New Mexico players could not stand it any longer, so they asked Coach Bob King to move them out of the sorority house where they had been living between semesters. The Lobos said that they found life with the frilly curtains as demoralizing as their four straight road losses. King put them in a motel, and before anyone could say Kappa Alpha Theta, New Mexico was whomping favored Texas-El Paso 68-44. King also changed his team's style. For years he tried to please fans with a running game, but against the Miners he slowed the pace. On defense he kept switching from man-to-man to a zone trap and held UTEP to almost 30 points below its average. It was all part of a frenetic week in the Western AC. Colorado State started off tied for first place, only to lose 78-74 to Arizona, which had lost 11 of 12, and 99-71 to Arizona State. Wyoming lost to both of the Arizonas, to the Wildcats 75-66, and to the Sun Devils 81-67. Brigham Young, a 67-61 winner over Utah, was the only unbeaten team in the WAC.
After going last season without anyone taller than 6'4", Texas Tech Coach Gerald Myers went shopping. He came back with a couple of junior-college redwoods, 6'8" Ralph (Telescope) Palomar and 6'10" Ron Richardson. Last week the Red Raiders reached new heights as Palomar had 23 points and Richardson 14 in a 73-67 victory over Baylor, the best—with a 10-2 pre-conference record—of any of the Southwest Conference teams. Defending SWC champion TCU also had help from a JC transfer—Simpson Degrate, who had 31 points—as it downed Arkansas 95-77. Sophomore Larry Robertson pumped in 35 points for Texas, which beat Rice 87-73.
Tied for the lead in the West Coast AC with 4-0 records were Santa Clara and San Francisco. Mike Stewart had 36 points as the Broncos held off Seattle 86-83. Phil Smith got 25 in the Dons' 92-75 win over St. Mary's.
UCLA's Wooden soldiers marched past Stanford 118-79 and California 82-43 as Bill Walton scored 52 points. Said Stanford Coach Howie Dallmar of Walton: "He has total intimidation." Dallmar then compared Walton to Bill Russell in his college days. "Walton plays defense even better than Bill did," he said, "plus he does everything offensively." USC, trying to prove it belongs in the league with UCLA, beat California 102-69 and Stanford 65-63. In the latter win Paul Westphal controlled the ball for almost half a minute before driving in for the winning basket with seven seconds to go.
Long Beach State led Los Angeles State by just five points with 13:25 left when 6'11" Nate Stephens of the 49ers fouled out. But 6'10" Bob Lynn took over. Result: the 49ers popped in 22 field goals and 56 points (10 by Lynn) for a 103-83 win. After playing at Long Beach, Santa Barbara Coach Ralph Barkey said: "They have a tremendous advantage at home. During one time out our players had to sit on towels out on the court. On the bench, people were leaning over, listening in and making faces at us." Santa Barbara lost 75-57. It was Long Beach's 50th consecutive home win.
Weber State coaxed Utah State into a game, then beat the Aggies 69-67 with a pressing defense. Marquette gamboled past Nevada-Reno 82-55. Southern Colorado State, a small-college team, ran out of players, if not fight. Charged with 39 fouls, Southern played the final 30 seconds against Air Force with three men and lost 84-76.
1. UCLA (12-0)
2. LONG BEACH STATE (14-1)
Penn stepped into a Tiger trap and came out a two-way loser, to Princeton 69-56 and to the Tigers' coach, Pete Carril, who turned into a lecturer after the game. "Don't tell me about your zones, I formation, tandem I and tandem right," he said. "They're baloney. It's courage and character that make the difference between players and great players, between great surgeons and ones who bury their mistakes." It was Penn's first league loss after a record 30 straight Ivy victories, which must say something about its own courage and character. Reggie Bird and John Berger got 15 points each for Princeton, Brian Taylor 17. Taylor's chief contribution, though, was negative. He limited Penn's Corky Calhoun to one field goal.
Upsets abounded elsewhere, West Virginia and Duquesne becoming first-time losers and Villanova being stopped by Providence 76-69. The Mountaineers, playing away for the first time, lost not once but twice—91-76 to Pitt and 77-64 to Penn State. Pitt also beat Davidson 91-78. George Gervin scored the last two of his 22 points on a driving layup with three seconds left as Eastern Michigan jarred Duquesne 70-69. But the Dukes found solace at Olean, N.Y. where they beat St. Bonaventure 96-91 as 6'9" sophomore Lionel (Big Train) Billingy scored 29 points and fouled out the Bonnies' Matt Gantt with 10:06 remaining. Trailing 70-69 with 16 seconds to go against Holy Cross, Boston College Coach Bob Zuffelato decided to send in Dave Ulrich for one last shot. Dave Ulrich? He hadn't played all night. Ulrich got the ball, let go with a jumper and swished it.
1. PRINCETON (10-2)
2. PENN (9-2)
Wisconsin Coach John Powless sadly told his first-, second-and sixth-best scorers that they could not play against Indiana because they had broken curfew. He told his remaining players to use basic strategy even though that was the type of game the Hoosiers preferred. So, with eight seconds left, the Badgers trailed by only a point 60-59, and then it was time for Indiana Coach Bob Knight to feel like climbing a wall. Not once but twice his team tossed the ball inbounds directly to Wisconsin's Kim Hughes, who got a foul shot out of the exchanges to send the game into overtime. The Badgers finally won 66-64 when Craig Manwaring sank a shot at the buzzer.
Illinois Coach Harv Schmidt had a trying week, too. After being beaten by Michigan 75-70, he said, "They're the first team that killed us on the boards." One of the killers was 5'8" Dave Hart, who pulled down eight rebounds, two fewer than 6'9" Bill Morris of Illinois. And then the Illini lost their second home game of the week when Purdue rallied to win 85-74.
Minnesota and Ohio State were tied for the Big Ten lead with 2-0 records, the Gophers beating Northwestern 84-60 and the Buckeyes halting Michigan 84-73 with the help of Allan Hornyak's 25 points.
DePaul upended Dayton 75-72, Northern Illinois came away with 63 rebounds and a 93-79 win over Loyola of New Orleans, and second-ranked Marquette struggled past Detroit 68-66.
Memphis State Coach Gene Bartow had been lamenting the lack of emotion among his players, but against Tulsa they seemed stimulated enough, winning 99-72 as Ronnie Robinson grabbed 21 rebounds and Larry Finch dropped in 28 points.
A full-court press by Oklahoma nearly caused Nebraska to blow a 15-point lead in the waning minutes, but the Cornhuskers hung on 77-70. Against Colorado, it was the Huskers who used full-court maneuvers, and they won again, 67-55.
1. MARQUETTE (12-0)
2. OHIO STATE (10-2)
Virginia upped its unbeaten streak to 12 games, defeating George Washington 97-76. But then Virginia learned that yes, there is a North Carolina. The Cavaliers gave the Tar Heels a tussle, though, and even led 60-58 with 10:07 remaining. That, however, was the last of the 16 times the lead changed hands. The Tar Heels put on a 19-4 scoring burst and won 85-79. That win, coupled with an earlier one—81-61 over Clemson—put the Carolinians in first place in the Atlantic Coast race. Maryland beat Wake Forest 49-46 while North Carolina State, which got 30 points from Tom Burleson, downed Duke 85-58.
Deploying his players much as hockey teams do, Mercer Coach Dwane Morrison alternated five-man units in the second half against favored Florida State. With seven minutes to play, Mercer trailed only 76-70, then faded away 96-78.
"They took it away from us," grumped Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp following a 72-70 loss in Florida's gym—Alligator Alley. "I think we beat the hell out of them," said Gator Guard Jerry Hoover, whose on-target shot in the final five seconds won the game. Earlier in the Southeastern Conference the Wildcats beat Mississippi State 104-76, and the Gators lost to Vanderbilt 104-87. LSU officials refused to empty their gym despite a bomb threat, then watched Alabama blow their Tigers apart 101-80, shooting 61%. Tennessee moved to the top of the SEC by squirming past Mississippi 73-70 and Georgia 59-57.
With Tom Riker hurt, Danny Traylor put in 37 points and grabbed 20 rebounds as South Carolina gunned down Manhattan 116-78. Southwestern Louisiana, which got 230 of its 334 points from Dwight Lamar and Roy Ebron, put down Northwestern Louisiana 101-88, Eastern New Mexico 99-79 and West Texas State 134-94. Lamar had 42 points in the first game and, despite the flu and a 101° fever, added 31 and then 45. Ebron's figures were 37, 35 and 40, and a total of 57 rebounds.
1. N. CAROLINA (11-1)
2. S. CAROLINA (8-2)