Tex Winter of Washington says he is not snowed by UCLA. After his Huskies doggedly chewed a 27-point Uclan lead down to a mere nine-point loss during the last six minutes Winter barked, "Off this game, I don't believe UCLA is as good right now as it was last year. They're not playing quite as cohesively. I think some people can run with them—play their normal game—and beat them." That was just upside-down from Washington State's point of view. From trailing only 41-39 at halftime, the Cougars were convinced by a 95-71 pasting and gave out some satisfied testimonials afterward. But John Wooden agreed with Winter. "We played less as a team than we have in a long, long time," he said.
USC got to see the same two teams and wasn't bored for a minute. Both Washington and Washington State led the Trojans with seven minutes left. Troy blew a 15-point half-time lead over the Huskies, and only the last-minute heroics of Guards Dennis Layton and Paul Westphal saved a 12-0 record. "Crude but effective," Trojan Coach Bob Boyd said in his review of the 79-72 thriller. He was smiling but breathing irregularly.
Oregon's Ducks, anything but cold this year, tramped on Stanford 82-72 and California 100-81. Oregon State lost to California 101-100 in overtime, then beat Stanford 88-70.
New Mexico got balm for Friday night's misery ( Brigham Young 72, NM 62), and Utah got heartburn when the two met again at Albuquerque on Saturday. It came down to the last 23 seconds with New Mexico one point ahead and Petie Gibson trying to hold on to the ball. When Utah's Eddie Trail went for it he was called for an intentional foul and then Utah Coach Jack Gardner drew a technical. Gibson went to the line and missed two. Willie Long missed the technical. Aw,——. But Utah committed another foul, sophomore Tommy Roberts sank two-and that matched Mike Newlin's last-seconds layin. Said Lobo Coach Bob King, "We lost this game eight times—and won it nine." The score: 78-77.
Utah State's Aggies, ranked 15th in the AP poll with a 10-2 record, defeated Denver 82-73.
1. UCLA (11-0)
2. USC (12-0)
Maryland froze second-ranked South Carolina almost to death (the Terrapins led 4-3 at half-time on a Howard White shot at the buzzer) and then roasted the Gamecocks with not one but two come-from-behind finishes (the second overcoming a 30-25 Carolina lead with 24 seconds to go in overtime). The Terps' heroes were two sophomore guards, Howard White, a hot dog who showed up for a team picture with a derby and umbrella, and Jim O'Brien, a newly cool cat. O'Brien, it develops, has an ulcer. His doctor ordered him last week not to think about the game, "so I thought how nice it would be to spend the evening skating on the lake near my home in Falls Church [Va.]." White and O'Brien kept the Terps close until, in the last seconds, White hit another jumper to put Maryland within a basket, then missed a one-shot foul—only to have 6'7" O'Brien lay it up and in. Overtime. In the wilder finale, five points behind, O'Brien drove and scored with 16 seconds to play. White stole the S.C. inbounds pass, and Dick Stobaugh scored. One point down, eight seconds to go. Another turnover, a pass, and O'Brien hit his sixth basket in six shots: 31-30 final score. As the net was cut down the home crowd sang Amen. Which was a lot better than fighting, as happened the last time the teams met.
South Carolina was also upset by North Carolina 79-64 in what was the big game of the week until Saturday. Forced out of their zone for the first time, the Gamecocks lost their first man this season on fouls and drew three technicals. They also lost their first game.