DePaul held off Texas Tech 50-47 in the final game of the Suntory Ball round robin in Tokyo to make Coach Ray Meyer's birthday complete. Meyer, who turned 70 the day of the Blue Demons' game with the Red Raiders, agonized as his team made just one field goal in the first 8½ minutes of the second half and sank just 12 of 24 from the line.
Three days before, DePaul needed two free throws apiece from Dallas Comegys and Tony Jackson in the final 25 seconds to beat Alabama 77-76. Comegys led DePaul with 19 points; Alabama's Terry Williams, a 6'8" guard, scored 24 points and had five assists. Williams, who was named the tournament's outstanding player, had 20 points and five assists in the Tide's 76-56 defeat of Texas Tech.
After watching a film from last season in which Louisville's Rodney and Scooter McCray made a Tiger sandwich of Memphis State's Keith Lee, UCLA Coach Larry Farmer decided to do the same with his front-line bangers. Seven-foot Stuart Gray and 6'10" Brad Wright would muscle Lee, while the rest of the Bruins would help out whenever the wispy forward touched the ball. The strategy paid off: Lee was held scoreless in the first half, and though he finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, he was never a factor as the Bruins won 65-51 in Pauley Pavilion. "Stu and Brad were the difference in our defense," Farmer said. "They're both physical, and Lee doesn't like a physical game." Gary Maloncon scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds in his first start for UCLA, while Kenny Fields had a team-high 16 points, 11 rebounds and three steals.
UTEP Coach Don Haskins was so frustrated with the Miners' performance during a 64-57 win over St. Mary's of Texas that he refused to call a time-out. "What do you tell a team during a time-out when they didn't come to play?" Haskins asked. St. Mary's led 30-29 at halftime and trailed 60-57 with just 1:55 to play. But Juden Smith put the game away for the Miners with four free throws with less than a minute to go. Oregon State benefited from two strong second-half performances to beat Utah 62-49 and Portland 65-49. Sophomore Steve Woodside scored 32 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and had 10 assists in the pair of wins.
In the finals of the Kettle Classic, it was host Houston's Phi Slamma Jamma versus Clockwork Orange, otherwise known as the Princeton Tigers. Employing Coach Pete Carril's patented slowdown passing game, surprising Princeton had upset Santa Clara 75-53 the previous night. Passing the ball as many as 18 times per possession against Houston's multiple defenses, the Tigers trailed just 26-24 at halftime.
"They could do what they wanted to do in the first half because they had the lead or were close to it," said Houston Coach Guy Lewis. But in the second half the Cougars roared back to win 65-40 for their fourth Kettle Classic title. Using a sticky 1-3-1 zone, one of six different defensive sets the Coogs deployed, Houston held Princeton to just 16 points on seven of 19 shooting and forced nine of the Tigers' 15 turnovers. Michael Young, the tournament MVP, scored a game-high 22 points for Houston, while Akeem Abdul Olajuwon had 21 points, five dunks and 17 rebounds. Young scored 24 points and Olajuwon 22 in the Cougars' 92-71 opening-night romp over Stetson.
Playing before a Mid-South Coliseum crowd stunned by the deaths of Football Coach Rex Dockery and three other persons in the crash of a private plane 24 hours earlier, Memphis State beat Mississippi 73-55. "We had a meeting with the players," said Tiger Coach Dana Kirk. "They knew what had happened, but they also knew what they had to do, and they did it." Bobby Parks led the Tigers with 20 points, while Keith Lee poured in 16, had 17 rebounds and blocked four shots. Alvin Robertson and Joe Kleine combined for 69 points in Arkansas' 93-64 rout of North Texas State. Louisville surpassed 100 points for the first time since 1981 in a 105-69 rout of Indiana State. Four days later, the university signed Coach Denny Crum to a 10-year contract.
If any visiting team figured to be unruffled playing before the huge crowds at Kentucky's Rupp Arena, it was Brigham Young. After all, the Cougars' own 22,700-seat Marriott Center is the third-largest university arena in the country, after Syracuse's Carrier Dome and Rupp. But when Kentucky mounted a second-half blitz to beat BYU 93-59 and win its 23rd Kentucky Invitational tournament title in 31 years, Wildcat Guard Dicky Beal said, "Sure, BYU plays with 23,000 fans, but not against them. It sure hurt them."
Led by tournament MVP Devin Durrant, who scored 22 of his game-high 33 points in the first half, the Cougars held a 36-34 lead at intermission. But in the second half, the crowd of 24,098 "really picked us up and put them down," according to Center Sam Bowie. Way down. Eight and a half minutes into the second half the Wildcats had a 58-48 lead. Then Beal, Melvin Turpin and freshman Winston Bennett combined for 19 points in a 23-0 surge, making it 81-48 with 6:20 remaining. Turpin led a balanced Wildcat attack with 16 points, while Bowie and Bennett combined for 30 points and 24 rebounds.
In the opening round of the tournament, Brigham Young handed Virginia Commonwealth its first defeat, coming from 11 points back with 16:38 to play to upset the Rams 81-77. Freshman Mike Smith had 12 second-half points, including four key free throws in the final 29 seconds. Kentucky reached the finals by pounding Wyoming 66-40.
Michigan State continued to stumble to victory against mediocre competition. The Spartans got by Cleveland State 71-62 after trailing 16-6 in the early going. Junior Guard Sam Vincent helped prevent an embarrassing loss by scoring a game-high 20 points and added 22 more in an 85-72 defeat of Brooklyn College in East Lansing. Purdue, off to its best start in 46 years, beat Youngstown State 65-54 for its seventh straight victory.
Louisville carded an 83-79 win over North Carolina State in Raleigh. Center Charles Jones, a 33% foul shooter who had made just one of 10 free throws in the game's first 38:58, sank three of four from the line in the last 1:02 after twice being fouled intentionally. "I guess I just concentrated more in the clutch," said Jones, whose last minute heroics overshadowed a 29-point, 14-rebound performance by the Wolfpack's Lorenzo Charles.
Georgetown rolled to a 97-67 victory over South Carolina State despite playing the second half without Center Patrick Ewing, who exited after suffering a mild concussion. After scoring 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the first 15 minutes, Ewing banged his head on the Capital Centre floor while taking a charge. But Ewing was his old self on Sunday, getting 20 points and 15 rebounds in a 80-62 defeat of American.
Boston College struggled to an 83-74 victory at Rhode Island, then outdueled archrival Holy Cross 87-85 in Chestnut Hill. Forward Jay Murphy scored a game-high 31 points to lead the Eagles past Holy Cross, and Michael Adams added 24, including a pair of free throws with five seconds left that ensured the victory. Ben Coleman, with 18 points, led Maryland to a 104-69 triumph over Maryland-Eastern Shore.
After Duke thumped Massachusetts 88-56 to make its record 7-0, sophomore Guard Johnny Dawkins said, "I'm enjoying basketball so much right now, it's hard to take a break." So far Dawkins hasn't given the opposition a break: He's averaging 23.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and five assists a game, and Duke is off to its best start since 1979-80.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
CHERYL MILLER: The sophomore forward scored 31 points on 13 of 17 shooting from the field, got six rebounds and had three assists to lead the USC Women of Troy to an 82-74 win over Georgia.
SI TOP 20
1. N. CAROLINA (5-0)
2. KENTUCKY (5-0)
3. HOUSTON (7-1)
4. DEPAUL (7-0)
5. GEORGETOWN (7-1)
6. LOUISVILLE (5-2)
8. MARYLAND (5-1)
9. BOSTON COLL. (7-0)
10. MICHIGAN STATE (5-1)
11. UTEP (6-0)
12. UCLA (4-1)
13. MEMPHIS STATE (5-2)
14. WAKE FOREST (5-0)
15. OREGON STATE (4-1)
16. ARKANSAS (6-2)
17. N.C. STATE (7-2)
18. PURDUE (7-0)
19. VCU (5-1)
20. IOWA (3-2)
* Last week