Explaining why he had called three straight time-outs with five seconds to go against Long Beach State, Coach Jim Killingsworth of Oklahoma State cracked, "We were just trying to work in the radio commercials." What Killingsworth really had hoped to do with those time-outs was to unnerve Donnie Martin of the undefeated Forty Niners, who went to the foul line four times before he could get off a shot in a one-and-one situation with his team ahead by one point. When Martin finally was allowed to shoot, he missed the first free throw. But teammate Michael Wiley rebounded the ball, and Francois Wise stuffed it in for a 94-91 Forty Niner victory.
Also vital to the Long Beach win were the 45 points scored by substitutes. Although down by six points early in the second half. Coach Tex Winter pulled all his starters. After the reserves cut into the deficit, the refreshed regulars returned to wrap up the victory. Two nights later, at Wichita State, the Forty Niners again had to struggle to remain unbeaten, coming from 10 points down in the first half, for a 91-88 victory in which Wiley had 24 points and Martin 22.
Southern Methodist abandoned its usual running game against Kansas' whippets, led by one point midway through the second half, and then was done in by a pair of hot-handed subs. Booty Neal and Brad Sanders came off the bench to combine for 10 points in five minutes and push Kansas to a 71-64 win.
Louisville creamed West Virginia 106-60 as four Cardinal guards teamed up for 44 points, 14 assists and 10 steals. Derek Smith, a freshman forward for Louisville, raised his field-goal-shooting percentage to .765 by sinking eight of 10 shots while scoring 22 points in 18 minutes.
A 91-88 triumph over Old Dominion ran Virginia Tech's record to 5-0. Freshman Dale Solomon of the Gobblers scored 33 points.
With Larry Bird tossing in a school-record 48 points, Indiana State (8-0) coasted past Butler 109-71. Drake equaled its 1977-78 victory total with its fifth and sixth wins without a loss, stopping California 86-83 and Memphis State 109-91 as Guard Wayne Kreklow popped in 69 points. Kreklow made 14 field goals in a row during one stretch and 19 of 22 overall against the Tigers and finished with 43 points.
2. TEXAS A&M (8-1)
3. CREIGHTON (5-0)
"The Aggies showed they can play any kind of basketball," said San Francisco Coach Dan Belluomini after a 68-65 loss to Texas A&M in the championship game of USF's Golden Gate Invitational. "They can press, play four corners, shoot from every distance, divide the scoring and fight for those boards. We played our best game of the season and, lost." The Dons, who led 39-36 at halftime, lost largely because the Aggies wore them down with a collapsing zone and by going to a four-corner offense with a 55-54 lead and five minutes left. When A&M went into the delay, the Dons became overeager and committed fouls. The Aggies turned them into five crucial points. The Aggies thus negated the distinguished play of USF's Bill Cartwright, who had 29 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots.