Williams, who finished with 28 points and easily outplayed the Ducks' Lee, made his regular free throw plus the technical shot. On the ensuing USC possession, Lee fouled the Trojans' Bob Trowbridge, who converted two more foul shots for an 80-74 USC lead. Yessir, it was the old six-point trick all right.
Remarkably, Oregon was not through. Lee made a layup, Barwig scored after a steal and the Trojans committed a turnover. Oregon, trailing only 80-78, had possession under the USC basket with 17 seconds to go. Then came another stunner of a foul call. This one was assessed against Oregon's Stu Jackson, who forearmed Trowbridge while breaking toward the baseline on the inbounds play.
While Boyd was savoring the Trojans' surprising 17-for-21 performance at the foul line, Trowbridge was occupied with other things. Leaving the court, he noticed a fan attacking Ref Soriano, so he joined the fray. "Soriano hit him in the mouth, I hit him in the stomach and the police took him away," Trowbridge said. The Pit had struck again.
If Southern Cal won Friday when a foul was called, it was cruel justice that the Trojans lost to Oregon State on Saturday when one was not.
It was a dramatic evening in Corvallis. Before the game a spectator who had driven from Seaside, Ore. suffered a heart attack in the stands. Boyd threatened to take his team off the floor because of a flying Frisbee that interrupted the Trojans' warmup. And Southern Cal blew another 10-point lead, this one with 12 minutes to play.
As Oregon State's Shelton (27 points) and USC's Clint Chapman (28) battled to a standoff inside, the Trojans' Williams inexplicably did not take a shot in the second half until the Beavers had caught USC at 62-all with 8:40 remaining. From that point there were five more ties before OSU's Don Smith went backdoor on Trowbridge for a layup that gave Oregon State the lead for good at 76-74.
USC had a chance to tie the game with 20 seconds left, but Williams missed one of two free throws. Then USC had another opportunity when the Beavers, under pressure, threw the ball up for grabs.
It was scramble here, scuffle there as the ball went every which way before Malovic came up with it for the Trojans. Pausing in the foul circle, he was jolted from behind and the ball squirted to midcourt, where George (Ice-T) Tucker controlled for Oregon State. No whistle was blown to put Malovic at the line and Williams had to foul in hope of getting the ball back for the Trojans. Tucker converted twice for the 78-75 victory and sole possession of second place.
"A critical play for us," Boyd called Malovic's fumble. "It was a slugging foul and the referees blew it."
Oregon State's Miller, relieved by the victory, said, "We tried to key this weekend as one big package. UCLA and USC are equally fine teams."