Kentucky, making it a habit to rise up as time wears down, crunched its opponents in the second half for two Southeastern Conference victories. The Wildcats played listlessly for much of the night against Vanderbilt and led only 32-23 at halftime, but exploded for 15 straight points to go ahead 55-31. James Lee, who came off the bench in the second half to score 15 of his 17 points, led the Wildcats to their 72-59 win. Florida, playing at its infamous Alligator Alley after 11 consecutive road games, hoped to knock off Kentucky. The score was tied 31-31 before the Wildcats tossed in the last seven points of the first half. The Wildcats won 86-67, got 20 points from Kyle Macy and shot .610 as Lee canned eight of nine field-goal attempts and Rick Robey seven of eight.
Georgia, which had stunned Ohio State and Louisville the week before, came up short in two of three SEC encounters. In between a 76-69 loss to Auburn and a 96-78 drubbing by LSU, the Bulldogs were 57-54 winners over Florida. Alabama squeezed by Mississippi 65-62 and LSU 70-67 and clobbered Mississippi State 76-59.
Michigan State, Purdue and Michigan each won a pair of Big Ten games. Minnesota overcame a 31-23 halftime deficit at State to go in front 76-71. Then it was the Spartans who surged, scoring 10 points in 44 seconds and going on to win 87-83. Two freshmen ignited the Spartans, Earvin (Do It All) Johnson coming through with 31 points (25 of them in the second half), eight rebounds and four assists, and Jay Vincent scoring 22 points. Michigan State also beat Wisconsin 74-63. Walter Jordan scored a total of 41 points and Joe Barry Carroll had 32 rebounds as Purdue defeated Illinois 95-85 and Northwestern 87-62. Michigan beat Northwestern 80-65 and Minnesota 69-65.
January 16, 1978
After winning their Big Ten openers, Indiana and Ohio State were upset. Even though Indiana won 69-51 at home against Iowa, Coach Bobby Knight was perturbed because the crowd did not "generate more enthusiasm" and because of his Hoosiers' "disgraceful" play. Knight was really annoyed when Indiana lost at home to Illinois 65-64. After the Buckeyes had beaten Wisconsin 77-61, they were in turn jolted by Iowa 87-75.
With Centenary leading 10-8 at Marquette, the Warriors' Bernard Toone and Jim Boylan tossed in three quick baskets apiece as the home team pulled away for a 72-56 victory.
2.NOTRE DAME (7-2)
"This is about The fifth game he's won for us this way," said Louisville Coach Denny Crum of Rick Wilson after the Cardinals had ended Cincinnati's home-court winning streak at 69 games. To the dismay of the largest crowd ever to watch an Ohio college game (17,038), Wilson rallied Louisville to a 78-75 Metro 7 win. The Cardinals trailed by six points with 8:58 to go, went ahead 76-75 on Darrell Griffith's basket with 19 seconds left and then salted the game away when Wilson forced a turnover, drew a foul and sank two free throws.
Wilson, called "the best all-round player in the conference" by Cincinnati Coach Gale Catlett, was instrumental in another 78-75 triumph. That was at Memphis State, where he put the Cardinals in front 76-75 on a three-point play with 29 seconds left. James Bradley's 29 points kept the Tigers close, but Louisville got 24 from Wilson and 23 from Griffith.
Cincinnati split two other games. Marching behind Sammy Drummer's 25 points, Georgia Tech shocked the Bearcats 59-56. Playing at Tulane, Cincinnati romped to a 102-67 victory.
Nebraska pulled off a succession of surprises at Kansas State. It was not uncommon for the Cornhusker fight song to be played before the Big Eight game—except that it was rendered by the Wildcat band under the direction of a Husker fan. And it certainly was not surprising that State led by three points at halftime. The Wildcats' prospects seemed to get even better with 13:38 to play, when Center Carl McPipe, Nebraska's leading scorer and rebounder, sat down with four fouls. Replacing McPipe was 6'7" freshman Andre Smith, who startled K-State by popping in 14 of his 18 points in the second half as Nebraska earned a 77-63 win.
Kansas salvaged a 71-67 victory at Missouri. Although four starters fouled out, the Jayhawks hung on as Donnie Von Moore scored 25 points and Darnell Valentine contributed seven field goals and seven assists.
"When I read about them, I didn't see how they could be that good," admitted Hofstra Coach Roger Gaeckler following a 95-70 loss at Arkansas. "But their timing is so good and they're so quick, I can see that what I read was right." Doing the most to make Gaeckler a believer in Razorback Power were Sidney Moncrief, who hit on 12 of 16 shots and had 29 points, and Marvin Delph, who made 11 of 15 from the field.
Texas battered TCU 90-41 in a Southwest Conference runaway. TCU, which scored only 12 points in the first half, shot .269 for the game and committed 29 turnovers. The Horned Frogs were so disorganized that four of (hem once dashed downcourt, leaving no one behind to receive an inbounds pass. As for the Longhorns, they continued to pour in points as they polished off Texas Tech 101-86.
Marquette had its hands full at Wichita State. The Warriors led by only 52-47 before surging to a 67-56 win.
It's hard to be overlooked when you are 6'11", but that has been the plight of Indiana State's DeCarsta Webster, who has been overshadowed by the scoring feats of teammates Harry Morgan and Larry Bird. Webster, though, was highly visible during a Missouri Valley Conference game against Southern Illinois, grabbing nine rebounds, scoring eight points and blocking four shots as the Sycamores won 66-58. Morgan added 24 points and Bird a season low of 21. Going into a game against West Texas State, the Sycamores had the best field-goal-percentage defense in the country (.377). The Buffaloes shot well (.587), but could not cope with Bird (30 points) and Morgan (23) as they lost 79-63.
2.INDIANA STATE (10-0)
North Carolina Coach Dean Smith, that renowned tactical wizard, had two chances to show his acumen in the Tar Heels' ACC opener at Clemson. With eight seconds left and Carolina behind 72-70, Smith called time-out and set up a play. When action resumed, Mike O'Korcn took an inbounds pass and fired the ball to 6'11", 312-pound Geff Crompton, who was open. Crompton scored, sending the game into overtime. Some genius, that Smith. Who would have thought of having the ponderous Crompton take such a vital shot? Not Smith, to be sure. His plan was to have Phil Ford shoot. When Ford turned out to be covered, O'Koren looked for an open man and found Crompton. Smith set up another play with 10 seconds to go in overtime and Carolina down 77-76. Tom Zaliagiris wound up with the ball, put in a layup, was fouled and sank the free throw for a 79-77 triumph. Some genius, that Smith. Who would have thought he would have a spear carrier like Zaliagiris take such a shot? To be honest, Smith did not design the play that way. But Ford and O'Koren were blocked out, Zaliagiris was open, and Smith looked like a mastermind.
Maryland dropped its first two ACC games. Duke, taking advantage of the Terps' defensive lapses, scored numerous back-door baskets to win, 88-78, at Maryland for the first time in seven years. Jim Spanarkel's 33 points paced the Blue Devils. Against Wake Forest, the Terps blew an 11-point lead and lost 84-75 as the Deacons got 23 points and 18 rebounds from Rod Griffin and 24 points from sophomore Guard Frank Johnson.
When Duke took an early seven-point lead at North Carolina State, the Wolfpack shifted to a 1-3-1 zone. The Blue Devils made 26 turnovers and scored only 20 points in the second half as State rallied to win 74-50.
Syracuse built a 58-41 halftime edge over North Texas Stale and eased its way to a 94-84 win. Dale Shackleford of the Orange tossed in 23 points.
Georgetown was impressive in a 72-61 victory over St. John's. With the Redmen taking away their inside game, the Hoyas worked for high-percentage jumpers, led 34-31 at the half and then increased their margin as Guard John Duren scored 27 points.
East Carolina, which had won only once, edged William & Mary, which had lost only once, 58-56, as Oliver Mack had 24 points.
Penn opened the Ivy League season with a 78-63 win at Princeton as Keven McDonald scored 23 points. The Quakers got 56 more points from McDonald as they beat Harvard 86-81 and Dartmouth 74-51. Princeton came back to defeat the Crimson 83-64 and the Big Green 60-47.
During a 100-65 breather against Fordham, Ron Perry of Holy Cross connected for 26 points. Perry had 22 more as the Crusaders outlasted Army 78-76.
Providence beat Brown 68-52 and Canisius 82-72, with Guard Dwight Williams scoring a total of 49 points.
Despite 37 points by Rutgers' James Bailey, Penn State, which had trailed 60-41, trimmed the Scarlet Knights 81-79 in an Eastern-8 contest. Jeff Miller of the Nittany Lions had 30 points and scored the winning basket with 11 seconds remaining. Penn State then lost 54-48 to Duquesne, while Rutgers handed Massachusetts its first defeat of the season, 78-74.
Clarence (Bighouse) Gaines picked up his 602nd coaching win as unbeaten Winston-Salem defeated Norfolk State 80-74. Gaines, 54, who holds the record for victories by a small-college coach, is sixth on the overall list, which is topped by Adolph Rupp's total of 874.
2.N. CAROLINA (12-1)
Trailing 68-51 with 10:32 remaining against San Francisco, Nevada-Reno Coach Jim Carey told his players precisely what one would expect a Reno coach to tell them: "Do some gambling." The daring Wolf Pack—which had missed its first 13 field-goal attempts—suddenly could do no wrong. Reno harassed Don Guard Chubby Cox into eight turnovers, outran USF and, during one stretch, outscored San Francisco 21-2. When it was all over, the Wolf Pack had gamboled to a stunning 82-80 WCAC win. Johnny High had 24 points for the winners and Winford Boynes 28 for the losers.
Then, while Reno took another conference game from Santa Clara 88-76, San Francisco downed St. Mary's 111-87. Boynes again had 28 points, but the Dons' high man with 38 points was Bill Cartwright, who made 15 of 17 shots.
Nevada's other high-powered team, the Rebels from Las Vegas, had its four-year, 72-game home victory streak ended by New Mexico, 102-98. The Lobos won the rebounding battle 65-35 and got superlative performances from three players. Marvin Johnson, who has a sign on his locker saying SHOOT, MARVIN, SHOOT, did just that, sinking nine of 10 second-half shots, scoring 31 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Phil Abney, starting at forward for the first time this season because Willie Howard missed the team flight from Albuquerque, had 26 points and 12 rebounds. And Michael Cooper chipped in with 24 points and 15 rebounds. The game was tied 15 times, and the lead changed hands on 13 occasions before Vegas was handed its first loss of the season. Earlier in the week, UNLV had bumped official State-Northridge 83-72.
Washington's lack of power at center was exploited by UCLA and Southern Cal. David Greenwood tossed in 18 points and had 23 rebounds as the Bruins beat the Huskies 79-60. The next night, 6'9" USC freshman Cliff Robinson accounted for 23 points and 13 rebounds as Washington lost again, 81-73. Southern Cal then squirmed past Washington State 68-65 as Don Carfino converted four free throws in the last 90 seconds and Robinson had 20 points. UCLA also concluded a successful trip with a 70-55 triumph over the Cougars, in which Roy Hamilton and Raymond Townsend combined for 36 points.
Utah and Utah State zapped Fairleigh Dickinson, the Utes winning 91-66 and the Aggies 79-44. Then the Utah schools went in for some intrastate conflict. State was an 83-76 loser at home against Utah and absorbed an 85-84 double-overtime setback at Brigham Young as Greg Anderson sank the decisive free throws with 14 seconds left in the game.
Eastern Montana, an NAIA team which the week before knocked off Division I Montana State 80-77 and North Carolina-Charlotte 67-65 to win the KOA Classic, returned to its own level and beat Great Falls 71-55.
3.NEW MEXICO (9-2)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
RICK WILSON: Louisville's senior guard clinched a pair of 78-75 wins, scoring five of his 24 points in the final 55 seconds at Memphis State and the last two of his 10 against Cincinnati with 13 seconds remaining to play.