"It was unbelievable," said Ohio State Coach Eldon Miller after beating Indiana 66-63 in overtime, despite having trailed 55-46 with two minutes to go in regulation time. Carter Scott triggered the comeback, scoring 11 of the Buckeyes' last 20 points. Ohio State, which also stopped Northwestern 73-61, remained unbeaten in the Big Ten.
Second-place Iowa won twice at home. The Hawkeyes defeated Illinois 58-52, going into a four-corner offense midway through the second half. They then trimmed Minnesota 81-64, forsaking the anticipated four corners and running the clock down with a weave. Freshman Kevin Boyle had 29 rebounds and 28 points in those games.
Michigan State took a tumble, losing 49-48 at Michigan and 83-65 at Northwestern. Against the Wolverines, the score was 48-48 when Michigan freshman Keith Smith was fouled going for a shot as time expired. While State Coach Jud Heathcote vehemently argued the call, Smith, who was waiting to go to the free-throw line, was taunted by Gregory Kelser of the Spartans. "He told me I was too young for this kind of pressure and that I didn't belong in the Big Ten," said Smith, who overcame the psych by sinking his first shot. The Wolverines then squeezed past Illinois 56-54 on Marty Bodnar's layup at the buzzer, the third time in their past four outings they won in the last instant.
February 5, 1979
Scoring only two field goals in the final 10 minutes at Florida would usually be enough to add up to a loss for any team. Alabama, however, sank 21 of 25 foul shots during that span and won 77-66. The Crimson Tide also was a 68-67 victor at Mississippi State, giving Alabama a piece of the Southeastern Conference lead.
Sharing first place was Vanderbilt, which started off with a 57-56 victory at Florida, after the Gators had zipped ahead 20-4. But the Commodores couldn't catch Tennessee, which led by 14 at halftime. Vandy pulled to within one point with 1:38 left and worked for a last shot, only to have Bert Bertelkamp steal a pass. Bertelkamp fed the ball to teammate Terry Crosby, who was fouled with six seconds remaining. Instead of Crosby, a 71.4% free-throw shooter going to the line, it was Bertelkamp, an 82.6% marksman, who stepped in. "Me and Bert made it up," Crosby confessed. "Coach didn't know about it." A Vanderbilt player spotted the trickery, and Crosby had to shoot the free throws, making both as Tennessee won 71-70. Next time out, the Commodores outscored Auburn 10-2 down the stretch at home to pull out a 66-59 triumph.
Louisiana State fell to third after edging Tennessee 77-75 and losing 93-88 at Georgia, where the Bulldogs got 24 points each from Eric Marbury and Walter Daniels.
Because his hearing aid had conked out, Coach Hank Raymonds missed the announcement that Sam Worthen had tied a Marquette single-game mark with his 13th assist against Oral Roberts. "I was ready to take him out," said Raymonds, who found out about the record in time and left Worthen in long enough to get his 14th assist in the Warriors' 75-60 victory.
Mark Aguirre had 23 points as DePaul ended Illinois State's 30-game home-court winning streak 87-69. Western Kentucky shot a school-record 78.4% from the floor while jarring Dayton 78-72.
1.NOTRE DAME (12-2)
2.OHIO STATE (13-4)
Texas, which labored through the early portion of the season, has been coming on like a gusher of late. With Jim Krivacs scoring 75 points and Tyrone Branyan 67, Phil Stroud bringing down 33 rebounds and John Moore getting 33 assists, the Longhorns won three times. Krivacs and Branyan scored 21 of Texas' last 25 points in the first half against Texas A&M as the Longhorns prevailed 89-66. And they fired away for 36 points to bring down Southern Methodist 98-62. In between those home-court victories, Texas hung on for a 77-76 verdict at Baylor. It was no surprise that the game was close, because the previous nine meetings between the two have been decided twice by one point, five times by two points, once by three points and once by five. What was unusual was that the Bears had seven more field goals and seven more rebounds than the Longhorns, whose 21-for-24 foul shooting settled the game. Baylor Guard Vinnie Johnson, the top scorer in the Southwest Conference last season with a 21.6 average and the current leader at 26.9, had 27 points. One game behind Texas in the SWC chase was Texas A&M, which decked Texas Christian 57-43 and Rice 81-62.
In the Big Eight, the scramble for first place was as snarled as rush-hour traffic. When everybody was done playing on Wednesday, there was a jam-up at the top, five teams having 3-2 records. Kansas State, the only conference team to win on the road last week, earned a share of the lead by beating Oklahoma State 77-73 in overtime. Also 3-2 were three losers, Missouri having been toppled by Colorado 82-69, Iowa State having been defeated by Kansas 80-71 and Oklahoma having lost 74-56 to Nebraska. By winning, the Huskers were also 3-2. Because of his poor play this season, Kansas' Paul Mokeski was booed by Jayhawk fans before facing Iowa State. But after his 17 points and 15 rebounds helped Kansas win, he was cheered.
Following Saturday's action, three teams were tied for first—Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Missouri held off Kansas State 83-79. Oklahoma and Iowa State engaged in a run-and-gun battle hardly typical of the conservative Big Eight, the Sooners winning 98-83. Kansas, which seemed finally to have righted itself, was a 66-64 overtime loser at Nebraska, where Husker Bob Moore broke the 13th and last tie of the game with a 35-foot shot at the gun.
It took a halftime chewing-out by Coach Denny Crum to get Louisville moving. The Cardinals, who led St. Louis by only 33-32 at the intermission, went on to win 80-65 as Bobby Turner wound up with 24 points. Louisville solidified its Metro 7 lead on Sunday by beating Virginia Tech 82-72.
1.INDIANA STATE (18-0)
Top-ranked Notre Dame and No. 2 North Carolina were done in by foul play. The Irish, down by 12 points early in the second half at Maryland, went in front 66-62 with 1:39 left. Thirteen seconds later Larry Gibson of the Terps halved that deficit by canning two free throws. With one second to go, Gibson came through with a decisive three-point play, taking a pass from Greg Manning, scoring a game-tying basket and converting a foul shot that finished the Irish 67-66. Keeping the Terps in the lead most of the way were Ernest Graham's 28 points and Buck Williams' 15 rebounds.
Had North Carolina won a few hours later at Clemson, it probably would have earned the No. 1 ranking for the first time since 1959. But the Tigers, who were 8-69 in their series with the Tar Heels, upset Carolina 66-61. Larry Nance had 21 points for Clemson, which sealed its victory by converting seven straight foul shots in the final minute. North Carolina earlier won 76-69 at Wake Forest.
Duke, playing its finest game of the season, was an 84-66 winner at Virginia. The Blue Devils made their last nine field-goal attempts of the first half, shot 61.5% for the night and got 24 points from Mike Gminski. That left Duke 4-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while North Carolina's record dropped to 6-2. On Sunday, Duke continued to look impressive, knocking off independent Marquette 69-64 as Gene Banks came through with 23 points.
Joining Maryland and Clemson in pulling off surprises was Wake Forest, which jolted Rhode Island 69-67 in overtime when Frank Johnson stole a pass and connected on a 30-foot jumper at the buzzer. For the Rams, who had been in front 40-28 at halftime, it was their third setback of the season, all by two points or less.
One of the surest bets around is that Syracuse will win at home. Even though Rutgers shot in front 18-5, the Orangemen won 71-65, Marty Headd leading the way with 20 points and Roosevelt Bouie adding 13 points, nine rebounds, six blocked shots and three steals. The only good thing Rutgers Coach Tom Young could say about Syracuse's Manley Field House was, "The crowd has improved. You don't get hit with as much ice anymore." The Orange then manhandled Manhattan 113-68 for its 41st consecutive home triumph. Syracuse also won for the ninth time in a row at Philadelphia's Palestra. Down by seven with 13:51 to go, the Orange beat Temple 78-76 in overtime, as Hal Cohen scored 24 points.
Georgetown's Tom Scates doesn't have impressive statistics this season, but he is beginning to make use of his 6'11", 245-pound body. Against St. Francis, Scates got the Hoyas' first basket on an over-the-shoulder, one-handed dunk. He then blocked two shots and scooped up a loose ball, taking it in for a layup that put the Hoyas in front 9-3. They went on to win 74-62. In an 88-80 victory over American University, Scates had just one point, but he snuffed nine shots. The rest of Georgetown's points were scored by John Duren and Eric Floyd, who had 23 each, Steve Martin (21) and Craig Shelton (20).
The season's most improbable shot—an 80-footer at the final buzzer—helped St. Bona-venture win 74-72 at Niagara. Delmar Harrod of the Bonnies, who swished the lengthy toss, put Niagara over a barrel for keeps when he went to the other extreme and scored on a layup with only four seconds left in overtime.
2.N. CAROLINA (15-3)
San Francisco, which had left the heart of its offense in the hands of Bill Cartwright all season, displayed much-needed balance while defeating Santa Clara twice. In a game filled with 50 personal fouls, the Dons edged the Broncos 75-74 at USF. Cartwright, plagued by fouls, had just four points, but Billy Reid and Guy Williams picked up the slack by scoring 17 apiece. Londale Theus, who had 28 for the Broncos in that game, poured in 31 points in another losing cause three days later. San Francisco won 94-86 with an attack that included lots of points from the outside, on drives and on backdoor plays. A 29-point effort by Doug Jemison kept the Dons rolling as they boosted their WCAC record to 6-0.
Arizona, a surprise winner over UCLA the week before, completed a parlay against the Pac-10's Los Angeles teams by beating visiting Southern Cal 74-72. Joe Nehls popped in 31 points for the Wildcats.
Taking over first place in the conference was UCLA, which whipped Washington State 89-71 and Washington 86-61. In their victory over State, the Bruins got 22 points from Brad Holland and a career-high 21 from Kiki Vandeweghe and crimped the Cougars with a revitalized press. Solid performances by David Greenwood, who had 24 points and 16 rebounds, and Vandeweghe, who had 21 and 10, helped the Bruins dispose of Washington. USC stayed within a half game of UCLA by putting away Washington State 67-61.
New Mexico, which a year ago ended Nevada-Las Vegas' 72-game home-court winning streak, shocked the Rebels again amid a flurry of 66 personal fouls. Larry Belin led the Lobos with 30 points, but the clinching points came from Mike Stewart and Phil Abney. The Rebels' Flintie Ray Williams made a layup in the last four seconds to tie the score at 99-all, but he also was called for charging. Stewart sank a free throw to break a 99-99 tie, and Abney added the game's final basket to make it 102-99.
Utah and Brigham Young were deadlocked for first place in the WAC. The Utes trimmed Wyoming 64-60 and Colorado State 96-75. BYU won 98-83 at Colorado State but lost 71-69 in overtime at Wyoming.
An 84-67 win at Northern Arizona ran Weber State's Big Sky record to 7-0.
2.SAN FRANCISCO (15-4)
3.WEBER ST. (19-4)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
JIM KRIVACS: Texas took charge of the Southwest Conference race as the senior guard went on a scoring spree, putting in 28 points against Texas A&M, 23 more at Baylor and 24 against Southern Methodist.