SMU's game plan is simple: keep it close and then win in the last seconds. It is exciting, all right, but Coach Doc Hayes worries. "I sit there and think we're done for," he admits. Like last week, when his Mustangs were down five points to Baylor with two minutes to go. SMU pulled even on Bill Voight's three-point play with 13 seconds left and then beat the Bears 85-83 on Charlie Beasley's 18-foot jump shot with two seconds left in overtime. "I felt real hot," said Beasley, who scored 30 points in all. "I knew she was going in." The Mustangs, however, departed from the script against Texas A&M. They won easily 80-67, to share the SWC lead with TCU, which knocked over Texas Tech 71-65 and Texas 96-82 after losing to OKLAHOMA CITY 92-83.
The independents, meanwhile, fattened their records against pushovers. HOUSTON took Lamar Tech 82-62 and Tennessee Tech 95-64, while TEXAS WESTERN bombed Southern Mississippi twice, 84-54 and 76-63.
1. UCLA (9-0)
2. NEW MEXICO (11-1)
3. SEATTLE (10-2)
Washington State Coach Marv Harshman did some ingenious planning for UCLA's Lew Alcindor. All week long, in practices, he put his reserves on stools, strapped boards to their arms and even gave his defenders tennis rackets. "It isn't as crazy as it seems," explained Harshman. "Our kids just can't imagine how much area Alcindor covers and how much damage he can do." Then Harshman went after Alcindor with a sagging defense that shifted constantly from zone to man-to-man. Lewie, who sat out 4� minutes of the second half after he picked up his fourth foul, still got 28 points, but UCLA had to go to an unaccustomed stall near the end to preserve a 76-67 victory.
The other Pacific Eight teams also began what may be the longest chase ever to oblivion. STANFORD took Oregon 68-65 and Oregon State 58-51. California, however, succumbed to OREGON STATE'S dillydallying game 45-42 before outrunning Oregon 74-61. USC opened by beating Washington 83-74. PACIFIC got off to a good start in the WCAC, hammering St. Mary's 88-63.
Seattle Coach Lionell Purcell ordered two tanks of oxygen for the bench before his team played NEW MEXICO in Albuquerque, but he predicted, "If we lose, it won't be this mile-high altitude. It'll be Mel Daniels." He was so right. Daniels evaded the quick Chieftains for 29 points, and New Mexico won 80-60.
Usually the post man is just another guy in BRIGHAM YOUNG Coach Stan Watt's frantic offense. But when Utah State's La-Dell Anderson elected to jam the Cougars' fast break instead of running with them, BYU wisely put 6'11" Craig Raymond on a high post and fed him for 35 points. The Cougars won big, 92-66. Anderson was wiser when Utah tried the same gambit. He replaced 7' Larry Bunce with 6'6" Pete Ennenga, who shut off Utah's Dewitt Menyard in the pivot. Shaler Halimon bombed away for 38 points with his fallaway jumpers and UTAH STATE won 89-76.