Those were not earthquakes that rocked San Francisco; the tremors were caused by the USF falling flat on its reputation as it lost to teams from coast to coast—California and Rhode Island. Phil Smith, a former San Francisco player now with the NBA Warriors, easily spotted the trouble with the wan Dons. "They've got to be more aggressive on the defensive boards," Smith pointed out. "They can't count on fancy shooting to get back what they give up." Even though four Bears fouled out in the final seven minutes, the USF-Cal game came down to the last second. That was when Gene Ransom, a 5'9" guard who scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half, was fouled with the score 89-89. Before Ransom could try the first shot of his one-and-one, San Francisco Coach Bob Gaillard attempted to rattle him by calling three time-outs. When Ransom finally went to the foul line, he sank his first shot and deliberately skimmed his next off the rim to start the clock and let the final second tick away before USF could rebound. James Hardy had 34 points for the Dons.
Bill Cartwright, who missed San Francisco's first eight games because of a broken arm, played the next night against Rhode Island and had 14 points in 14 minutes. But Cart-wright's return to center meant Hardy had to shift to forward, where he scored only 10 points. Free throws by Phil Kydd and Sly Williams of the Rams in the last 50 seconds offset a Cartwright basket and gave the visitors an 87-85 win.
Fisticuffs, which have marred NBA play in Los Angeles this season, erupted in an L.A. college game between San Jose State and UCLA. Bruin Guard Raymond Townsend, who was punched twice by Ron Lowe of the Spartans, suffered a fractured upper jaw, which will keep him out of action for several weeks. UCLA won 109-69 as Brad Holland came off the bench to score 19 points. Against New Mexico State, the Bruins were tied at 34-all at halftime before spurting to an 86-67 decision. Roy Hamilton sank his first nine shots of the second half and scored 20 of his game-high 23 points after the intermission.
January 2, 1978
With 7'2", 275-pound Center James Donaldson getting 21 points and 13 rebounds, Washington State beat Pepperdine 75-62.
Wake Forest drubbed Seattle 85-67 and then, with Rod Griffin peppering the nets for 27 points, beat Washington 77-70.
Like a roulette player on a hot streak, unbeaten Nevada-Las Vegas kept defying the odds while winning its own Rebel Roundup. Vegas, which had previously won three one-point games and others by three, five and six points, twice pulled out victories in the closing moments. In its opening-round game against Northwestern, Vegas fell behind by 14 points in the first half before Tony Smith began gunning in 25-footers. Earl Evans and Smith clinched a 101-95 verdict, each sinking a pair of foul shots in the final seconds. Smith wound up with 26 points, and Reggie Theus with 22 to offset a 37-point spree by Wildcat Guard Tony Allen.
UNLV had an even rougher time in the finale against Iowa, which had upended Tennessee 92-86. MVP Theus had 19 points in the Rebels' 85-84 win, but Evans was the main man with 23 points and a decisive tip-in two seconds before the end.
Utah State had a pair of two-point victories, beating BYU 91-89 and toppling Utah 73-71 on Oscar Williams' layup with four seconds remaining. The Aggies also stopped West Texas State 80-62, and in their three wins got 78 points from Guard Keith McDonald. Utah was also jolted by Weber State 71-61.
1. UCLA (8-1)
2. NEVADA-LV (11-0)
3. SAN FRANCISCO (6-3)
Foul play helped Louisville beat Marquette 61-60. With the Cardinals leading 59-58 and 14 seconds left, the Warriors tried to gain possession of the ball by fouling Rick Wilson. Marquette got the ball, but only after Wilson fouled up its plans by converting both ends of a one-and-one. In all, the Cardinals made nine of 14 free throws. Marquette took only seven foul shots, all by Butch Lee, who started the game with a string of 31 straight conversions. But at Louisville, Lee missed three times and finished with 22 points, one less than Darrell Griffith of the Cardinals. Louisville also defeated Dayton 69-63, and rallied from a 66-62 deficit in the final 1:25 to topple Purdue 68-66. Wilson got the clincher in that game, too, hitting a 20-foot shot with three seconds to go.
Though fatigued at the end of the game, Arkansas, which used only one substitute, held off Kansas 78-72. The Jayhawks' heralded press and scrappy man-to-man defense held the Razorbacks to .420 shooting, 117 percentage points below their average. But Arkansas was on target from the foul line, making 28 of 33 free throws. Ron Brewer excelled for the Razorbacks, scoring seven slam dunks and 27 points. On defense, Arkansas contained the Kansas fast break and forced 15 turnovers. Still, the Jayhawks hung tough, as John Douglas flicked in 17 of his 22 points in the second half.
During an 81-67 win over Austin Peay, Cincinnati exploited its height advantage, its front line producing 61 points.
Nebraska ran its record to 9-0 by disposing of Minnesota 63-49, Western Illinois 73-72 and Montana State 104-60.
Busy Memphis State won four times to give it 11 victories in 12 games. The Tigers started off by taking the Sun Bowl Classic. Memphis State held off Texas-El Paso 71-65 in the first round, and Army surprised pre-tournament favorite Kansas State 57-55 on a basket by Matt Brown in the final two seconds. Cadet Forward Gary Winton, the tournament MVP, scored 23 points against the Wildcats and 38 in the title game with Memphis State, but the Tigers outlasted Army 77-76 in overtime as Alvin Wright had 24 points and James Bradley 20. Kansas State, with leading scorer Curtis Redding out with a bad back, dropped the consolation game to Texas-El Paso 67-63.
Back home, Memphis State downed Mississippi 70-67 and, amid 47 turnovers and 65 fouls, walloped Georgia State 111-87.
1. ARKANSAS (8-0)
2. LOUISVILLE (6-1)
3. INDIANA STATE (7-0)
"I don't think I've ever been prouder of a player. It was an incredible piece of leadership, and I thought it was appropriate that he made the winning free throw." That was Indiana Coach Bobby Knight's evaluation of Wayne Radford, whose only point against Notre Dame came with four seconds to play and handed the Irish their first loss, 67-66. The leadership of which Knight spoke came earlier in the evening. "At halftime Wayne hadn't even been in the game yet," said the coach, "but as I came to the dressing room, his was the voice I could really pick out, encouraging the players for the second half."
Radford played more during the Hoosiers' victory in the Indiana Classic, scoring 33 points. Indiana's man-to-man defense was vital, too, holding Bowling Green to a .283 shooting percentage in an 89-52 win and Alabama to .350 in a 66-57 victory. Reggie King of the Crimson Tide had 25 points, but even he was exasperated by the Indiana defense. Said King, who entered the game shooting 66% and missed 14 of 22 field-goal tries, "They always made me go where I didn't want to go." Alabama had advanced to the finals by squeezing past Princeton 61-60. Earlier the Tide had trounced Michigan 78-63 behind King's 30 points. Notre Dame recovered from its loss by whipping St. Joseph's (Ind.) 108-72. Dave Batton led the Irish with 19 points and sank eight of 10 field-goal tries.
For the third straight time since 1973, Miami of Ohio stunned Purdue, winning on the Boilermakers' home court 84-80. John Shoemaker of the Redskins sent the game into overtime when he drove the length of the court and hit a reverse layup with four seconds to play to tie the score at 68-68. Miami's offense repeatedly used unorthodox crosscourt passes to get Bernard Newman open for 15-to 18-foot jumpers, and he ended up with 22 points.
Another loser at home was previously unbeaten Detroit, which could not cope with Michigan State's zone or with the play of Greg Kelser (36 points) and Earvin Johnson (13 assists, 11 points, 10 rebounds). The Spartans drubbed the Titans 103-74.
In a battle of zone presses. North Carolina hung on for a 108-103 win at Tulane. Al Wood and Mike O'Koren each had 21 points for the Tar Heels, while Pierre Gaudin had 32 for the Green Wave.
With Kentucky leading Iona only 21-19, James Lee and Chuck Aleksinas came off the Wildcat bench to pick up the tempo. Lee flicked in 17 points, Aleksinas 12 and Jack Givens 18 as Kentucky breezed 104-65. Iona's 6'10" freshman, Jeff Ruland, had 24 points. Kentucky earlier won its own tournament, knocking off Portland State 114-88 and St. John's 102-72.
Also winning a tournament on its home floor was Dayton. MVP Jim Paxson came through with 41 points as the Flyers beat San Diego State 80-71 and Georgia Tech 65-63.
There was a surfeit of Cs at the Palmetto Classic in Charleston, S.C. Opening-round victories were chalked up by Clemson (82-58 over Catholic U.) and Canisius (74-72 over The Citadel). In a final-round game, Clemson crunched Canisius 94-61.
In a tragic accident, all 14 members of the Evansville team and the coaching staff were killed when their chartered plane crashed a minute after taking off for a game at Middle Tennessee State.
1. KENTUCKY (7-0)
2. NOTRE DAME (7-1)
3. MARQUETTE (5-1)
The Carolina Classic at Columbia, S.C. was an odd place for Buffalo-resident-turned-Oklahoma-Guard Aaron Curry to have a homecoming, but that's just what it was. "This is the closest we play to Buffalo," said Curry. "So it's the only chance my family will get to see me play. Thirty-two of them came down in a chartered bus." Curry's relatives saw him lead the Sooners to the title by popping in 19 points during a first-round 80-74 triumph over Penn and 14 more in a 65-48 trouncing of South Carolina. The Gamecocks made it to the finals by defeating Southern California 65-58 in overtime. USC, which lost the consolation game to Penn 88-71, played both games without No. 2 scorer Cliff Robinson, who was ill, and three halves without No. 1 scorer Steve Smith, who had a bad knee. The tournament MVP was Keven McDonald of the Quakers, who scored 52 points.
Two other Philadelphia teams—Temple and Villanova—remained unbeaten. A 95-66 win over the University of Buffalo left the surprising Owls with an 8-0 record. The Wildcats, who had rallied at Princeton for a 58-56 victory, took their seventh game in a row by defeating Duquesne 86-70.
"The kid had never done a thing," said Rutgers Coach Tom Young of Princeton's 6'11" backup center, who is also named Tom Young. Against the Scarlet Knights, however, the Tigers' Young came off the bench to sink eight of 10 field-goal tries as Princeton won 68-57. Frank Sowinski added 26 points for the Tigers on 13 of 16 shooting. In Rutgers' next game, James Bailey displayed his versatility during a 91-76 defeat of Manhattan, pulling down 15 rebounds, making four steals and scoring 39 points. He hit 17 of 24 shots, including nine dunks.
Holy Cross remained unbeaten by routing Harvard 101-72 as Mike Vicens had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Chris Potter chipped in with 18 and 11, and Ronnie Perry scored 22 points.
"I almost played Santa Claus," said Providence Coach Dave Gavitt. With the Friars leading Cal State-Bakersfield by 15 points with 13 minutes to go, Gavitt sent in his second-liners. Bakersfield closed to within two points, but Gavitt got the last ho, ho, ho as Providence hung on for a 72-70 victory. Bruce Campbell pumped in 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the winners.
"The best team didn't win," lamented Cincinnati Coach Gale Catlett. "If North Carolina had played ball in the last seven minutes instead of using the four-corners, we would have won." Maybe so, but the Tar Heels were not about to abandon their usual late-game offense to let Catlett find out. With Phil Ford dribbling and darting as the clock ran down, Carolina prevailed 67-59.
Despite being guarded by as many as three players, Army's Gary Winton scored 34 points against Maryland. That was not enough, though, because the Terps outrebounded the Cadets 57-24, received 25 points from freshman Greg Manning and came out on top by a 99-77 score.
1. HOLY CROSS (6-0)
2. SYRACUSE (8-1)
3. NORTH CAROLINA (7-1)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
WAYNE RADFORD: Indiana's forward made a foul shot with four seconds left to clinch a 67-66 upset win over Notre Dame, then was named MVP of the Indiana Classic as the Hoosiers beat Bowling Green and Alabama.