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Jordy Hultberg, Willie Sims, Ernest Brown, Rick Mattick, Floyd Bailey—those are five names not likely to make an opposing coach nervous enough to gnaw on his clipboard. But when the final horn sounded and Louisiana State had defeated top-ranked Kentucky 95-94 in overtime, those were the LSU players on the floor. The Tigers' entire starting, five had fouled out before the bitterly contested game was over, so it was up to players like Sims, a freshman guard, to carry LSU through the final minutes. He hit three free throws in the final 27 seconds of overtime to nail down the victory for the unranked Tigers. "It must have been back in the Stone Age that five subs last beat the nation's No. 1 team," said an exultant Dale Brown, the LSU coach.
The Tigers had lost to Kentucky by 20 points last month in Lexington, but poured in their first 14 shots in the second half this time. Starters Kenny Higgs and Durand Macklin were the first to foul out, and they were soon joined by DeWayne Scales, who had 17 rebounds when he departed with nine minutes to play. Another LSU starter fouled out in the regulation period, and the fifth sat down two minutes into overtime. Kentucky lost starters Kyle Macy and Rick Robey and sub Lavon Williams to fouls. About midway through the second half, Brown decided to put the Tigers in a four-corner offense. "We didn't have the four-corners in our game plan," he said, "and we worked on it only 15 minutes in practice. We had to stop playing Kentucky and start playing that electronic monster hanging up there over the court."
Earlier in the week, Kentucky clubbed Auburn 104-81. Sixth man James Lee scored 25 for the Wildcats in that game, and later Coach Joe B. Hall was asked why he does not start Lee. "Things are going so well, why change now?" he replied.
Butch Lee of Marquette, whose fans claim that he, not Phil Ford of North Carolina, is the country's best guard, looked the part in the Warriors' defeats of Creighton and Air Force. The 6'1 All-America hit 13 of 17 shots and scored 30 points in an 82-57 pasting of the Bluejays. "Everything we tried to do, Lee countered," said Creighton Coach Tom Apke. "Attacking the full-court press, making the fine passes, and so many other things—he did them all." Former Warrior Coach Al McGuire calls such games "BLT"—Butch Lee Time—and BLT became more popular than the Quarter Pounder in Milwaukee after Lee pumped in 24 points in a 76-59 drubbing of Air Force.
Michigan State took a one-game lead in the Big Ten race by beating Michigan 73-62. The Wolverines had won 10 of the previous 11 games between the two schools, and after Michigan's 65-63 victory over State earlier this month. Wolverine Coach Johnny Orr danced onto the floor in East Lansing and blew kisses at the Spartan fans. This time Orr watched Spartan superfreshman Earvin Johnson score 25 points, grab eight rebounds and deal out six assists. Said Orr of Earvin, "I'd like to see him turn pro."
The Spartans made it a perfect week by also beating Iowa 71-70. Hawkeye Coach Lute Olson was upset about the officiating—he felt the refs should have called more than one technical foul on Michigan State Coach Jud Heathcote for his sideline antics—and said, "Dang it, we were not intimidated. The officials were intimidated. Is there one standard of officiating for first-division teams and another for second-division teams?"
Elsewhere in the hectic Big Ten, Minnesota took over second place from Purdue, which was beaten 65-64 by Indiana and 91-77 by Ohio State. Gopher Center Mychal Thompson scored a season high of 34 points in the Gophers' 78-65 victory over Iowa. Although Minnesota cannot go to a postseason tournament because of an NCAA suspension, it can gain a measure of satisfaction by winning the conference. The Gophers may do just that, because, unlike Michigan State's, their toughest remaining games are at home.
Notre Dame had its 22-game home winning streak snapped by DePaul when the Blue Demons' Gary Garland made a 22-footer with three seconds to play in overtime for a 69-68 victory. That brought DePaul's record to 20-2, while Notre Dame's fell to 16-4.
Tennessee's women's team, ranked second in the AIAW, knocked off No. 1 LSU 86-68. The Lady Vols shot 61% in the first half and used a pressure defense to upset the BenGals. "We knew we had to get in their uniforms right from the start," said Tennessee Coach Pat Head.