Toledo continued to play well and lead the Mid-American Conference. John Brisker scored 26 as the Rockets beat Bowling Green 73-69 in overtime and then Brisker came back with 29, including the two points that tied the game at the end of regulation time, when the Rockets won another overtime game against Miami ( Ohio) 97-89.
Jim Ard and Rick Roberson controlled the boards for Cincinnati, and the Bearcats rolled over North Texas State 61-53. Two nights later the Bearcats lost to Tulsa for the seventh time in eight games, 62-59, as the Hurricanes threw up a 1-2-2 zone for rebound strength.
Marquette won a pair, downing DePaul 72-50 and beating NCAA runner-up Dayton 83-68. Kent State lost two, 80-63 to St. Bonaventure and 52-50 to Penn State.
1. UCLA (10-0)
2. UTAH (11-1)
3. NEW MEXICO (13-0)
Las Vegas has always been a trap for anyone with a dime and the itch to gamble, and now visiting basketball coaches are regarding it the same way. Oklahoma City Coach Abe Lemons brought his undefeated team into town for a game with Nevada Southern—a small college that beat University of the Pacific and stayed close to Houston—and Abe lost. The Rebels won 96-92 with eight straight points in the closing minutes. Nevada was down 90-88 when Curtis Watson, one of three California junior-college transfers on the starting five, stole the ball twice and scored each time; Jerry Chandler drove up the middle for two and Don Lyons, a 6'5" deaf mute, scored on a tip-in for his 28th point of the evening. Californian Elburt Miller scored 32 while another transfer, John Trapp, a rugged 6'7" forward with a shaved head and a pointed goatee, scored 18. OCU took a long time to recover. Two nights later Portland ended a 17-game losing streak by upsetting the Chiefs 74-63.
It was a bad week for the Washington universities as they opened AAWU play in Los Angeles. As expected, UCLA beat them both easily, taking Washington State 97-69 and Washington 93-65. But unexpectedly, USC also won twice, downing the Huskies 58-56 on Bill Hewitt's 15-foot jump shot with 40 seconds to go and the Cougars 92-73. But the news in L.A. was that for the first time—after endless student campaigns—the Trojans were represented by dancing pompon girls. "The girls were great," USC Coach Bob Boyd observed after the close Washington game.
It didn't seem fair when Oregon State Coach Paul Valenti had 6'5" Loy Petersen guard 5'10" Californian Russ Critchfield, but it was effective. Critchfield could get only 15 points, and the Bears lost 76-63. The next night Petersen held hot-shooting Stanford Forward Art Harris to 15, and the Beavers won again, 67-51. Against Oregon the night before, Harris led Stanford to a 79-73 win with 37 points. California, with Critchfield hitting 36 and 6'11" Bob Presley 29, beat Oregon 96-81.
Dennis Black scored 13 of his 19 points from the free-throw line and blocked two crucial shots as San Francisco upset Santa Clara 70-68 to open the WCAC race.
In Provo, Brigham Young and Utah State traded the lead 28 times and were tied 23 times before the Cougars won 104-98 despite Shaler Halimon's 47 points for State. Visiting Texas at El Paso destroyed young Colorado State 90-70, but the Rams came back against Chicago Loyola, beating the Ramblers 81-73.