"Last year, when we'd get behind, that would be it. We had too many egos on the team. This year, we're busting our butts." So said Swingman Larry Anderson of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas after PCAA games in which the Rebels came from 14 points back to defeat Utah State 89-77 in overtime and from 13 down for a 68-64 victory over Cal-Irvine. UNLV Coach Jerry Tarkanian seconded Anderson's opinion by saying, "We would have folded our tents last year." A crowd of 10,506, the largest in Logan, Utah in five years, saw Vegas fall behind 27-13, put on lots of butt-busting pressure defense and square the score at 73-73 at the end of regulation. Eight OT foul shots by Danny Tarkanian helped the Rebels keep their tents up. So did 22 points by Anderson plus 20 rebounds and 19 points by Sidney Green. Against Irvine, Anderson had 24 points and Green 19, and Tarkanian had 14 assists. Utah State bounced back to defeat San Jose State 77-68 and run its record to 11-2.
After defeating Pepperdine 85-74, Cal State-Fullerton won two PCAA games at home. Leon Wood sank five of six three-point shots and scored 36 points as the Titans bumped off Cal-Irvine 86-76 and had 21 assists as they ripped Long Beach State 90-60.
"We noticed on videotapes of UCLA's game with Louisville that the Bruins don't get back real well on defense. UCLA leaves the corners alone. We got some easy baskets." That's what Arizona's first-year coach, Ben Lindsey, said in explaining why he'd shucked his patient offense and had his team try to run with the swift Bruins. Lindsey's Wildcats did get some easy baskets, and they did trim a 17-point second-half deficit to three points with 50 seconds to go. But Darren Daye then helped sew up a 92-87 Pac-10 victory for UCLA by hitting both ends of a one-and-one.
Forward Guy Williams set a Washington State record with 43 points, converting 19 of 27 floor shots and five of seven from the line, during a 100-83 defeat of Idaho State.
It didn't rank up there with David knocking off Goliath, but 6'3", 170-pound Guard Kevin Williams of St. John's did the job against 7-foot, 220-pound Patrick Ewing of Georgetown. Late in the first half of St. John's 76-67 victory, Williams got into two scuffles with Ewing and generally left him feeling as if he'd been flattened by a New York rush-hour subway mob. During the first altercation, Williams was on the short end of the fisticuffs and got a swollen lip. Both players got technical fouls, and Williams picked up another after tangling with Ewing again. Even though Williams eventually fouled out, he was pleased that he had succeeded in frustrating Ewing, who had 14 rebounds, 13 points and four blocks.
Georgetown Coach John Thompson, however, wasn't pleased at all. He said that if the rough stuff continued, he would tell his star sophomore to turn pro at the end of the season. "Patrick won't have a say in the matter," Thompson said. "I'll make the decision, because he won't develop as a player this way." The prospect of Thompson telling Ewing to clear out was hardly upsetting to St. John's Coach Lou Carnesecca, who said "I would second that motion." As for Williams' play, Carnesecca said, "The kid did his job, O.K.?"
Some other Redmen did their jobs, too. St. John's got 24 points from Chris Mullin and 20 from Billy Goodwin, as well as nine from Williams. The win gave the Redmen a 13-0 record, their best start in 42 seasons. During an earlier 79-62 victory at Seton Hall, Goodwin scored 28 points.
Villanova beat Boston College 79-72 in another Big East game as Stewart Granger and John Pinone each scored 24 points. Pinone converted 16 consecutive free throws before missing his final try. Notre Dame twice lost to Wildcats: 61-55 at Villanova and 54-51 at Davidson.