Duke students chanted "Ralph who? Ralph who?" before the Blue Devils met Virginia and its redoubtable freshman, Ralph Sampson. Ralph silenced the crowd with 23 points and 13 rebounds as the Cavaliers won 90-84. The 7'4" Sampson tossed turnaround jumpers and hooks beyond the reach of 6'11" Mike Gminski in the first matchup of the Atlantic Coast Conference's two leading centers. Jeff Lamp, who flicked in 27 points against Duke, had 24 more as Virginia defeated North Carolina State 49-47 and moved into second place. Four seconds from the end, Lamp fired a game-winning jumper after eluding three defenders.
Clinging to first place was Maryland, which downed North Carolina State 66-62 when Coach Lefty Driesell's tactics paid off. After the Wolfpack had tied the game at 62-62 with 36 seconds to go, Driesell let the clock tick off 20 seconds before calling a time-out. Then he inserted Dutch Morley because he is a fine free-throw shooter. Sure enough, Morley was fouled on the inbounds play and made both free throws. Morley was then replaced by 6'10" Taylor Baldwin as Driesell tried to solidify his inner defense. Like Morley, Baldwin came through, blocking State's final shot.
Despite the loss of superb freshman James Worthy, who broke two bones in his right ankle. North Carolina won twice. Al Wood, normally a guard, took over at forward for Worthy and netted 17 points as the Tar Heels held off Clemson 73-70 and scored 26 more in a 73-61 defeat of Wake Forest.
February 4, 1980
"French fries! French fries!" That was the cry of Syracuse fans urging the Orange to score 100 points against Connecticut so they could partake of freebie fries offered by a local eatery. Sorry, folks. Syracuse won 99-89 after breaking the game open during the first 5:09 of the second half by outscoring the Huskies 20-6. Roosevelt Bouie led the way with 29 points. Syracuse trailed at halftime in two previous outings, but Bouie and Louis Orr each had 18 points and 13 rebounds to stop Detroit 89-83. Rutgers, which had led 35-32 at the midway point, lost 69-66 as Bouie and Orr combined for 28 of Syracuse's 37 points thereafter.
"After a game like this, I need a doctor," St. John's Coach Lou Carnesecca said of an 81-75 conquest of Villanova. Carnesecca felt sick while watching 6'8" freshman John Pinone score 19 of his 24 points in the second half for the Wildcats. But the Redmen, who got standout performances from Wayne McKoy (20 points and 12 rebounds) and Ron Plair (19 and 11), went on a pair of 10-0 spurts to salt away the win. Before that, St. John's beat Manhattan 88-64 and decked Davidson 67-48.
1. ST. JOHN'S (17-1)
2. SYRACUSE (17-1)
3. VIRGINIA (16-4)
It's not unusual for players to swish shots into the basket from 15, 20 or even 25 feet. But from 89 feet, three inches? That was the distance Virginia Tech's Les Henson heaved the ball at Florida State. Henson's shot was airborne when the clock ran out, and when it went in the net—it didn't touch backboard or rim—Tech had a 79-77 Metro Conference victory. The field goal by Henson was the longest on record, 15 inches longer than shot by Rudy Williams of Providence last year.
Louisville Coach Denny Crum made some history, too. Crum's 200th triumph came in the 16th game of his ninth season, the earliest any coach has reached the 200 mark. The big win was over Marquette, 76-63, as the Cardinals played smart, hustling ball and cracked the Warriors' patient offense with their press. Darrell Griffith had 78 points for the week as Louisville also beat St. Louis 99-74 and Florida State 79-73.
With Arkansas ahead by four with 10:34 left, Texas A&M switched from a zone to a press. Two minutes later the Aggies were in front in this showdown for the Southwest Conference leadership. The press harried the Hogs and also helped enliven the Aggie attack as A&M rolled 45-39.
Kansas State took charge in the Big Eight. Rolando Blackman scored 17 points as the Wildcats beat Iowa State 73-63 and 24 in a 66-64 double-overtime win over Nebraska.
Colorado's slowdown curbed Missouri's offense, but 13 of the Buffaloes' 15 shots in the first half went awry, and they trailed 29-4. From there on the tempo quickened, and the Tigers went on to win 78-45. Missouri then fell a game back, losing 78-73 at Oklahoma. The Sooners scored 24 of their last 26 points on foul shots.
1. LOUISVILLE (16-2)
2. MISSOURI (15-3)
3. TEXAS A&M (15-5)
Wisconsin's Badgers, who have had internal problems and had lost four in a row, vowed last week not to talk to the press until they won a game. The next day they lost again, to Purdue in overtime, 73-60. But two days later they pulled off a 72-71 upset at Ohio State—and started talking. They talked about how they rallied after trailing 33-18: how they forced 21 turnovers; how they won without an injured starter, Dan Hastings. What's more, two Wisconsin players had fouled out, including playmaker Wesley Matthews, who scored 25 points. Guard John Bailey drove around 6'10" Herb Williams for a reverse layup and then added a foul shot for a three-point play that ended the scoring. The Badgers' 2-3 zone didn't allow the Buckeyes a shot during most of the final minute.
Earlier, Ohio State had beaten Illinois 79-76 as Williams popped in 24 points and blocked seven shots. On Sunday, with Kelvin Ransey netting eight of his 18 points in one minute near the end, the Buckeyes toppled Virginia 70-65 in a non-league game.
One game behind Ohio State in the Big Ten were Purdue, Indiana and Minnesota. Landon Turner and Ray Tolbert excelled on defense as the Hoosiers trimmed the Boilermakers 69-58. With the 6'10" Turner guarding him, 7'1" Joe Barry Carroll missed 15 of 20 shots and had just 11 points. Arnette Hallman, who was covered by Tolbert, hit on only two of 10 attempts. Randy Breuer, a 7'2" freshman, scored eight points down the stretch as Minnesota beat Indiana 55-49.
Kentucky took over the Southeastern lead. Kyle Macy's 20 points helped the Wildcats get past Mississippi State 87-69. When Georgia's zone bottled up Macy, Kentucky went to Sam Bowie, who had 18 points and 10 rebounds during a 56-49 triumph.
Georgia had earlier stunned Tennessee, which began the week in first place, 55-54. Applying the finishing touch was Lamar Heard, who put in a layup with two seconds to go. "It was a comedy of mistakes," Vol Coach Don DeVoe said. More unfunny boo-boos led to a 72-59 loss at Alabama.
Having failed to keep up with unbeaten DePaul by playing cautiously, Alabama-Birmingham tried to overcome a 46-31 deficit in the final eight minutes with some running and gunning. Five minutes later the blazing Blazers were down by only two points, but then Mark Aguirre tossed in four of his 22 points and the Blue Demons hung on to win 57-54. Next time out DePaul finally had a laugher, shredding Evansville 105-94 as Aguirre got 27 points.
Tracy Jackson grew up only a long jump shot from the Maryland campus, but Notre Dame landed him. It was Jackson who gave the Irish a 64-63 win over the Terps when he sank a layup with six seconds left. Notre Dame won despite the absence of its No. 1 scorer, Kelly Tripucka, who was hospitalized with back spasms.
1. DePAUL (17-0)
2. OHIO STATE (14-3)
3. KENTUCKY (17-3)
As one Washington writer put it, "It couldn't have been more startling if palm trees suddenly had sprouted in Pullman." It was there that Washington State drubbed Southern Cal 77-57 behind Don Collins' 36 points. And it was in Pullman two days later that the Cougars concluded their most memorable basketball week ever by whipping UCLA for the first time in 14 years, 80-64. Collins, a senior forward, scored 31 points against the Bruins as State shot a conference-record .737. That left State 15-3 overall and 7-2 in the Pac-10, while UCLA slipped to 10-7 and 5-4.
Still first was Oregon State, an 86-55 winner at California. Coach Ralph Miller's Beavers, few of whom were heavily recruited by other schools, breezed to their 13th straight win as Ray Blume scored 20 points.
Kurt Nimphius of Arizona State felt nauseated while playing against Arizona. That, however, did not deter the 6'10" forward from compiling healthy stats during the Sun Devils' 97-72 romp: 10-for-13 field-goal shooting, 28 points, 11 rebounds.
San Diego State may well be weary of being manhandled by Brigham Young teams. Last fall the Aztecs suffered one of their worst football losses when the Cougars smeared them 63-14. On Thursday the BYU cagers creamed State 123-91, the most points ever scored against the Aztecs. Hawaii, though, refused to run with the Cougars and succumbed by only 34-33 when Devin Durrant sank a foul shot with four seconds remaining.
Since dropping its season opener, Weber State has been unstoppable. An 83-67 triumph at Idaho State, in which Bruce Collins swished in 24 points and David Johnson 23, kept the Wildcats atop the Big Sky. It also extended their victory streak to 18 games, the longest among major-college teams.
1. OREGON STATE (18-1)
2. ARIZONA STATE (14-4)
3. BYU (15-4)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
LES HENSON: Virginia Tech's 6'6" senior forward sank the longest shot ever—89'3"—to beat Florida State 79-77. Henson had 20 points in that game and then added 18 more as the Gobblers walloped Cincinnati 97-57.