"You can see it in their faces," Drake Coach Bob Ortegel said, speaking of players who have lost a lot of close games. Ortegel knows the look: two seasons ago his Bulldogs dropped 10 games by three points or fewer. "They were thinking of how they were going to lose it," Ortegel added. "They" was Drake's opponent. Air Force, which had lost all three of its games by no more than five points. Against the Bulldogs, the Falcons did it again, forging a tie at 71-all, then going cold, getting that look and losing 78-73 to undefeated Drake.
While preparing for unbeaten Oregon State, Portland Coach Jack Avina told his team, "You have a rare chance to climb a mountain. Take advantage of it." They did. Double-and triple-teaming the Beavers' 6'10" Steve Johnson, the Pilots spurted to a 15-point lead, surged again when State got to within 62-60 and finished with a 94-86 upset. Portland had three unrelenting mountain climbers: Guard Jose Slaughter, who had 27 points: Guard Darwin Cook, who left the Beavers gasping as he engineered fast breaks; and 6'5" Forward Rick Raivio, who outmaneuvered State's big front line for 27 points and 11 rebounds. Oregon State then thrashed Portland State 92-71. The Beavers benefited from the superb play of Guard Ray Blume, who had 27 points, five assists and four steals.
The La Salle-Brigham Young matchup in the finale of the Cougar Classic was replete with clutch performances. There was only one second left in regulation when Kevin Lynam of the Explorers made a corner shot to tie the score at 82-82. There were two seconds to go in the first overtime when Scott Runia of the Cougars squared matters at 92-92 by sinking a pair of free throws. Late in the second extra period. BYU's Runia and Devin Durrant tossed in baskets to make it 98-98. Finally, in the third overtime, the Cougars built a four-point lead and hung on to win 108-106. Durrant, who had 24 points against La Salle, scored 25 as BYU took its opening-round game from UC-Santa Barbara 87-65.
December 24, 1979
Two players joined the NCAA list of 2,000-point scorers: La Salle's Michael Brooks, who sank 24 of 36 floor shots against BYU; and Andrew Toney. who had 32 points as Southwestern Louisiana won 64-59 at Oregon.
Weber State knocked off teams from three regions. The Wildcats beat an Eastern squad (Rhode Island) 82-60. one from the Midwest (St. Francis of Illinois) 96-67 and one from the West (New Mexico) 80-70.
1. BYU (5-1)
2. OREGON STATE (6-1)
3. UCLA (3-2)
Evaluating his team's performance against Duke, Penn Coach Bob Weinhauer said, "We played with an intelligence that wasn't there in our first three games." Intelligent or not, the Quakers lost 70-57, giving them their dullest start—0-4—in 79 years. Doing 'some right smart shooting for the Blue Devils was Mike Gminski, who had 27 points. In another matchup of teams from Philadelphia and the ACC, Temple beat visiting Wake Forest 74-69. Detroit couldn't contain North Carolina freshman James Worthy, whose 24 points and 16 rebounds helped the Tar Heels win 90-72.
St. John's and Ohio State both won at home and away. After defeating Columbia 91-75 at home, the Redmen took to the road and handed Rutgers its first setback, 75-64. The Buckeyes started off by winning 72-55 in a sloppy game at West Virginia, but polished up their act while smothering Cal Poly-Pomona 87-46 at home and Holy Cross 79-63 on the Crusaders' floor. Ohio State's shifting zone defenses shut down the Mountaineer attack, and then before the biggest crowd ever at Holy Cross (a sellout 4,000, plus SRO ticket holders), the Buckeyes forced the Crusaders out of their patient style by outscoring them 19-4 early in the second half. Ohio State Guard Kelvin Ransey, who twice had 20 points last week, has now scored in double figures in 68 consecutive games.
Penn State also broke its official home attendance record, though the 8,495 fans at Rec Hall were disappointed by an 85-72 loss to Syracuse. Roosevelt Bouie and Louis Orr of the Orangemen combined for 35 points to more than offset 24 by Nittany Lion freshman Rich Fetter.
It wasn't what you'd call a scintillating game, but at least the score was close as Concordia (N.Y.) beat Northeastern Bible 6-4.
1. DUKE (6-0)
2. NORTH CAROLINA (4-1)
3. ST. JOHN'S (6-1)
"After we built big leads, we went to sleep," said Missouri Guard Larry Drew following a nightmarishly close 78-75 triumph over Southern Cal. Drew added that USC's Purvis Miller did lots of "wolf talking"—i.e., verbal baiting—as he tried to psych out Curtis Berry of the Tigers. Miller also popped in 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and helped the Trojans come from 14 points down in the first half and from 17 back in the second half. His wolf talking, however, didn't keep Berry from getting 11 rebounds and scoring 23 points, the last two on game-clinching free throws with four seconds to go. At Butler, it was freshman Steve Stipanovich who came through when it counted. Twice in the last 1:49 he made both ends of one-and-one foul situations to subdue the Bulldogs 64-60. The Tigers also beat Northern Arizona 112-64 as Stipanovich, who is shooting .675 so far, hit on eight of 14 field-goal attempts and had 19 points. Drew, a .609 shooter, was 7 for 11 with 23 points. But the surest gun of all last week was Berry, who sank 19 of 23 shots and had 45 points in three games.
Unbeaten Iowa outscored Wichita State 44-27 in the second half to win 81-62 and then held off Iowa State 67-64. Steve Waite settled the outcome against the Cyclones by converting two foul shots with 15 seconds remaining to put Iowa ahead 66-62. Doing much of the scoring for the Hawkeyes were their guards, Ronnie Lester getting 26 points at Wichita State and 23 against Iowa State, and Kenny Arnold adding a total of 34. As for Wichita State, the Shockers regrouped and shocked Michigan State 55-54.
An injury may have undone East Tennessee State's try for an upset at Virginia Tech. Troy Mikell, a freshman guard for the Buccaneers, had 24 points and brought his team back from a 13-point deficit to a 47-47 standoff by scoring East Tennessee's first seven field goals of the second half. Then, while Mikell sat down with a banged-up shoulder, the Hokies outscored the Bucs 16-3. Tech, which committed 24 turnovers and was outrebounded 47-41 by the smaller Tennesseans, won 82-72 as Wayne Robinson scored 21 points, got 16 rebounds and blocked four shots.
Arkansas labored while winning twice. The Razorbacks scored the game's last six points—four on foul shots and two on a reverse layup by Tony Brown—as they defeated Mississippi 67-59. In an exhibition against Athletes in Action, U.S. Reed of the Hogs had five of his 19 points in the final 2:05 of a 68-67 overtime victory.
"We didn't make anything happen in the first half. We just floated around, said Louisville Coach Denny Crum of his Cardinals, who led North Carolina Charlotte 38-33 at halftime of their first-round game in the Holiday Classic. From there on, though, host Louisville excelled, beating the 49ers 93-76 and winning the title game from Western Kentucky 96-74. Louisville's Darrell Griffith had 28 points in the first game, and five steals, seven assists and 20 points in the second.
1. VIRGINIA TECH (3-0)
2. ARKANSAS (5-0)
3. MISSOURI (8-0)
Before gunning down Indiana, Kentucky used all its artillery to pulverize South Carolina 126-81 at home and then pop-gunned its way past Kansas 57-56 on the road. Leading the assault on the Gamecocks were Kyle Macy with 24 points and Sam Bowie with 23. The Jayhawks and Wildcats were tied 46-46 with six minutes to go, when Bowie, who had 17 points and 14 rebounds, put Kentucky in front for good with a dunk. What kept Kansas close were Darnell Valentine, who had 17 points, and a defense that forced 20 turnovers, 12 more than the Jayhawks committed.
In another early-week game, Georgetown shot .627 and had three more field goals than Indiana, but lost 76-69. Eric Floyd of the Hoyas scored 21 points, and teammate Craig Shelton had 23 as he made good on all 10 of his floor shots. In picking up their 1,000th victory, the Hoosiers did some fancy shooting of their own, Mike Woodson getting 23 points and freshman Guard Isiah Thomas scoring 10 of his 19 in the last five minutes.
Purdue's Keith Edmondson and Michigan's Mike Magee were other Big Ten players who displayed impressive marksmanship. Edmondson, a sophomore guard who had averaged a mere 8.3 points in the Boilermakers' first four games, missed only two of 13 field-goal attempts and had 27 points during a 78-56 rout of Nebraska. Magee had 54 points as the Wolverines defeated Detroit 85-72 and Dayton 69-54.
"Basketball used to tear me up inside," DePaul Coach Ray Meyer said. "Ten. 15 years ago, I began a gradual change to a belief that life doesn't depend on winning." Nonetheless. Meyer was no doubt pleased by a trio of victories. Before beating UCLA (page 30), his Blue Demons defeated Texas 66-60 and won 57-55 in overtime at Northern Illinois. DePaul's offense almost came to a standstill in the final seven minutes against the Longhorns, producing only four points. Mark Aguirre of the Demons followed up his 20-point effort in that game with 22 points against Northern, the last two coming when he converted both ends of a one-and-one foul situation with no time left in the extra period. That gave Meyer his 600th win, making him the seventh college coach to reach that plateau.
Two days after beating UCLA, Notre Dame breezed past St. Joseph's of Indiana 79-58, even though starters Rich Branning and Kelly Tripucka were out with injuries. The Irish quickly zipped in front, got 18 points from Tracy Jackson and coasted.
Mississippi State perked up in the second half at Florida, pulled away from a 33-33 half-time tie and took a 90-72 SEC win. Leading the Bulldogs were Kent Looney, a 25-point scorer, and Rickey Brown, the nation's No. 1 rebounder, who had 21 boards and 21 points.
Remember the Maine. Louisiana State will do so fondly, after throttling the Black Bears 103-81, topping 100 points for the third time in four outings.
1. OHIO STATE (5-0)
2. KENTUCKY (7-1)
3. INDIANA (4-1)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
MICHAEL BROOKS: The 6'7½" senior center scored 33 points as La Salle beat Rider 102-59, then was named MVP at the Cougar Classic, where his 74-point total helped the Explorers finish second to BYU.