Texas Western looked as if it had been practicing three hours a day during the final exams. Artis and Hill made life so miserable for Arizona State's star guard, Freddie Lewis, that he lost the ball five times in the first half. Hill had the fans gasping at his quickness, and Haskins soon relented and sent in Big D, who was confused on defense but showed muscles and an accurate, long-range jump shot. The Miners got as much as 13 points ahead in the first half, but Arizona State beat them so bad in rebounding, 29 to 15, that the margin was down to seven by half time.
In the second half Haskins, worried that some of his aces would foul out, put his team into a zone defense, only the second time in his career that he has tried one. It was plain his players had no confidence in it, and in about two minutes the Sun Devils cut the lead to three points. Back in the game came Orsten Artis, who had three fouls, and back came the irritating man-to-man defense. Artis quickly stole a Freddie Lewis pass, scored, was fouled by Lewis on the play and sank the free throw. From there Texas Western pulled away easily and won 84-67.
The Miners did not look as sharp Saturday against West Texas, but little Willie Worsley from The Bronx did dunk the ball. After the game an El Paso fan was talking about congenial Don Haskins. "I don't guess he's ever met a stranger," said the man. "I almost hope he doesn't win the NCAA title. We'd lose him sure to some big school." Maybe so, but the varmints and the other coaches of the Southwest would love to see him pack up his dying-rabbit whistle and his defense and ride off into the sunset.