A spate of upsets was topped off by Furman's 83-70 conquest of North Carolina. With Al Daniel popping in 29 points, the Paladins took a three-point half-time lead and kept adding to it in the opening game of the 21st annual North-South doubleheaders in Charlotte, N.C. Later that night, North Carolina State beat Virginia Tech 97-88. The next day, the teams swapped opponents, State defeating Furman 73-63 and North Carolina struggling past Tech 92-80 in overtime as Tar Heel Al Wood scored 33 points. Hawkeye Whitney, who had 43 points in State's wins in the North-South, had 43 more at Clemson. But that was not enough as the Tigers came out on top 85-72. Virginia's Jeff Lamp scored 71 points as the Cavaliers toppled Temple 73-71 and won two ACC games, 69-63 at Maryland and 83-76 at Wake Forest.
Duke took a half-game lead over North Carolina in the ACC, winning 75-60 at Wake Forest and beating Maryland 87-78. In the first encounter, Mike Gminski made 12 of 16 shots, scored 26 points and latched on to 13 rebounds. Against the Terps Jim Spanarkel canned 11 of 12 field-goal tries, scored 27 points and had eight assists.
Superb long-range shooting enabled Oral Roberts to destroy Georgetown's press and pull off a 75-74 shocker. Rhode Island was also upended, St. Joseph's (Pa.) handing the Rams a 55-48 setback.
February 12, 1979
But there was no stopping Syracuse or La Salle. With Louis Orr scoring 22 points and tying a team record with 13 assists and with Dale Shackleford getting 27 points, the Orangemen swept past West Virginia 90-74. For La Salle, the main man was Michael Brooks, whose twisting layups and jump shots accounted for most of his 28 points in a 123-103 win over American University that pushed the Explorers' East Coast Conference Eastern Section record to 7-0.
There was a scramble for first place in the Southern Conference. Furman (6-2) beat Western Carolina 78-68 behind Jonathan Moore's 32 points. Appalachian State (8-3) trimmed Davidson 84-72 and knocked The Citadel (5-2) from the lead 76-65.
1. DUKE (16-3)
2. N. CAROLINA (16-4)
3. SYRACUSE (18-2)
"Like a fist, we all stuck together," shouted Darwin Cook of Portland after his 17 points helped jolt San Francisco 85-82. As the Pilots rallied from a 72-64 deficit by running off 14 straight points, Jose Slaughter, who finished with 22 points, and Rick Raivio, who contributed 22 points and 16 rebounds, led the way. At Seattle, Bill Cartwright of San Francisco scored 28 as the Dons won 72-58. That left USF tied for the WCAC lead with Pepperdine, which beat Nevada-Reno 85-78 and St. Mary's 77-73.
Southern Cal stayed within half a game of UCLA in the Pac 10 as both won twice. After a 69-59 conquest of Washington, USC swamped Oregon 87-64, forcing 27 turnovers and getting 25 points and 13 rebounds from Cliff Robinson. UCLA used strong finishes to win 65-58 at Oregon and 69-56 at Oregon State. The difference at Oregon, Bruin Coach Gary Cunningham felt, was that his big men were "more aggressive and more aware." That they were, controlling the boards and triggering eight fast-break baskets. Like the Ducks, the Beavers made a run at the Bruins, only to have UCLA put on a closing spurt. UCLA shot 72.7% from the floor in the second half and got 23 points from Brad Holland.
"It was a real ambush. Western style," said Utah State Coach Dutch Belnap after gunning down visiting Cal State-Fullerton 85-70. A tenacious man-to-man defense held Fullerton to 34.7% shooting, and the Aggies got hot performances from Dean Hunger, who had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Keith McDonald, who scored 21, and 6'10" freshman Leo Cunningham. He amassed 10 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots in just 10 minutes. For the Aggies, who have also licked Weber State, Utah, Brigham Young and Long Beach State, it was another impressive victory over a strong Western team. Utah State then disposed of UC-Irvine 65-54 and moved into a first-place tie in the PCAA with Fullerton, which was beaten by San Jose State 84-80.
Just when Weber State got recognition, having been voted No. 19 in the UPI poll, the Wildcats were handed their first Big Sky loss 70-63 by hot-shooting Boise State. Weber then thrashed Idaho State 85-68 as Richard Smith poured in 31 points. Lawrence Butler of the Bengals, the No. 2 scorer in the nation with a 28.4 average, had 26 points.
1. UCLA (16-3)
2. SOUTHERN CAL (13-6)
3. UTAH ST. (15-6)
When Michigan States Earvin Johnson severely sprained his right foot, the Spartans were leading Ohio State 32-21. The medical report was that Johnson probably would miss the rest of the game, but when he heard on the training-room radio that the Buckeyes had gone ahead 41-40, Johnson said, "You can't wait until tomorrow. If we lose, the season's over." Hearing that Johnson could play if need be. Spartan Coach Jud Heathcote "meditated a third of a second and sent him in." Johnson scored nine points in nine minutes to force a 64-64 tie at the end of regulation time and added six in overtime for a total of 23 as the Spartans won 84-79. That, plus a 61-50 win over Northwestern, put Michigan State back in the Big Ten race with a 6-4 record.
Ohio State, which began the week 8-0 in the league, lost again, 70-62 at Indiana. Buckeye Coach Eldon Miller, who said his squad had not been "playing with enough early intensity," found this to be the case against the Hoosiers. who sped in front 32-20.
Iowa, which has won 13 of its last 15 games, tied Ohio State for first place by winning two road games. In knocking off Wisconsin 70-64 and Minnesota 97-71, the Hawkeyes got 42 points from Ronnie Lester.
There was also a shakeup in the SEC, where Alabama fell from first to third after blowing a 32-22 lead and being jarred 83-77 by Tennessee. The Vols had a 38-28 rebound margin, got 26 points from Reggie Johnson and sank 17 of 22 free throws while 'Bama missed eight of 13.
Vanderbilt was also upset at home, losing 90-87 to Florida in overtime as Mark Giombetti scored 23 points for the Gators. The Commodores then won 66-58 at Mississippi to tie Louisiana State for the No. 1 spot, half a game in front of Alabama. LSU won 84-78 at Tennessee and beat Kentucky 70-61. The Tigers hit on 30 of 35 free throws against Kentucky. During the final 12 minutes, LSU made only two field goals, but canned 24 free throws. Durand Macklin, LSU's best player, who has been out since Nov. 30 with a broken foot, decided to save a year's eligibility by sitting out the rest of the season.
After breezing past Brown 80-53 and holding off Xavier of Ohio 66-57, Notre Dame had to scramble to defeat Dayton. The Flyers, who got 32 points from Jim Paxson, were up by nine early in the second half. Notre Dame, however, wore down the Flyers, who had only one field goal in the last 8:45. Kelly Tripucka of the Irish scored 37 points—17 in a row during one dazzling stretch—and set a school record by sinking 23 of 26 free throws as Notre Dame won 86-71.
DePaul was shocked 82-80 by Western Michigan, a 15-time loser that got 29 points from Kenny Cunningham. The Blue Demons then helped Coach Ray Meyers celebrate his election to the Basketball Hall of Fame by beating Oral Roberts 75-72 for his 585th win.
Detroit improved its record to 16-4 by defeating Eastern Michigan 80-75 and by stunning Georgetown 91-71 behind Wilbert McCormick's 22 points and Terry Duerod's 20.
A 72-61 victory over Bowling Green, in which Stan Joplin had 21 points, helped Toldeo take charge in the Mid-American. One game back were Central Michigan, a 73-66 overtime loser to Northern Illinois, and Ball State, which beat Western Michigan 78-67.
By demolishing Georgia State 89-71 and South Florida 114-83, South Alabama boosted its Sun Belt Conference record to 7-0.
1. NOTRE DAME (15-2)
2. IOWA (15-4)
3. VANDERBILT (15-4)
"It was a great victory for us and for our trainer, Kenny Rawlinson," said Oklahoma Coach Dave Bliss following a 70-62 triumph at Kansas State, where the Sooners had lost 31 in a row. "Kenny's been coming here for 26 years and has never seen us win." The Wildcats cut a nine-point Sooner advantage to one early in the second half, but Oklahoma then scored nine consecutive points, seven by Al Beal, who ended up with 21.
Missouri also won its first game of the week and remained tied for the top spot in the Big Eight with Oklahoma. The Tigers started off with an 84-80 overtime victory at Iowa State, where Steve Wallace got 28 points and 7'2" Tom Dore, who had been averaging 2.5 points, scored 20 and grabbed 13 rebounds.
In a shootout in Norman to settle the conference leadership, Oklahoma led 50-32 early in the second half, but went 7½ minutes without a field goal, which allowed Missouri to zip in front 71-70 with 2:10 left. A record Sooner crowd of 11,000 then saw Oklahoma go ahead for keeps, 74-73, on Aaron Curry's layup. By the time Oklahoma wrapped up its 80-76 victory, John McCullough had 25 points and Beal 18 points.
Sharing second place with Missouri was Nebraska, which lost 66-57 to last-place Oklahoma State and avenged two earlier setbacks to Colorado with a 79-52 wipeout before a record Husker gathering of 14,999. Kansas stayed two games off the pace by dumping Colorado 56-51 and Oklahoma State 82-71 as Paul Mokeski popped in 45 points and pulled down 24 rebounds.
See the scoreboard at Las Cruces: New Mexico State 83, Indiana State 81. See the clock: one second left. See the desperate young Sycamore, Bob Heaton, zing the ball 50 feet. See the ball rattle off the glass and through the net at the buzzer. A three-point play by Brad Miley midway through the overtime helped Indiana State win 91-89 and remain unbeaten. Larry Bird kept Indiana State rolling with 37 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists. At Tulsa, the travel-weary Sycamores led only 9-6 after eight minutes. Bird wound up with 22 points and 22 rebounds as State plodded to a 66-56 decision.
"He just got his rhythm," said Marquette Coach Hank Raymonds of Bernard Toone, who carried the Warriors to a 79-77 victory at Creighton with his 9-for-10 shooting in the second half. He finished with 26 points. With Creighton leading 42-38 at the start of the last half, Toone rhythmically hit six straight perimeter shots and scored 14 of Marquette's next 16 points. Marquette ran its record to 16-3 by winning 71-51 at St. Louis.
Alcorn (Miss.) State, which led Division I with a 94.9 scoring average while winning its first 17 games, stayed hot. The Braves, who lead the Southwestern AC, continued scoring at a furious pace as they took two non-conference games, beating Tougaloo 92-74 and Arkansas-Pine Bluff 95-89.
1. INDIANA STATE (20-0)
2. LOUISVILLE (19-3)
3. TEXAS A&M (20-4)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
CALVIN NATT: The 6'5" senior, who has career averages of 23.8 points and 11.8 rebounds, had 71 points and 29 rebounds as Northeast Louisiana beat Arkansas-Little Rock 92-83 and Southern Mississippi 99-79.