UCLA lurched to a 2-4 start last season, reaching its nadir with a 19-point loss to St. John's at Madison Square Garden. This year the 3-2 Bruins lost to the Redmen in Pauley Pavilion—but respectably, 69-65 after trailing by 15. In defeat, UCLA coach Walt Hazzard found encouraging morsels. "They struggled and scrapped and fought and just couldn't get over the top," he said of the Bruins.
Unlike the Redmen's Walter Berry, who started slowly and then went on a tear to finish with 23 points and six blocked shots, Reggie Miller, UCLA's offensive machine, sputtered throughout, finishing with just nine points. He was very much daunted by Redman forward Willie Glass, whose D earned him an ovation in the winners' dressing room.
Dwayne Polee, a 6'5" guard who limited Ron Kellogg of Kansas to eight points this year in Pepperdine's only loss, had 36 points in two games as the Waves swept the Cougar Classic in Provo.
"These guys are going to make me feel like I'm 85 in about another week," said Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson after his Hogs stole a 79-70 overtime game from Ohio State. Razorback forward William Mills' foul shot after regulation time expired forced the overtime, and he scored five more points in the extra period.
Bowing 73-70 to Louisville, Western Kentucky left no doubt that it is the third-best team in the Bluegrass State. Hilltopper coach Clem Haskins gave his team an "A-minus" for its effort. The minus was for Western's inability to block out; Louisville filched an inexcusable 20 offensive rebounds from the visitors. Forward Herb Crook got seven himself.
Another intrastate feud resulted in an upset as Virginia Tech walloped Virginia in Roanoke 84-66. Suffering from an intestinal adhesion, Cavalier coach Terry Holland was flown home before the game. "We can't use it as an excuse," said guard John Johnson after Virginia's worst non-ACC loss in nine years. "There's no excuse for the way we played."
Giving West Virginia a shooting edge—and with five players suspended in connection with an alleged sexual assault, the team needs every edge it can get—is mascot Tim Nilan. Dressed up as the Mountaineer, Nilan fires a musket during home games—again and again. "Man," said Maryland forward Len Bias after the Terps nipped West Virginia 42-41, "that thing is loud."
The blasts may have had something to do with both teams' shooting a combined four of 20 and making 11 turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Canisius wrung moral victory from its 64-63 overtime loss to St. Bonaventure. It was the closest the Griffins had come to a win at St. Bonaventure in 43 years. "Can we get a win for that?" asked Canisius coach Nick Macarchuk. With three seconds to play in OT, Griffin center Tim Harvey was short on a 10-foot jumper that would have won it. Said Bonnies coach Jim O'Brien, "Ten feet is probably five feet out of his range."
At long last Danny Manning had the kind of game everyone had been waiting for as Kansas beat Kentucky for the first time in 12 years. Manning, the 6'11" sophomore forward whose play had been tentative this season, had 22 points and seven boards against the Wildcats.
Kentucky fought to within six at one point but stood no chance after forward Kenny (Sky) Walker was grounded by one of his own crew. Walker, whose 36 points destroyed the Jayhawks last year, missed most of the second half after teammate Robert Lock poked him in the eye. "If they had thrown the ball to me," said Walker, "I would have seen two."
Illinois guard Doug Altenberger, on whose sore right knee his team's hopes ride this season, still has two games to decide if he will redshirt. After sitting out the Illini's 54-51 loss to Tennessee, Altenberger hit his first four attempts Saturday as Illinois drowned Houston with outside shooting, 102-92. Said losing coach Guy Lewis, whose Cougars also dropped an 84-78 midweek contest to DePaul, "We're just glad to get out of here without being embarrassed."
This UCLA player blew a few shots, too.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
WILLIAM MILLS: Arkansas's 6'7" junior forward had 12 rebounds and 28 points—both career highs—including five points in overtime to lead the Razorbacks past previously undefeated Ohio State 79-70.