For its first game as a member of the WCAC, Portland had Brian Corrigan, a Houdini-type escape artist, free himself from a straitjacket at halftime. The Pilots, though, were tied up by San Francisco 95-73 as Winford Boynes hit on nine of 11 field-goal tries and scored 20 points. The Dons, who became No. 1 in both wire-service polls last week, then throttled Seattle 81-63, James Hardy zeroing in for 25 points and Bill Cartwright for 22.
Last season's WCAC titlist, Pepperdine, lost 77-73 in four overtimes to Nevada-Reno, which got 32 points from Edgar Jones.
UCLA had warmed up for the Pac 8 wars by drubbing Houston 96-83. But against Oregon at Pauley Pavilion the Bruins went cold at the end, just as they did in their loss to Notre Dame when they failed to score in the final six minutes. UCLA blew a 60-53 lead in the last 3:20 against the Ducks and lost 61-60. Oregon's Greg Ballard put in the last two of his 22 points on a pair of free throws in the final second. Oregon then stopped USC 64-52, while UCLA outscored Oregon State 16-2 in the last four minutes for an 83-66 verdict.
January 17, 1977
After Washington lost its first four games, Coach Marv Harshman set a goal: "Win the next 14 or 15 in a row." It seemed implausible, but the Huskies may be on the way to doing just that. With James Edwards netting 44 points, they beat California 85-75 and Stanford 98-77 to give them 10 wins in a row. Washington State got strong performances inside from Steve Puidokas (39 points) and outside from Harold Rhodes (42 points) as it handled Stanford 80-68 and California 77-63.
Arizona trailed San Diego State 76-74 with two minutes to go, but prevailed 80-77.
"Give him a saliva test," said New Mexico Coach Norm Ellenberger after Rebel Forward Glen Gondrezick had 20 points and 20 rebounds in only 28 minutes of play, as Nevada-Las Vegas won 121-96 in a game that had 20 ties and 13 lead changes. Double G added 41 points and 24 rebounds as the Rebels stormed past Colorado 113-91 and Cal State-Northridge 112-72.
1. SAN FRANCISCO (17-0)
2. ARIZ. (11-1)
3. NEV. LAS VEGAS (13-1)
"A dunk does something for a team," said Cincinnati Coach Gale Catlett, whose Bearcats came to life immediately after Brian Williams threw one down against Temple. Up to that moment, which came with 16 minutes to play, the Owls had kept the Bearcats and their fans subdued, leading 33-29. But Williams' stuff stirred up the rooters and the Bearcats, who kept the Owls scoreless for eight minutes and went on to win 61-46.
Also igniting his team with ram-jams was Louisville freshman Darrell Griffith, who came off the bench to score 23 points against Florida State. Griffith had three dunks, giving him 13 for the season, and blocked a shot and scored a basket with 20 seconds left to send the game into overtime. Louisville won 78-75, its fourth overtime victory of the season. Griffith was at it again in another Metro Seven tussle, scoring eight points in the last five minutes to hold off Tulane 90-81.
Memphis State (12-1) knocked off three outsiders, beating Southern Mississippi 82-78, Oklahoma City 82-72 and Mac Murray 109-55.
Marquette defeated Georgia Tech 63-45 and South Carolina 65-54, Butch Lee scoring 18 points in each game.
Ron Brewer was hot in more ways than one as Arkansas began Southwest Conference play by winning a pair. With four seconds remaining against Texas Tech, Brewer canned a 25-foot jumper to snap a tie and lead the Razorbacks to a 41-38 triumph. A few hours before facing Houston, Brewer had a 102° fever, but a doctor permitted him to start nevertheless. Brewer's condition improved by halftime and he helped Arkansas put some zip in its second-half offense, overcoming a 34-33 Cougar halftime advantage for an 81-70 win.
Defending conference titlist Texas A&M opened up with a 68-59 trimming of Texas.
Another defending champion, Missouri of the Big Eight, dropped its league opener, however. The Tigers led Kansas by six points with nine minutes left. But JC transfer John Douglas, a brother of Leon Douglas of the Detroit Pistons, found the range, and the Jayhawks came out on top 77-72. Douglas scored 13 of Kansas' final 18 points, two on a shot that appeared to have been knocked from his hand but which somehow managed to carom off the glass and through the net.
1. CINCINNATI (10-0)
2. LOUISVILLE (9-2)
3. ARKANSAS (10-1)
After the first week of Southeastern Conference play, three teams remained unbeaten: Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. Barely. Freshmen Guards Robert (Rah Rah) Scott and Kent (Flea) Looney saved the Tide. Looney brought Alabama home a 74-71 winner in its opener at Auburn, scoring 13 points in 21 minutes. With Anthony Murray out for a month with a pulled calf muscle, Scott started against Florida and had 20 points in an 83-71 win. Against LSU, which led by 12 in the first half, Scott helped break open a close game with two steals and two baskets in 10 seconds. Looney wrapped things up with six free throws in the closing minute.
Georgia slowed down Kentucky's running game and led 49-45. Then Wildcat Coach Joe Hall installed a 1-4 offense to make room around the basket for Rick Robey, who scored eight points to tie the score at 53-53. In overtime, James Lee had a four-point play—a field goal and two free throws for being intentionally fouled while shooting—for a 64-59 Kentucky triumph. Vanderbilt, using three freshmen, also gave the Wildcats fits, Robey finally settling matters 64-62 with a basket in the final nine seconds.
Tennessee won twice, 73-69 over pesky Vanderbilt, as Ernie Grunfeld popped in 23 points, and 87-79 over Auburn, as Bernard King had 32 points and 16 rebounds.
Auburn also lost to Mississippi State 81-79. State bopped Mississippi 85-49, but was swamped by Florida 97-75.
When Walter Jordan and Wayne Walls were Purdue freshmen two years ago, they agonized during a 104-71 loss to Indiana. Last week they got revenge, teaming up for 39 points to end the Hoosiers' Big Ten-record 37-game victory streak 80-63. The Boilermakers also beat Ohio State 82-65.
Michigan tuned up for league action by winning 90-86 at South Carolina as Rickey Green had 30 points. Green scored 20 more as the Wolverines drubbed Northwestern and had 22 in a 66-63 defeat of stubborn Wisconsin. The Badgers, who started three freshmen, outrebounded the Wolverines 54-44 and led by six points with 13 minutes to go.
With Osborne Lockhart, Mike Thompson and Ray Williams combining for 61 points, unbeaten Minnesota stopped Iowa 78-68.
1. KENTUCKY (9-1)
2. MICHIGAN (9-1)
3. ALABAMA (12-0)
Some 1,500 costumed amateur soldiers reenacted the Revolutionary War's Battle of Princeton on Monday. In an upset, the Colonial forces turned back the British. That night there was, so to speak, another Battle of Princeton. Another upset. The Princeton Tigers held to their usual wise shot selection and tenacious man-to-man defense to stun Notre Dame 76-62. Although outrebounded 50-30, the Tigers compensated by forcing 26 turnovers and harassing the Irish into 39% shooting. For offense, Princeton relied on Bob Slaughter (19 points) and Frank Sowinski (18). "I'm not the best recruiter in the world," said Tiger Coach Pete Carril. "Look at my clothes [definitely not Brooks Brothers]. Look at my face [definitely not Robert Redford]. You've got to get yourself a three-piece suit and a fancy car and be handsome. That's the way it's done today."
Despite lacking all that and despite having just three scholarship players among its top eight, the Tigers keep winning. They boosted their record to 9-2 by beginning the defense of their Ivy League title with two wins. Center Bob Roma tossed in 23 points to help beat Harvard 77-45, and the resolute Princeton defense, the stingiest in the country, was at its best in a 63-32 wipeout of Dartmouth.
Penn won twice: 65-46 over Dartmouth and 66-58 over Harvard.
Two days after being methodically dismantled by Princeton, Notre Dame was again victimized, this time by Villanova 64-62.
Providence avoided being upset. The Friars overcame an 11-point Seton Hall lead to register a 72-68 overtime win. Then they disposed of St. Joseph's 65-54 and Massachusetts 68-62.
Four other teams came through impressively. Holy Cross (10-1) trampled Assumption 109-73 and Fordham 83-74. Syracuse (11-2) breezed past Fordham 87-68, Cornell 93-61 and American U. 90-68. VMI (9-1) ripped Roanoke 73-57 and Emory & Henry 107-71. And Wake Forest began its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule with a pair of squeakers, forging back from a 10-point deficit to down Virginia 67-63 and then ending Maryland's 10-game winning streak in overtime 86-85 at College Park. Skip Brown of the Deacons sank a 16-foot jumper with 38 seconds left in regulation time to give Wake Forest an 81-79 lead. But Brian Magid knotted the score with a 30-footer just before the buzzer. Brown came through in the clutch again, snapping a tie with three seconds to go in overtime by sinking a decisive foul shot.
1. NORTH CAROLINA (10-1)
2. PROV. (10-2)
3. WAKE FOREST (11-1)