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ALL SHOOK UP
Last week was an eventful one in women's basketball, with the top three teams in the AP poll—Virginia. North Carolina State and Purdue—all losing. The biggest winner was undefeated Penn State, which had been ranked fourth before beating top-ranked Virginia 73-71 on the Cavaliers' home court last Thursday.
Guard Shelly Caplinger made a disputed three-pointer at the buzzer—the crowd howled that it came after the buzzer—to lift the Lions to victory. That win capped an upsurge from what Penn State coach Rene Portland called the program's "low point" last spring. In March the Lady Lions had gained the right to host a first-round NCAA tournament game against Florida State but were forced to play on the road in Tallahassee because Penn State had reserved Rec Hall for the men's NIT meeting with Marquette. The decision prompted a campus protest, with one marcher carrying a placard that read MEN'S STATE.
The Lady Lions are now in line to take over the top spot in the AP poll because Clemson upset No. 2 North Carolina State 82-73 on Jan. 2 and Auburn beat No. 3 Purdue 76-65 last Saturday in the first regular-season women's game ever telecast by one of the three major networks. In the other half of the SEC- Big Ten Challenge doubleheader on CBS, at Iowa's Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the Georgia women defeated Iowa 62-51.
All four schools were pleased about the TV exposure, but Purdue coach Lin Dunn thought the two-minute TV timeouts—normal timeouts last one minute—militated against her team's usual strategy of wearing down an opponent. For his part, Auburn coach Joe Ciampi tried not to overload his players with instructions during the extended timeouts but sometimes couldn"t help himself. "If you saw one of my assistants pulling me by my jacket, that was why," said Ciampi.
MOVING ON UP
Since accepting an invitation to join the Missouri Valley Conference this season. Southwest Missouri State has moved right in and made itself at home. The Bears, who knocked off preseason favorite Creighton 72-71 on Jan. 2, were leading the MVC at week's end with a 3-0 record and were 11-4 overall.
It shouldn't be surprising that Southwest Missouri State has made the transition from the Mid-Continent Conference to the tougher MVC with little trouble, despite losing three starters from last season's 22-7 team; the Bears have a knack for adjusting to stiffer competition. In 1980 they were a Division II program. Ten years later, they are one of only 18 teams that have appeared in each of the last four NCAA tournaments. "We're still not sure what we're getting into [in the MVC]," says coach Charlie Spoonhour. "We could bottom out at any time."
That's unlikely, largely because of State's senior backcourt of 6'2" Darryl Reid and 5'5" Arnold Bernard, childhood friends from the Bronx. Reid and Bernard are so close that "people are surprised if they see Darryl and don't see me," says Bernard.
Bernard and Reid both attended junior college, Reid because of his grades and Bernard because of his height. Bernard was headed for a juco in Kansas until he joined Reid on a visit to San Jacinto ( Texas) Junior College, and both players wound up enrolling there. The roles were reversed two years later, when Reid was leaning toward TCU, Houston or Seton Hall until he accompanied Bernard on a trip to Southwest Missouri State. "We didn't think we had a chance on Darryl," says Spoonhour. "It wasn't a package deal. We were just lucky they wanted to play together."