Like Ewing, Virginia's Ralph Sampson was roughed up during an 83-64 ACC romp at Maryland. Sampson picked up 15 rebounds, 14 points and two technicals. Ben Coleman of the Terps was called for a foul on Sampson, who was almost simultaneously being whistled for elbowing Len Bias. Because Sampson heard the second call but not the first, he screamed at the refs and thus drew his first T of the night. Enraged by that call, Sampson stomped off the court, whomped the ball down and drew another technical.
"It wasn't a fun game for me," Coach Denny Crum of Louisville said after a 65-58 Metro Conference victory over Cincinnati. "I like things sharp and crisp." The Bearcats who kept things from being sharp and crisp were the Bruise Brothers—6'8" Dwight (Jelly) Jones, 6'8" Michael Williams and 6'7" Myron Hughes. Crum didn't like the way the Bruisers "pushed, shoved, nudged, bumped, leaned and elbowed." Except for that, Crum thought they were swell guys. Louisville then was at its sharp, crisp best while handing Florida State its worst-ever home loss, 96-69. Louisville also beat perennial Division II power Kentucky Wesleyan 79-58.
Houston and Arkansas began Southwest Conference play with wins. After beating Texas A&M 84-61, the Cougars defeated SMU 105-71 behind Akeem Abdul Olajuwon's 22 rebounds, 14 points and nine blocks. Arkansas won home games on three courts, beating Nebraska 64-58 in Little Rock, Mercer 83-62 in Pine Bluff and league opponent Baylor 65-60 in Fayetteville. Unbeaten Arkansas now enters the meatier part of a schedule that thus far has been as soft as chicken feathers.
Memphis State beat Baltimore 103-57 and St. Louis 78-64 as Keith Lee (page 42) sank 17 of 27 field-goal tries and had 38 points, 25 rebounds, 11 blocks, seven assists and five steals. Baltimore's Super Bees were down only 30-27 before Tiger Coach Dana Kirk hit his troops with a stinger of his own—some expletives that woke them from their stupor.
New Mexico State knocked off Colorado 80-76, lost to Illinois State 72-62 and outlasted Indiana State 103-100 in overtime as Ernest Patterson had 72 points, 18 rebounds, 16 assists and four steals. What more could anyone ask of a guard? Well, how about these numbers by Aggie point man Steve Colter: 57 points, 24 rebounds, 13 assists, eight steals and two blocks.
Illinois State outrebounded New Mexico State 46-30 and got 14 points and 11 rebounds from Reserve Forward Ray Malaine. The Redbirds also won another Missouri Valley Conference road game, beating West Texas State 89-73, with a pair of 8-0 scoring binges during the first and last three minutes. Wichita State was also a winner in two Valley road games, 89-88 at West Texas State and 77-66 at Creighton. In the latter game, the Shockers got 23 points from Antoine Carr and 20 from Xavier McDaniel. After losing their opener, they've won nine straight.
"It was a tremendous defensive game, an old-fashioned slug-it-out game," said Missouri Coach Norm Stewart after beating North Carolina State 49-42. The Wolfpack's fine backcourt of Sidney Lowe and Dereck Whittenburg were held to 13 points between them. The Tigers, down by four with 10:30 left, put on a 10-0 spurt during the next 8:05, with all the points coming from Jon Sundvold, Steve Stipanovich and Ron Jones.
Every dog, it's said, has his day. Melvin Mathis, a 6'8" freshman with Drake's Bulldogs, though, may have had his doubts. After all, his coach, Gary Garner, had said of him, "Melvin picks up three fouls just walking to the scoring table," and "If Melvin improved 500 percent he still couldn't play defense." But in a desperation move after Drake got in foul trouble early against Tulsa, Garner sent Mathis into the game. With Mathis working doggedly—25 points, 12 rebounds, two steals and one assist while committing just two fouls—the Bulldogs shocked the Golden Hurricane 87-73 as the fans chanted "Melvin! Melvin! Melvin!" Garner, wearing a broad postgame smile, spoke glowingly of his newest star, "Marvelous Melvin Mathis."