For its first game as a member of the WCAC, Portland had Brian Corrigan, a Houdini-type escape artist, free himself from a straitjacket at halftime. The Pilots, though, were tied up by San Francisco 95-73 as Winford Boynes hit on nine of 11 field-goal tries and scored 20 points. The Dons, who became No. 1 in both wire-service polls last week, then throttled Seattle 81-63, James Hardy zeroing in for 25 points and Bill Cartwright for 22.
Last season's WCAC titlist, Pepperdine, lost 77-73 in four overtimes to Nevada-Reno, which got 32 points from Edgar Jones.
UCLA had warmed up for the Pac 8 wars by drubbing Houston 96-83. But against Oregon at Pauley Pavilion the Bruins went cold at the end, just as they did in their loss to Notre Dame when they failed to score in the final six minutes. UCLA blew a 60-53 lead in the last 3:20 against the Ducks and lost 61-60. Oregon's Greg Ballard put in the last two of his 22 points on a pair of free throws in the final second. Oregon then stopped USC 64-52, while UCLA outscored Oregon State 16-2 in the last four minutes for an 83-66 verdict.
After Washington lost its first four games, Coach Marv Harshman set a goal: "Win the next 14 or 15 in a row." It seemed implausible, but the Huskies may be on the way to doing just that. With James Edwards netting 44 points, they beat California 85-75 and Stanford 98-77 to give them 10 wins in a row. Washington State got strong performances inside from Steve Puidokas (39 points) and outside from Harold Rhodes (42 points) as it handled Stanford 80-68 and California 77-63.
Arizona trailed San Diego State 76-74 with two minutes to go, but prevailed 80-77.
"Give him a saliva test," said New Mexico Coach Norm Ellenberger after Rebel Forward Glen Gondrezick had 20 points and 20 rebounds in only 28 minutes of play, as Nevada-Las Vegas won 121-96 in a game that had 20 ties and 13 lead changes. Double G added 41 points and 24 rebounds as the Rebels stormed past Colorado 113-91 and Cal State-Northridge 112-72.
1. SAN FRANCISCO (17-0)
2. ARIZ. (11-1)
3. NEV. LAS VEGAS (13-1)
"A dunk does something for a team," said Cincinnati Coach Gale Catlett, whose Bearcats came to life immediately after Brian Williams threw one down against Temple. Up to that moment, which came with 16 minutes to play, the Owls had kept the Bearcats and their fans subdued, leading 33-29. But Williams' stuff stirred up the rooters and the Bearcats, who kept the Owls scoreless for eight minutes and went on to win 61-46.