81-63 win. After the game, Pepperdine Coach Jim Harrick also took exception to McGuire's remark. "I think UCLA is better than Oregon State," he said. "They're a much better team. I think UCLA is 10 times better defensively than Oregon State."
Nevada-Las Vegas Coach Jerry Tarkanian was scratching his head after an 85-78 loss to Texas-El Paso. "We tried everything," he said. "We just didn't try it well enough." Brigham Young did enough good things to win its own Cougar Classic in Provo, beating North Texas State 108-92 and St. Mary's of California 95-76.
In the opening game of the Atlantic Coast Conference season, Virginia's Ralph Sampson scored 30 points on 12-for-17 shooting and grabbed 17 rebounds as the Cavaliers beat Duke 91-79. The man assigned to Sampson, 6'8" Mike Tissaw, was a little low after the game. "I feel responsible for that 30 points," said Tissaw. "I'd like to forget about it right now."
Other ACC teams fattened up on opponents outside the league. Maryland was a 109-83 winner over Fairleigh Dickinson; Clemson beat Illinois Tech 108-41; and Wake Forest won twice, 110-59 over John Carroll and 98-73 over Florida Southern.
Although Lee Rose coached at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for three years in the shadow of North Carolina's Dean Smith, the two hadn't, matched strategies in a game until last week. The Tar Heels won, 73-64, but the Bulls led for most of the first period and trailed by only two at the break, 39-37. Smith's second-half offensive adjustment set up the victory. "I told them to get the ball inside to Sam Perkins," Smith said. "When he gets it there, he's either going to score or get fouled." He got both: 24 points, including 12 of 15 free throws.
Texas A&M won the First Union Invitational at Charlotte, beating co-hosts UNCC and Davidson 75-64 and 76-62, respectively.
Aggie Coach Shelby Metcalf said the championship game against Davidson was "probably the best game we've played this year." Perhaps the Aggies are just getting used to life on the run. A&M will be at home for only nine of 27 games this season. "We love it—we get to play basketball and see the world at the same time," said 6'8" Forward Vernon Smith, who scored 40 points and pulled down 23 rebounds in the tournament.
St. Joseph's, which won seven games in overtime or in the last seconds a year ago, added a pair of heart-stoppers, beating Princeton 51-50 in OT and Cornell 42-39 in the final moments. The cardiac pace slowed slightly in a 45-40 win over Jacksonville.
Indiana suffered its second straight loss, 68-64 to Notre Dame in South Bend, as Irish Forward Kelly Tripucka scored 16 points. "I get pysched when I see an Indiana uniform," Tripucka said. The Hoosiers recovered to win the seventh annual Indiana Classic. Their 83-47 rout of Baylor marked IU's 14th straight victory in the tourney, and Landon Turner, who scored 23 points in the final, was the seventh straight Hoosier to win the MVP award. The real excitement came in the semifinal when Coach Bobby Knight was ejected from a game in Assembly Hall for the first time in his 10-year Indiana career. With three minutes remaining in what turned out to be a 94-58 win over California, Knight drew a technical foul—his second of the game—for not replacing an injured player within the required 30 seconds. After the substitution was made, Referee Bob Burson changed his mind and said the sub had come in on time, and the technical was withdrawn. That irritated Cal Coach Dick Kuchen, who earned a technical for himself. However, before any free throws were shot, Burson again changed his mind. He ruled the substitution hadn't been made in time, so Knight had his second technical again. Knight exploded, drawing his third technical, automatic ejection and a standing ovation from the crowd. Kuchen stood pat with one T.
Iowa Coach Lute Olson switched centers before a game with Nevada-Reno, inserting Steve Waite into the starting lineup for Steve Krafcisin because "when Big K starts, he tends to get into foul trouble early." Waite finished with 13 points, Krafcisin 10, and Iowa won 112-71. Mission accomplished. But when Olson used the same strategy against Drake, Waite picked up two fouls in the first three minutes. Enter Krafcisin, who scored 23 points with 17 rebounds in a 90-68 win. Iowa outrebounded the Bulldogs 66-30.
"Rankings don't mean anything, but if we beat Marquette we definitely belong," said Illinois Forward Eddie Johnson, who was covering himself, win or lose. Johnson then scored 18 points in the Illini's 69-68 win over the Warriors in Milwaukee. Craig Tucker's free throw with 56 seconds left broke a 68-all tie and Illinois held on; with 15 seconds left, Marquette's Oliver Lee missed a jump shot, and with four seconds to play Mark Smith stole the ball. Michigan moved into the SI Top 20 rankings by beating Akron 98-69, Kent State 97-72 and Dayton 85-84.
However, Nevada-Las Vegas Coach Jerry Tarkanian was just plain rankled after losing 87-73 to LSU in Baton Rouge. "I think eventually we're going to be a real good club, but we aren't now," he said. "LSU dismantled us every way there is." Durand Macklin led LSU with 25 points, and Howard Carter added 20. The Rebels lost their fight when Sidney Green fouled out with 17:41 remaining.
DePaul beat Northern Illinois 93-56, and Kentucky, college basketball's alltime winner, beat Kansas, third on the list, 87-73.
After Louisville finally won its first game of the season in four starts, 78-67 over Maryland, Forward Poncho Wright, poet laureate and team wit, tried to put things in perspective: "Everybody thought that 'Ville was ill/But we came out to play Maryland with intent to kill/We beat them convincingly to get over the hill/And now the 'Ville is headed for the Phil." (Philadelphia is the site of the NCAA finals.) Wright may have a point. The Cardinals broke a close game open with a 12-0 spurt early in the second half to take a 58-45 lead and control of the game. "They just got after us. They blocked a few shots, and maybe that intimidated us," said Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell. The Cardinals harassed Maryland into 36.8% shooting, including a 5-for-20 performance by Albert King. Louisville had 15 steals, five blocked shots and probably twice as many intimidations. "Maryland has a good team but they kind of walked into a booby trap," said Guard Jerry Eaves.
After his Missouri Tigers fell hard to Illinois 84-62, Coach Norm Stewart was fuming. "I've got a few players I'd want to get into a car and take a trip with, and I've got about six I'd like to put in a bus and push over a cliff," he said. Top reserve Lex Drum won't be making any trips, because he bailed out earlier in the week citing a "personality conflict" with Stewart. The Tigers, who set an NCAA record for field-goal accuracy last year (57.2%) hit an anemic 40% against the Illini. They went nearly eight minutes without a basket at the start of the second half.
Three members of the Bradley Braves got up extra early Saturday morning for an 8 o'clock astronomy final. That afternoon all the Braves played with their heads in the clouds against Illinois Wesleyan, trailing 32-29 with 6½ minutes to go in the game before finally coming down to earth with a 48-42 victory. Hasan Houston, one of the early risers, came off the bench to save the Braves with 16 points. DePaul and Mark Aguirre were all business in an 83-65 win over Texas. An early 6-0 Longhorn lead disappeared after Aguirre had some admonishing words for his teammates. "Come on now, let's get this over with quick," said Aguirre, who did his part by scoring 25 points.
Coach Gene Smithson had a few choice words for his Wichita State squad after the Shockers fell behind Northeast Louisiana 36-29 in a lethargic first half. "A halftime with Coach Smithson is something you have to see to believe," said 6'8" sophomore Cliff Levingston. Properly motivated, Wichita outscored the Indians 53-27 in the second half, winning 82-63. The most motivated Shocker may have been Antoine Carr. The normally offensive-minded Carr turned into a demon on defense, holding Northeast star Terry Martin to four points in the final 15 minutes of the game. Wichita State also overcame a stall by Long Beach State, downing the 49ers 80-61.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
BYRON SCOTT: Arizona State's 6'5" sophomore guard scored 39 points in leading the Sun Devils to wins over Kansas State and New Mexico. Against the Lobos, Scott converted all 10 of his first-half field goals.