Montana, birthplace of Gary Cooper, the most famous of the Hollywood gunslingers, came up with a couple of gunners of a different type last week. The Grizzlies ended Idaho's winning streak at 16 games, as Forward Derrick Pope poured in 22 points. But the Shot Heard 'Round the Rockies was the one fired—actually, it was more or less shoved—by Guard Doug Selvig. Standing flat-footed a few feet from the basket, Selvig tapped the rebound of a teammate's missed shot and, much to his own amazement, watched as it went into the net as time expired. "I thought time had run out," Selvig said, much as Cooper might have, of the shot that gave the Grizzlies a 53-51 Big Sky victory. The Vandals, tired from a four-hour bus ride that got them into Missoula at 2:30 a.m. after a 49-38 win at Montana State, were further wearied by the Grizzlies' swarming defense.
"I'm about ready to say that, but not quite," said Ralph Miller when asked if this Oregon State team might be his best defensive squad in 31 years of college coaching. On the way to a 64-48 rout of Washington State, the Beavers allowed only 14 first-half points. Then, against Washington, which had won 10 in a row, Oregon State led 32-17 at the intermission and wound up on top 63-43. That was the fewest points scored by the Huskies during Coach Marv Harshman's 11 seasons with them. In those two games, Oregon State Guard Lester (The Molester) Conner had 26 points, 11 assists and five steals.
"I was looking to knock a few heads," admitted San Francisco Center Wallace Bryant following an 80-65 defeat of Gonzaga. "Coach [Pete Barry] told me to dominate. If they went for a layup, he told me to smack the hell out of them. So I smacked the hell out of them." Bryant also had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Portland put up a battle before losing to the Dons 81-78. Bryant had 18 points and 14 rebounds in that game, and teammate Quintin Dailey scored 28 points.
With Kevin Magee getting 27 rebounds and 51 points, UC Irvine won 71-64 at Pacific and 71-68 at Utah State. That ran the Anteaters' record to 15-1.
Sam Perkins, North Carolina's high-scoring center, was in the campus infirmary with the flu and a 103.4° fever and had to watch on TV as his teammates took on Wake Forest in ACC action. Perkins perked up when James Worthy scored 13 points in the opening 10 minutes to give the Tar Heels a 22-9 lead. But then the Deacons tightened their 2-3 zone, sardining Worthy inside and allowing him just seven more points. That, plus the steady performance of Point Guard Danny Young and the inside play of Jim Johnstone, enabled Wake to move in front 47-46 with 1:48 left in the game. From that point, the Deacons sank eight straight free throws to hand top-ranked North Carolina its first loss, 55-48.
The Tar Heels shot just 40.4% from the field, a season's low for them, while losing on their home floor for only the 17th time in 17 seasons. It was also the first time in 152 games there that a Dean Smith-coached team scored fewer than 50 points. Wake Forest, which shot 62.5% during the second half, got 8-for-11 shooting and 10 rebounds from Johnstone. The Deacons later drubbed Rider 92-56, and North Carolina beat Georgia Tech 66-54. Worthy hit on 12 of 14 shots for 24 points in that victory, a healthy Perkins had 18 and Michael Jordan added 17. North Carolina State was jolted 49-48 at Duke.
"That was an incredible play, a tremendous play on my part," said Connecticut Guard Karl Hobbs after a teammate's missed shot had caromed smack into his hands and he had banked the ball home for the basket at the buzzer that jarred Villanova 53-51. Hobbs's shot was only part of an extraordinary week for him, which began when his adroit playmaking cracked Georgetown's zone. With Hobbs dishing out eight assists, Connecticut beat the Hoyas 63-52 on their own court. That was the first collegiate confrontation between Hobbs, who at 5'8" is the Big East's shortest player, and 7-foot Hoya freshman Pat Ewing, who played on the same Cambridge, Mass. Rindge & Latin High School squad with Hobbs. "I told him before the game that he could control a game defensively, but not while I was controlling it offensively," said the ever-confident Hobbs, who equaled Ewing's total of eight points.
"Maybe I've been giving him too much guidance," Georgetown Coach John Thompson said of Ewing's tentative play. "Earlier, he was criticized for getting in fights, but we were winning. Maybe I've homogenized him." Could be. Three days later at Providence, it was the Friars whose cream rose to the top, Otis Thorpe getting 14 rebounds and 14 points as the Hoyas went down 50-49.
All those stunned losers could perhaps take a measure of consolation from VMI. The Keydets played three Southern Conference games, losing 72-61 to The Citadel, 99-69 to Western Carolina and 81-61 to Tennessee-Chattanooga. That left VMI, which is 0-14, with more defeats than North Carolina (1), North Carolina State (3), Villanova (3) and Georgetown (5) combined.
During a week in which seven of SI's Top 20 teams lost, one nationally ranked squad not only kept winning but also did so by overwhelming margins, 74-46 over Long Beach State and 94-53 over Oral Roberts. The Louisiana Tech women's team thereby set a women's major-college record by extending its victory streak to 52 games. The defending national champion Lady Techsters have won their 18 games this season by an average of more than 30 points. All-America Center Pam Kelly led the way against Oral Roberts with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
The Midwest's biggest shocker came when Illinois, which was 2-3 in the Big Ten and which had a reputation for being guard oriented, won 64-57 at Minnesota while outrebounding the Gophers 25-24. Iowa took over sole possession of first place in the conference by winning 49-48 at Northwestern and drubbing Michigan 56-38. The Hawkeyes never led the Wildcats until Kenny Arnold sank a driving layup with five seconds left.
"I think I can drop-kick them better than they shoot them," Coach Ray Meyer said after DePaul missed 13 of 34 foul shots while beating Alabama-Birmingham 79-68. "The only thing that saved us was our outside shooting." Pumping in shots from the perimeter were freshman Kenny Patterson (18 points) and Skip Dillard (15). The Blazers still might have drop-kicked the Blue Demons had it not been for Terry Cummings' 24 points and 19 rebounds.
Kentucky had little trouble at the foul line at Florida, making 35 of 43 attempts and winning 91-76. The Wildcats then disposed of Vanderbilt 67-58 with a second-half flourish as Dirk Minniefield kept them rolling with 10 assists and 16 points. Eddie Phillips scored 37 points as Alabama beat Georgia 81-66 and Florida 82-71. Tennessee, the Southeastern Conference leader, got 44 points from Dale Ellis while knocking off Mississippi State 54-44 and Louisiana State 77-67.
"Two years ago, Aaron Howard guarded the man [Tracy Jackson] who made the winning shot for Notre Dame," Villanova Coach Rollie Massimino said, recalling the 30-footer that beat the buzzer and the Wildcats 70-69. "I found Aaron in the shower crying. I hoped in some way that Aaron could contribute to a victory tonight." He did. His 17-foot shot with three seconds left beat the Irish 48-46.
Buttons reading YOU'LL LIKE OUR STUFF, compliments of a local grocery chain, were given to the first 5,000 fans to enter Hearnes Center in Columbia when Kansas came to tangle with Missouri. Although the Tigers virtually had to shop for points and couldn't score enough to match Coach Norm Stewart's age on this, his 47th birthday, they treated a sellout crowd of 11,906 to what it wanted most—a win, by the score of 41-35. The point totals were the lowest since 1949 for the Jayhawks and since 1968 for Missouri.
Next time out Tiger Ricky Frazier got 17 points in 28 minutes, and Steve Stipanovich had 14 rebounds and five blocks in just 23 minutes during an 84-64 blowout of Oklahoma before a Hearnes-record crowd of 12,944. Thus, for the first time since the arena opened in 1972, there were back-to-back sellouts. Those fans savored Mizzou's 16th consecutive triumph, giving the Tigers the best start by a Big Eight team since Kansas went 19-0 in 1945-46. With Idaho and North Carolina having lost, only two major unbeatens remained—Missouri and Texas.
The Jayhawks, on a downer this season, lost 70-53 to Kansas State, which stayed half a game in back of Missouri in the Big Eight race. Oklahoma, averaging 83 points a game, sat on the ball much of the second half at Kansas State and lost 47-42.
"I knew if TCU played a zone, they'd play LaSalle [Thompson] tight and that would open it up outside for me. When they came out to get me, that opened it up inside for LaSalle." So said 6'6" Forward Virdell Howland, who gunned in most of his 26 points from long range as Texas breezed past the Horned Frogs 105-89. Handling the close-in chores for Texas were 6'10" Center Thompson (31 points and 19 rebounds) and 6'9" Forward Mike Wacker (24 points). The Long-horns shredded South Carolina's zone more quickly, zipping ahead 13-0 on the way to an 88-71 victory. Howland had 22 points and Thompson 20 as Texas ran its winning streak to 14, the Horns' best start since 1934-35.
Fayetteville, Ark. is a sort of Lost Ark for Houston Coach Guy Lewis. Two years ago his team blew a 15-point bulge in the closing 12 minutes there and lost to the Hogs 60-57. Last week Houston was up 62-52 with about seven minutes to go. Again the Razorbacks rallied, the Cougars dallied, and Lewis went away a 67-66 loser. Houston, using a spread offense, tried only two field goals during the final seven minutes—both went in. The finishing touch came with five seconds left when Scott Hastings arched a 25-foot bomb, a shot that cleared the reach of 7-foot Cougar Akeem Abdul Olajuwon, and cut the cords.
Coach Bill Hodges of Indiana State, perhaps trying to pump up his team, announced a day before Tulsa came to town that he was resigning, effective at the end of the season. Thus juiced up, the Sycamores, who were 0-5 in the Missouri Valley race, shocked the Golden Hurricane 60-59, Lester Wright settling the outcome with a last-second shot.
Drake further jumbled MVC matters, twice beating teams that were in first place. Even though the Bulldogs have no starters taller than 6'6", they outrebounded Bradley 45-33 while winning 61-49. That moved Illinois State into a tie with Bradley for first. Not for long. A 49-46 loss at Drake took care of the Redbirds. The Bulldogs' first win came behind the stellar defense of 6'3" Dana Dunson, who guarded Bradley's 6'8" Mitchell Anderson and held him to 2-for-15 shooting and eight points, 11 below his average.
Virginia beat Louisville 74-56 on Sunday behind Ralph Sampson's 26 points.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
SCOTT HASTINGS: The 6'10", 235-pound senior Arkansas center had 44 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and three blocks in two victories. His basket with five seconds left beat Houston 67-66.
SI TOP 20
1. N. CAROLINA (14-1)
2. MISSOURI (16-0)
3. VIRGINIA (18-1)
4. DePAUL (16-1)
5. TEXAS (14-0)
6. KENTUCKY (12-3)
7. IOWA (13-2)
8. USF (17-2)
9. TULSA (13-3)
10. MINNESOTA (12-3)
11. IDAHO (16-1)
12. OREGON STATE (14-2)
13. ARKANSAS (13-2)
14. ALABAMA (14-2)
15. TENNESSEE (13-3)
16. KANSAS STATE (14-2)
17. FRESNO STATE (15-1)
18. CONNECTICUT (12-3)
19. WEST VIRGINIA (14-1)
20. WAKE FOREST (13-3)
* Last week