Bradley's Braves, the pride of Peoria, barely got out of Des Moines with their 15th win against a single loss, the school's best start in more than a quarter of a century. With one second to play against Drake and the score 67-67, senior guard Jim Les flung the longest assist of his career, an 80-plus-foot inbounds rainbow. Waiting for it at the other end of the floor was 6'3" guard Hersey Hawkins, the team's leading scorer. In one motion, Hawkins jumped, caught the ball, spun 180 degrees and released the 12-foot, game-winning shot. Of Les's heave, Bradley coach Dick Versace said, "I don't think Jim McMahon has ever thrown a better pass for the Bears."
Twenty-seven turnovers by Michigan had coach Bill Frieder in an understandable funk after the Wolverines' 61-59 win over Illinois. "Even when we had a lousy team four years ago, they never had 27 in a game. It's ridiculous," said Frieder. The sloppy play allowed the Illini to make up a 20-point deficit. Illinois tied the score at 59 with eight seconds to play when Bruce Douglas helped himself to a poor inbounds pass and canned the layup. Only Wolverine Robert Henderson's 12-footer at the buzzer kept Michigan from suffering its first loss.
The Wolverines may have to tune in to the radio for their sports news if Frieder has his way. "When you don't shoot well, and you have turnovers like tonight, you have to work hard to improve and stop reading the papers," fumed the coach. Michigan's Big Ten record improved to 4-0 with a 75-71 win over Purdue three days later.
After yet another one-sided win, 109-64 over Denver, Oklahoma coach Billy Tubbs spelled out his predicament: "If we make a team look bad, people say they weren't any good." Well, how good are Hawaii-Loa, Hawaii-Hilo, Penn State, West Texas State, Austin Peay and Southeast Louisiana, who have fallen to the Sooners by an average margin of 32 points? Darryl (Choo) Kennedy's career-high 41 points against Chicago State in a 98-73 romp was the eighth-highest total in Sooner history.
Bravo for Brovelli—San Francisco coach Jim Brovelli, that is, whose Dons ended a nine-game drought with a 73-51 thrashing of Fresno Pacific. "Well," said Brovelli after the game, "we just got King Kong off our backs." However important the outcome was for the 5-9 Dons' morale, it had a distinctly intramural flavor: The visiting Sunbirds forgot to bring their uniforms and had to dress in duds borrowed from the Presidio, a local Army base.
Under a coach who a year ago was an English professor, Loyola Marymount has taken the offensive. Paul Westhead, who also happens to be the former coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls, presided over lopsided defeats of St. Ambrose of Iowa (116-67) and U.S. International (151-107). Westhead, let go by the Bulls after the 1982-83 season, had spent the previous two seasons at Marymount Palos Verdes, where he taught literature but did not coach. Had he lost interest in basketball? Not at all. Marymount Palos Verdes doesn't field a team.
Teams who find themselves in close games with Texas Tech will be well-advised to deny Red Raider guard Tony Benford the ball. Benford's off-balance 10-foot jumper with eight seconds to play sank Arkansas, 48-46, for Tech's third straight Southwest Conference win. Its two others, over Rice (51-50) and Houston (69-68), also came on Benford buzzer-beaters. Tech, expected to be a second-division team in the SWC this season, is 3-0 and half a game out of the lead. Nolan Richardson's Razorbacks, everyone's preseason favorites, are mired at 0-4.
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