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"I'm surprised with this big a victory," said Houston's 6'9" Larry Micheaux after helping to topple Arkansas from the unbeaten ranks 75-60. "I was expecting to win by one or two points." The Cougars' defense clogged up the middle and held the Hogs to 36.1% shooting, while on offense Houston broke the Razorback press. Micheaux was the main man, sinking nine of 11 shots, scoring 26 points and combining with Akeem Abdul Olajuwon to dominate the inside. Both teams had big men in foul trouble: Arkansas Center Joe Kleine (six points), Houston Forward Clyde Drexler (four, almost 14 below his team-leading average) and the 7-foot Olajuwon. Although Olajuwon scored only eight points, he blocked 11 shots and snared 10 rebounds.
When it comes to intensity, Illinois State Coach Bob Donewald ranks right up there with Indiana's Bobby Knight, for whom he was an assistant coach for five seasons. Redbird practices are rife with noise—from banging bodies, from Donewald's shouts and from the thud of basketballs that he allows his players to drop-kick so they can vent their emotions. No one knows more about how rugged those drills are than Forward Hank Cornley, who suffered a broken orbital bone under his right eye during a recent practice. Last week, during a Missouri Valley Conference showdown with visiting Wichita State, Cornley wore protective goggles as he and his teammates thumped their way to a 54-53 victory. A 17-foot shot by Dwayne Tyus with 16 seconds to go won it for Illinois State. But what set up the win was the Redbirds' typical body-whacking defense, especially on star Shocker Forward Antoine Carr, who nonetheless scored 20 points while taking what amounted to a pair of the best cross-body blocks this side of the NFL playoffs.
Senior Steve Stipanovich played his finest game ever for Missouri during an 84-63 rout of Oklahoma State, sinking 14 of 19 field-goal attempts, scoring 32 points and getting 11 rebounds. Against Oklahoma, Stipo's 16 points and 10 rebounds led the Tigers to a 48-41 victory. The Sooners, who came into the game with the highest scoring average in Division I (91.9 points a game), played slowdown ball much of the way because Wayman Tisdale got into early foul trouble. Tisdale, who was second in the nation with a 27.2-point average, had 19 points in 24 minutes. Sixteen hours later, Mizzou was done in by Marquette's Johnson and Johnson combination, 60-59. Dwayne Johnson's basket at the buzzer gave the Warriors a 53-53 tie, and Mandy Johnson's four free throws to start off the overtime period set up the upset.
With Guard Milt Wagner making 25 of 33 shots, Louisville won two Metro Conference games. Tulane was down only 52-49 before succumbing to the visiting Cardinals 63-55 as Wagner wrecked the Green Wave's otherwise effective zone with 24 points. Southern Mississippi also gave Louisville a scrap, trailing only 34-31 before Wagner went on a binge by scoring 20 of his team's 29 second-half points. When done, he had 32 and Louisville a 63-48 win.
A jumper, two dunks, a driving layup and a backdoor layup were all part of a five-baskets-in-five-minutes spree by North Carolina's Michael Jordan, who finished with 32 points in a 103-82 romp over Duke. Earlier, North Carolina State had lost 99-81 to the Tar Heels, who in their two outings made 20 of 39 three-point shots. In just 50 minutes of playing time, Jordan converted 18 of 26 field-goal attempts and had 47 points, 15 rebounds and six assists. Wake Forest, which began the week with an 80-63 road loss to independent William & Mary, tied Carolina for the ACC lead by defeating Duke 88-84 and North Carolina State 91-73.
With 15:12 left against Virginia, Georgia Tech led 40-34, thanks to 20 points from freshman Point Guard Mark Price. However, the visiting Cavaliers then instituted Price controls, holding him to only three more points, as Virginia spurted to a 66-52 victory. Ralph Sampson led Virginia with 18 points. Two days later, against Virginia Tech in Richmond, Sampson complained of fatigue, played only 21 minutes and had 12 points. Sophomore Forward Jimmy Miller spelled Sampson at center and had 18 points as the Cavs went up by 21 and then eased to a 74-64 triumph. Then Sampson lethargically shuffled through a 105-87 home victory over Clemson, getting a mere six rebounds and four points in 30 minutes. Virginia's guards took up much of the slack, Rick Carlisle getting 24 points and Othell Wilson 22 more. The Tigers lost despite setting ACC records by sinking 12 consecutive three-point shots and 15 of 23 from 19'9" and beyond.
Second-half surges carried St. John's to a pair of Big East victories. The Redmen led Providence by only two points before out-scoring the Friars 11-2 midway through the second half of a 74-54 win. David Russell and Chris Mullin scored 20 points apiece for St. John's. At Syracuse, where a record crowd of 32,382 was on hand in the Carrier Dome, the Redmen blasted away from a 47-47 deadlock and won 68-57. Billy Goodwin of St. John's topped off his 21-point night with 13 in the second half. Most of all, though, the Orangemen were done in by the Redmen's stalwart defense—a tight man-to-man most of the way and what Coach Lou Carnesecca called "a desperation zone" in the closing minutes.