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It was still a two-team scramble in the Southwest Conference as Texas A&M won twice on the road and Arkansas twice at home. After squelching Southern Methodist 63-56, the Aggies got 25 points from David Britton and rolled past Rice 84-65. Baylor hit on 10 shots in a row to go ahead of Arkansas 45-43. But a pair of three-point plays by Brad Friess put the Hogs back in control and on the way to a 71-57 verdict. Scott Hastings, who scored 23 points in that game, had 21 more as Arkansas overcame Houston's spread offense and 46-31 lead. Keith Hilliard sealed the 60-57 win when he stole the ball and scored with seven seconds left.
With his team up by 13 points in the second half at Tulane, Louisville Coach Denny Crum ordered his players out of their normal fast-break style and into a stall. While the Cardinals slowed down, the Green Wave speeded up, pulling to 56-53 with 4:10 to go. So Crum junked the stall. Louisville, freewheeling once again, jammed in 10 straight points and breezed to a 76-59 decision. Darrell Griffith had 23 points for the Cardinals, the only unbeaten team in the Metro Conference.
Creighton moved to the top of the Missouri Valley by beating Indiana State 67-60 and New Mexico State 76-69. In a battle of two of the nation's most prolific scorers, Indiana State's Carl Nicks outscored Drake's Lewis Lloyd 36-25 as the Sycamores won 79-69. Lloyd then got 41 points as the Bulldogs outlasted Tulsa 103-92.
UCLA, which established all sorts of records in the '60s and '70s, continued to stumble in 1980. The Bruins, leading Arizona State 76-71 with 2:36 left, went into their four-corner delay game, flubbed up, went scoreless the rest of the way and lost 78-76. Seventeen turnovers were also part of UCLA's botchup. Notre Dame then extended the Bruins' losing streak to three games—their longest since 1961-62—with an 80-73 setback. That was also UCLA's second straight loss at Pauley Pavilion, where it had never had back-to-back defeats in 14 previous seasons. Fueling the Irish victory were Rich Branning, who flicked in 20 points, and Kelly Tripucka, who grabbed 10 rebounds and scored all 17 of his points in the second half.
Southern Cal also fell apart at home. Kurt Nimphius pumped in 23 points and pulled down 17 missed shots as Arizona State dumped the Trojans 81-75. USC was then shocked 86-83 by Arizona, which had trailed by 17 points with 13:13 to go. Three freshmen who had just been promoted to the starting lineup—Leon Wood, Frank Smith and David Mosebar—combined for 45 points for the Wildcats.
The "Orange Express" is what Oregon State fans are calling their team, which hit 20 of 29 first-half shots—seven of them were field goals off the fast break—while zipping to a 44-28 lead over Washington State. The Cougars, though, almost derailed the Express, 6'11" Stuart House scoring 18 of his 29 points in the last 20 minutes. But the Beavers hung on for a 65-63 triumph and then staved off a Washington comeback 89-84. Mark Radford had 21 points and Ray Blume 20 as Oregon State boosted its Pac 10 record to 7-0.
Like UCLA and USC, Brigham Young was jolted at home. Wyoming Coach Jim Brandenburg had his Cowboys run with the Cougars in the first half, at the end of which they trailed 41-39. In the second half, the Cowboys followed orders and held the ball for almost nine minutes. That slowdown hurt the Cougars, who sank only five of 18 floor shots, fell behind 50-49 and then had to begin fouling. Wyoming ballhandler Anthony Johnson converted six of eight foul shots in the last two minutes as the Cowboys came out on top 56-53. BYU came on strong in its next Western AC outing, drubbing Colorado State 104-82 behind Fred Roberts' 21 points.