This would have been a reasonable enough statement except for what the Bruins' Meyers was doing that evening in Eugene. Even before the UCLA- Oregon battle Harter had spoken of the 6'8" senior as "an unbearable matchup." So he gave 6'4" Lee the task of guarding Meyers. It was asking too much, considering Lee's heavy offensive responsibilities as well as Meyers' obvious desire to take over the game from the outset. And it became an embarrassing decision.
In a fraction more than six minutes at the start of the game, Meyers made five shots and scored 13 points to the Oregon team total of 12. Even after he drove Lee back to the backcourt where he belonged and began to take severe physical poundings from two bigger men, the results were the same. The Ducks spurted to three brief leads, but by halftime the Spider had 22 points, and UCLA was ahead 47-42.
Oregon's Jackson did a creditable job on Meyers early in the second half, and the Ducks came to within two, 69-67. Then Meyers bombed from afar. UCLA, which shot 74% in the second half, flashed to a 10-point lead, then dropped back to four at 85-81. So Meyers bombed again. Every time Oregon made a move, the Spider legged back to spin his web. "I was elbowed, kneed, butchered, blasted, destroyed," Meyers said. "Maybe I like it."
It was an exhausting struggle. By the time it was over, Lee had fouled out, a miserable 19-for-50 shooting weekend behind him, Harter looked totally drained and even Wooden showed a rare open collar and askew tie.
In the locker room the UCLA coach walked among his troops, raising his fists in a startling outburst of elation. "I've got a frog in my throat," he said.
The Pacific Eight has to be more concerned with that Spider Wooden has in uniform.