Utah Coach Jerry Pimm knew what his team had to do if it was to defeat Brigham Young in a battle for the Western Athletic Conference lead. The Utes would have to control the big Cougar front line, keep BYU from sweeping the boards clean and pay close attention to Danny Ainge. Those were not small tasks. But when the Cougars came to Salt Lake City, that's exactly what happened. BYU's front-liners, who missed 22 of 31 floor shots, combined for a modest 22 points. Utah was out-rebounded only 39-35. And Pace Mannion stuck to Ainge like glue, helping to limit him to 4-for-19 shooting and 16 points, 10 below his average. The Cougars led 28-26 at the intermission, but then the Utes began penetrating the 2-3 zone that had been designed to corral them. When not busy containing the Cougar front line, Utah's Danny Vranes and Tom Chambers teamed up to pull down 20 rebounds and showed why they are 1-2 among the WAC's field-goal shooters. Vranes had six buckets in nine tries and scored 12 points, while Chambers made eight of 12 and scored 22. The game was tied on 20 occasions before Utah won 60-56.
There was also a scramble among the top four teams in the PCAA. Because San Jose's Civic Auditorium was booked, San Jose State met Utah State at nearby Independence High School. Some early rejects by the Aggies' 6'11" Leo Cunningham caused a further change in the Spartans' plans. Instead of working the ball inside as they usually do. they rode to a 68-64 victory behind the outside shooting of Forwards Doug Murray, who had 22 points, and Sid Williams, who had 20. Two nights later, the teams played at Utah State, where San Jose State made 11 of its last 13 floor shots, got a 21-point performance from Murray and came out on top 82-71.
Those results left the Spartans a game up on Long Beach State, which twice defeated UC Irvine. Kevin Magee of Irvine, who began the week as the NCAA scoring leader with a 29.4 average and who was second in field-goal percentage and third in rebounding, left the first game with 11 minutes to go after suffering a broken nose in a battle for a loose ball. At the time, the score was 44-44 and Magee had scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. His replacement, Grant Taylor, put the Anteaters on top 53-50 with a three-point play. Long Beach State then ran off 14 straight points and won 70-59. Craig Dykema scored 22 points for the 49ers in that game. Long Beach State won two days later at Irvine 82-78 even though Magee, who briefly wore a nose guard, scored 35 points.
UCLA rallied to break even on the road. After an 81-67 loss at Oregon State (page 22), the Bruins trailed Oregon 63-62 with 4:36 left before winning 75-69 as Mike Sanders tossed in 22 points and Rod Foster 20. Arizona State solidified its hold on second place by romping to an 84-66 Pac-10 victory over Stanford as Guards Byron Scott and Lafayette Lever combined for 36 points.
Will the real Missouri please stand up? On the road, the Tigers have played like declawed kittens, losing six of 11 games. At home, though, they've been a roaring success. Mizzou extended its at-home record to 10-0 by dealing Oklahoma State its first Big Eight loss, 92-77, and stopping Colorado 66-58. Steve Stipanovich had 38 points in the wins as the Tigers pulled to within a game of first-place Oklahoma State. Matt Clark of the Cowboys, who sprained an ankle against Missouri, sat out most of the first half against Oklahoma two days later. Clark, who began the week with a 19.8 scoring average, the best in the league, limped through Oklahoma State's fast-paced attack and scored 15 points in his team's 87-85 victory. Leroy Combs had 23 points and Randy Wright nine assists. Keeping the Sooners close—and sometimes ahead—was 6'4" sophomore Chuck Barnett, who had 34 points and 12 rebounds.
Kansas scored its fewest points in 19 years in a 54-43 loss at Kansas State and fell again at Nebraska 57-54. Even though Rolando Blackman had just one point against the Jay-hawks, Wildcat Coach Jack Hartman spoke of his play as a "perfect example" of how effective a guard can be in other ways. Black-man played tough defense, had seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
After 12 minutes at West Texas State, Wichita State was down 30-12. When it was all over, the Shockers had a 73-65 triumph and a share of the MVC lead. What made the comeback possible was the Shockers' use of a half-court defense that hounded the Buffaloes into numerous turnovers, seven in the first five minutes of the second half. Wichita State also wiped out Indiana State 93-59. Co-leader Bradley defeated New Mexico State 80-65 as Mitchell Anderson had 24 points and 13 rebounds, and supersub Hasan Houston came off the bench to score 21 points.
"Man, I love Big Ten officials. They never call fouls." So said Wake Forest's Jim Johnstone after his 18 points and Frank Johnson's 19 helped hand Marquette an 83-60 setback in a game in Winston-Salem, N.C. refereed by a Midwest crew. The Warriors, down 31-30 at halftime, were worked over in the second half as they suffered their worst defeat since 1964-65.
Although he played just two seasons of high school ball, Center Sam Perkins of North Carolina has become the finest freshman in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In a pair of road games Perkins had 16 points and 12 rebounds as the Tar Heels defeated Clemson 61-47 and added another 16 points as they downed North Carolina State. North Carolina trailed the Wolfpack by five with 9:20 left, but then clamped on a tight zone. It allowed only three points the rest of the way and settled matters when Al Wood converted two foul shots in the final five seconds. Despite the graduation of five seniors from last year's team, the Tar Heels have been surprisingly strong and are one game behind first-place Virginia (page 26). North Carolina is short on depth, but Coach Dean Smith has manipulated well. Other factors have been the development of Perkins and the recovery of James Worthy, who broke an ankle last season.
Pitt was leading visiting Maryland 62-55 with 2:56 remaining when Albert King and Greg Manning of the Terps came through. King popped in five quick points and Manning scored on a baseline drive to knot the score with 1:27 left. It was Buck Williams who made the difference in overtime as he netted six points in Maryland's 69-66 win.
Rhode Island (15-3) knocked off Connecticut 78-75 behind Horace Owens' 27 points and then was a 56-49 victor at Rutgers in an Eastern Eight contest. Conference leader West Virginia (15-3), which has outrebounded every opponent this season, stayed a game ahead of the Rams by defeating Pitt 76-63.
A 73-60 victory over Villanova moved Boston College (15-2) into a first-place tie with St. John's in the Big East.
Princeton's Randy Melville converted a free throw with 10 seconds left to give Princeton a 62-61 victory over Penn and a tie for the Ivy League lead with Harvard, which downed Cornell 71-69 in overtime.
Broome (N.Y.) Community College swept past Alfred Tech 70-40 for Coach Dick Baldwin's 760th win. That put Baldwin, 59, fourth on the alltime victory list.
Kerschplatt. Ka-thump. Crunch. Teams were really mixing it up in the Big Ten last week, despite the officials' best efforts to maintain order. The Purdue-at-Indiana black-and-blue special was only 1:34 old when Hoosier Coach Bobby Knight was hit with a technical for protesting a foul call. Russell Cross, the 6'10" Boilermaker freshman, made all four free throws for a 6-0 lead. Just 18 seconds later, Purdue Coach Gene Keady drew two Ts for protesting that Knight wasn't tagged with one when Knight grabbed an official and moved him out of his line of sight. By the time everyone limped off the floor, 27 fouls had been levied against the Boilermakers and 26 against the Hoosiers. Oh, yes, Isiah Thomas scored 26 points as Indiana won 69-61 to take the lead in the Big Ten.
Earlier in the week at Minnesota, the Hoosiers came back from a 30-18 deficit in the second half for a 56-53 overtime victory. Randy Wittman, told by Knight at halftime, "We can't win without your scoring," got all 14 of his points after the intermission. Two of Wittman's baskets came in the extra period. Five of Indiana's seven losses have been to Top 20 squads, but the Hoosiers have persevered, especially on defense.
Purdue's game at Iowa was another matchup of sophisticated muscles and elbows. "It was terrible out there," Cross admitted after the Boilermakers' 84-67 loss. Hawkeye Coach Lute Olsen liked the way his big men—Steve Krafcisin and Steve Waite—took charge. "They came out thinking aggressively," Olsen said of his Steve-adores, who poured in 28 points and hauled down 15 rebounds. Purdue, which began the season well, has now lost four of its last six games.
Mike McGee had 46 points as Michigan took two road games, 77-52 at Northwestern and 74-67 at Wisconsin. The Badgers led 31-28 at the half, but McGee netted 17 second-half points and propelled the Wolverines to a 70-54 lead at one stage.
"I don't put any pressure on to win," said Illinois Coach Lou Henson of his new, easygoing approach. "I tell my players to play relaxed, move the ball, play the game right." The Illini played right at Michigan State, winning 71-70, and shocked visiting Iowa 79-66 while outrebounding the Hawkeyes 45-31.
With Dominique Wilkins scoring 18 of his 32 points by halftime, Georgia led Kentucky 31-18 at one point and 37-30 at the intermission. But then the Wildcats' Sam Bowie scored several times off alley-oop passes to help send the game into overtime. Bowie blocked an unwise Bulldog shot with 48 seconds left in the first extra period, and Kentucky took the ball downcourt for a tying basket. In the second overtime, Dirk Minnie-field's dunk put Kentucky ahead 67-64 and safely on the way to a 71-68 victory.
Second-half surges kept Louisiana State unbeaten in the SEC. In a game at Mississippi, the Tigers finally took the lead for keeps with 10 minutes to go and won 69-63 as Durand Macklin had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Florida's young squad put up a fight, too, before succumbing 92-75 at LSU. Freshmen Ronnie Williams and Vernon Delancy had a total of 45 points as the Gators became the first conference team to score in the 70s against the Tigers. Macklin had 28 points in that game, Howard Carter scored 25 and Ethan Martin added 18. Martin also had 10 assists and four steals, giving him 50 thefts in the 18 games he has played.
Dale Ellis twice came through in the late going to carry Tennessee to home-court triumphs, 72-67 over Georgia and 62-58 over Alabama. Ellis led the Vols back from a pair of eight-point deficits against the Bulldogs and finished with 24 points.
It was Thursday, and DePaul Coach Ray Meyer was seated in his new office, which features dark green carpeting and walnut paneling. Nonetheless, Meyer was glum about his team's latest uninspiring victory, 54-50 the night before at Illinois State. In between mouthfuls of raspberry ice cream, Meyer said, "We were walking into the locker room after one game and a player, who didn't know I was behind him, said, 'I'll bet we took five years off Coach's life tonight.' We're not rebounding. We're a transition team and we have to rebound. Are we playing not to lose or to win?" On Sunday against Syracuse, the Blue Demons played to win and did, 91-69.
A Sun Belt Conference-record crowd of 16,131 was at Alabama-Birmingham as the Blazers bumped South Alabama out of first place 73-70. The Blazers did it the hard way, trailing by 16 in the first half and then shifting from a zone to a man-to-man in the last 20 minutes when they held the Jaguars to 32.0% shooting. Oliver Robinson had 26 points for UAB, which also ended South Florida's 12-game winning streak, 70-53.
Kelly Tripucka tossed in 39 points as Notre Dame defeated Cornell 80-57 and South Carolina 94-84. The Gamecocks' Zam Fredrick had 34 points against the Irish, 29 in a 93-77 win over Richmond and 39 in a 90-72 defeat of Hofstra.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
STEVE JOHNSON: The 6'10½", 235-pound senior center kept Oregon State first in the Pac-10 by sinking 23 of 34 floor shots, scoring 52 points, grabbing 23 rebounds and getting seven assists in wins over UCLA and USC.