"I'm sorry you had to come," Washington State Coach George Raveling told reporters. "This set basketball back 50 years." It was Washington 58, Washington State 51 in a non-game that featured pace—snaillike—and shooting-stone cold. Luckily for State's pride, Center Mike Dolven had 19 points in the first half; none of his teammates scored a field goal until the second.
At Long Beach State the fourth-ranked 49ers won their 59th and 60th straight at home, but Coach Jerry Tarkanian was talking the blues. Against UC Santa Barbara State allowed a 20-point second-half lead to dwindle to five before digging in to win 77-69. Gregarious Tarkanian set something of a personal record by keeping reporters waiting for 10 minutes after the game. "I told the boys how badly they played," he said later. "We had no concentration at all, but maybe we can learn from this." Long Beach also beat L.A. State 103-82.
With No. 1, though, all was well. The UCLA machine hummed along, running over 20th-ranked USC 79-56 for its 62nd straight win. The score hardly told the story. For all purposes the game ended in the first half when SC shot a respectable nine for 18 and was blitzed off the court by the Bruins, who were 20 for 29. Said John Wooden, "Our pressure defense got to them. It created mistakes, and mistakes usually mean baskets for us. That run in the first half was the difference."
At San Francisco and Santa Clara the West Coast Athletic Conference rivals were battening down for the storm. Both won twice, SF 87-83 and 89-66 over Nevada-Las Vegas and Nevada-Reno, Santa Clara 75-52 and 95-78 over Reno and Vegas. Each has a 6-0 record, and this week they collide. Twice.
1. UCLA (17-0)
2. LONG BEACH STATE (17-1)
North Carolina State was about to take Maryland for the second time this season and in celebration from the Wolfpack stands came... Maryland's victory song! "A-amen, A-amen," State's rooters shouted. Later State's coach, Norm Sloan, said, "I didn't know they knew that song." When 7'4" Tom Burleson collected three fouls in only seven minutes, and his replacement, Tim Stoddard, quickly totaled the same, Sloan was forced to an unfamiliar 2-3 zone defense. But it worked. "It's not because I'm so smart," Sloan said. "We only did it because of fouls." State won 89-78. David Thompson, who scored 37 in State's earlier win over Maryland, this time got 24. Burleson reentered the game to score 18 points, 14 of them in the second half. Later the Wolfpack downed Virginia 64-59, and Maryland, having trouble again away from home, was upset by Duke 85-81. A-amen. A-amen.
Over at Chapel Hill a very different North Carolina was recovering from consecutive losses to Virginia and Maryland. The Tar Heels penetrated Wake Forest's tight zone defense and won 69-51. The key to their showing was strong outside shooting by Guards Darrell Elston, George Karl and Brad Hoffman, who had 15, Hand 12 points.
Way down yonder near New Orleans those sparks in the winter night came from Dwight Lamar of Southwestern Louisiana. He set a Southland Conference record with 23 goals for 50 points, and his team, ranked 13th nationally, hit 56% from the field and won its 15th game in 16 starts with a 123-91 sacking of Houston Baptist. Lamar made 23 of 38 field-goal attempts, many of them from beyond 20 feet, and he pitched in with seven assists and seven rebounds. "I enjoy our offense because it's wide open and allows for more scoring," Lamar said.