Memphis State and Florida State survived a shaky week and wobbled into a tie for first place in the Metro 7, each having a 6-1 record in league play. Memphis State got there by beating Tulane 101-91 and pulling out a remarkable 86-85 overtime victory over St. Louis. The Tigers trailed St. Louis by six points as Billiken Guard Mark Alcorn went to the free-throw line with 38 seconds remaining. Alcorn missed, and Memphis State scored three baskets off its full-court press in the ensuing 28 seconds. Freshman Guard Kevin Fromm hit the tying basket with 10 seconds left in regulation play and nailed a 25-foot jumper from the corner with two seconds remaining in overtime for the victory.
St. Louis also lost to Florida State 72-68, after the Seminoles had suffered a stunning non-league defeat at home against South Alabama. FSU stalled away most of the final three minutes of that game with the score tied 56-56. hoping to get a good last shot. Harry Davis got it. a four-footer with seven seconds to play, but it didn't go in. and the Jaguars' Lonnie Leggett hit a running 35-footer at the buzzer. South Alabama hit 72% of its shots in the second half and outrebounded the taller Seminoles 31-15.
Cincinnati, expected to be a power in the Metro Conference, continued to fade. By losing 83-76 to Louisville, the Bearcats brought their conference record to 4-6. "There's not much we can do but play the games." shrugged Cincinnati Coach Gale Catlett. Louisville also defeated Marshall 85-69 in a game that was held up by a 10-minute brawl in the first half. Call them the Louisville Sluggers.
February 13, 1978
Kansas hung on to its lead in the Big Eight by clobbering Oklahoma State 83-65 and slipping past Oklahoma 69-68. Nebraska defeated Colorado 86-75 and dumped Iowa State 62-56 to stay a game behind the Jayhawks. Freshman Andre Smith, who ordinarily plays for the Cornhuskers only when Carl McPipe is in foul trouble, stepped into a starting role when McPipe was suspended for a game and led Nebraska with 21 points against the Buffalos. And he came off the bench for 16 against the Cyclones. Iowa State, which went into the week tied with Kansas for the conference lead, also lost to Kansas State. 74-63. In that game K-State's splendid guard. Mike Evans, became the leading career scorer in Big Eight history, with 1.951 points. Wildcat Coach Jack Hartman, who takes a rather dim view of individual records, said. "I told Mike before the game to make his six points [the number needed for the record] and get it over with so we could go on with the ball game."
DePaul needed three overtimes to beat Creighton 85-82, even though 6'11" Center Dave Corzine scored 31 points.
The previous four times the University of South Dakota Coyotes met South Dakota State, the outcome had been decided by a shot in the final three seconds. Each school had won two of the games, with the Coyotes holding a one-point bragging advantage in cumulative scores. This time the Jackrabbits beat the Coyotes 76-75. Steve Brown ended the latest cliff-hanger by scoring six of his team's last eight points.
1. ARKANSAS (21-1)
2. KANSAS (18-3)
3. LOUISVILLE (14-3)
"I don't believe we won. we played so badly." said New Mexico Guard Michael Cooper, after the Lobos won 94-91 at Wyoming. The Cowboys probably couldn't believe it. either. New Mexico led by 18 points with 8:22 to play, but began taking imprudent shots and squandered most of that margin. The Lobos did a better job of maintaining their composure against Colorado State and won 91-82. The difference proved to be the New Mexico bench, which outscored State's reserves 31-2.
UCLA continued to roll serenely along in the Pac-8. dispatching Stanford 101-64 and Cal 94-75. Against Stanford. UCLA had five players in double figures, led by David Greenwood with 21.
Washington and Washington State swept Oregon and Oregon State. The Cougars edged the Beavers 63-58 and then beat the Ducks 54-48. The team of Gudmundsson and Fronk did the job for Washington. In the Huskies' 58-52 victory over Oregon. 7'2" freshman Petur Gudmundsson scored three baskets, grabbed four rebounds and had four blocked shots during a 16-7 run. Guard Bob Fronk put in 15 points in a 64-61 defeat of OSU.
Nevada-Reno gained a comfortable edge over San Francisco in the West Coast Athletic Conference by beating Pepperdine 60-50 and Loyola Marymount 88-77 to boost its league record to 7-1. San Francisco, now 16-5, lost 101-87 to Portland, a team the Dons had beaten by 33 points three weeks earlier. The Pilots had two starters grounded by the flu, but got a career-high 19-point performance from George McCullough. a seldom-used senior guard. They also got a 41-point scoring binge from Point Guard Darwin Cook. USF later came up with a 96-85 win at Seattle.
"I wasn't going for a record." said Portland State's Freeman Williams. "I just felt good and everybody out there was feeding me." Williams was talking about his 81-point performance against Rocky Mountain College, which he accomplished by sinking 37 of 56 shots. His total was 19 short of the record set by Frank Selvy in 1954 while playing for Furman. Williams had 54 of his points in the first half. "I thought he let down a little in the second half," said Portland State Coach Ken Edwards. The next night, against Puget Sound, Williams pumped in 31 more.
After trailing by eight points with 9½ minutes to play, Utah State scrambled by St. Mary's 82-75. The Aggies also pounded Denver 86-66, getting 50 points from junior Guard Keith McDonald in the two wins.
Utah handled Brigham Young's 2-2-1 zone press so effectively that the Utes were able to hit 69% of their shots in an 89-76 victory. Ute pivotmen Buster Matheney and Tom Chambers combined to sink 16 of 17 field-goal attempts.
1. NEW MEXICO (17-2)
2. UCLA (16-2)
3. NEVADA-RENO (16-5)
After winning about half a dozen games that nobody expected it to and working its way to 11th in a wire-service poll, Georgetown finally lost a game it probably should have won. The Hoyas had 13 straight victories coming into their game with Boston College, and certainly BC Coach Tom Davis did not sound like a man who figured to come out on top. "I talked to my assistants before the game," Davis said after it. "I told them, 'Hey, we might get blown right out of this thing.' Georgetown is a good running ball club. They have some real talent."
Davis decided to match Georgetown fast break for fast break, and the strategy worked so well that the Hoyas were held to one field goal during a 12-minute stretch in the second half and ended up 81-76 losers. "We had to show that we're not just a bunch of bandits out there," said BC's Mike Bowie.
Massachusetts upset Holy Cross 77-76 on a 24-foot fadeaway by Eric Williams at the buzzer. In the wild final 13 seconds of the game, each team had the ball stolen, UMass missed a free throw, a jump ball was called and Williams hit his shot.
Holy Cross had been recovering from a slump, winning four games in succession, including a 91-70 decision over Brown. After the UMass loss, the Crusaders promptly began another recovery with a 100-88 victory over Hofstra. Providence was in the midst of a three-game losing skid when it righted itself by beating Rhode Island 79-59.
Meanwhile Fairfield was quietly establishing itself as the best team in New England. After winning by scores of 82-78 over Manhattan and 89-83 against Boston University, the Stags were 17-2.
Penn continued to dominate the Ivy League, winning its 11th game in its last 12 by outscoring Columbia 29-0 at one point during an 81-58 rout. Columbia had defeated Princeton 38-36, but the Tigers rebounded with an 88-50 drubbing of Cornell. St. John's became the latest in a succession of teams to beat Cincinnati. The Redmen's sixth straight win came by a 75-66 score.
When Mercer visited North Carolina, the Tar Heels assigned their little-known opponents to the locker room usually given to visiting jayvee teams. Mercer responded by nearly dressing down Carolina in a 73-70 loss to the heavily favored Heels. Four days later Furman succeeded where Mercer had failed, knocking off Carolina 89-83. The Purple Paladins outscored the Tar Heels at the free-throw line by 28 points and benefited from a pair of technicals called on the North Carolina bench. Center Jonathan Moore, who scored 19 points for Furman, said, "Those technicals were the key to the game." If they weren't, the fact that Furman outscored Carolina 18-0 late in the game, after trailing by 11 points, probably was. The next night the Paladins also knocked off N.C. State 68-67.
In the ACC. Wake Forest destroyed Duke, which was playing without its injured star. Center Mike Gminski, 79-60, and handled Virginia 74-62. The Cavaliers had a nail biter against Maryland, pulling out a 66-64 win when freshman star Jeff Lamp hit two free throws with nine seconds remaining.
Virginia Tech handed Syracuse its second straight loss with 17 unanswered points in the second half. The Orangemen lost that one 87-71 but bounced back with a 100-73 victory over Siena.
VMI (16-5) won its seventh and eighth straight, as senior Ron Carter became the first Keydet to score 2,000 career points. Carter got 54 in a 110-90 defeat of Richmond and a 61-47 win over Roanoke. He now has 2,043.
Rutgers seemed to be over its early-season streakiness, beating West Virginia 80-61 and Connecticut 78-70. Those were the eighth and ninth wins for the Scarlet Knights in their last 10 games.
Marquette won 73-60 at Penn State and 69-66 in double overtime at South Carolina, where emotions ran high over rumors that university officials were trying to ease out Coach Frank McGuire.
1. NORTH CAROLINA (18-4)
2. VIRGINIA (15-3)
3. SYRACUSE (15-4)
It had taken almost a full season, but Michigan State had finally made believers of the doubters in the Big Ten, rolling up 13 consecutive wins, and getting a No. 5 national ranking and the conference lead. Then in one long nightmare of a week, the Spartans lost twice. The first defeat, 71-66 at Indiana, was bad enough. The Hoosiers had lost five of their last six conference games, and things had turned so sour in Bloomington that when Coach Bob Knight's name was announced before the Michigan State game, there were some boos from the crowd of 12,347.
But what really hurt the Spartans was the 65-63 loss at East Lansing to cross-state rival Michigan. State fans had the feeling that the Spartans would break a 1-9 drought against the Wolverines, and in anticipation of that, they hurled invective at Michigan Coach Johnny Orr. But when Mark Lozier's 29-foot shot fell through the net as time expired, the . Wolverines were on top once again. Looking like Joel Grey on a bad night, Orr danced onto the floor after the game, blowing kisses at the Michigan State students who had abused him.
After the Spartans won a return engagement against Indiana 68-59. they were tied with Purdue for the conference lead, both with 8-2 records. The Boilermakers made it to the top by dumping Michigan twice. In the first game at Ann Arbor, the Wolverines hit just 38% of their shots and took only one free throw, compared to 21 foul shots for Purdue, which won 80-65. The Boilermakers then slipped by Ohio State 71-69, and then Purdue's Joe Barry Carroll hit the Wolverines with 17 rebounds. 12 points and three blocked shots in a 75-66 victory. Said Orr. who was no longer dancing. "Purdue is the best team we've played this year."
Minnesota moved back into the Big Ten chase by beating Northwestern twice and Iowa once. Against the Hawkeyes, the Gophers connected on 22 of their 25 shots in the second half.
Loyola added Indiana State and Georgetown to its list of highly regarded victims, which had already included Marquette. The Ramblers handed the once-feared Sycamores their fifth straight loss, 79-76, before surprising the Hoyas 68-65 in overtime.
Kentucky took a stranglehold on the Southeastern Conference lead with a 90-73 victory over Georgia and an 88-61 defeat of Florida. Sophomore Guard Kyle Macy hit 11 of 13 shots and all eight of his free-throw attempts against Florida. He also had nine steals and six assists. Shooting 68%, Florida then turned around and beat Alabama 84-73, with Al Bonner scoring 29 points.
Wisconsin-Green Bay, the No. 1-ranked team in Division II, ran its record to 21-0 with victories over Northeast Missouri (92-59) and Indiana-Purdue (86-59). Green Bay is leading the division in four of the six team statistical categories: defense, scoring margin, field-goal percentage and won-lost percentage. Green Bay Center Ron Ripley is the nation's leading field-goal shooter, hitting at a 70% clip.
1. KENTUCKY (16-1)
2. MARQUETTE (17-2)
3. MICH. ST. (16-3)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
FREEMAN WILLIAMS: In a 133-110 win over Rocky Mountain, the Portland State guard scored 81 points, second-highest total in major-college play. The NCAA scoring champ is again on top with a 36.0 average.