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UCLA beat Stanford in Los Angeles for the 36th straight time, 71-66, but the Bruins were embarrassed in a 62-51 defeat at Oregon. The Ducks' first victory over UCLA in seven years was hardly a work of art, though. Oregon sputtered so badly in the first half that, trailing 14-8 with 9:16 left before intermission. Coach Don Monson yanked his starting lineup "to get their attention."
In the second half, the Ducks came at the Bruins with larceny on their minds and a half-court trap in their game plan. "We never adjusted [to the trap]," said UCLA coach Larry Farmer. "We made some terrible decisions." The Bruins also made 10 second-half turnovers and shot just 30% from the field. Oregon's 7-foot Blair Rasmussen outplayed UCLA's 7-foot Stuart Gray, getting a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds to Gray's six points and seven rebounds. In Corvallis, Oregon State got past Southern Cal 51-45.
UNLV held PCAA rival UC-Irvine. a 53.0% shooting team, to just 34% in an 83-68 romp in Las Vegas. "They kicked the hell out of us," said UCI coach Bill Mulligan. "Their defense had a lot to do with that." Defense also keyed the Rebels' 105-77 romp at San Jose State. UNLV made 13 steals and forced the Spartans into 27 turnovers. In the Rebels' 93-88 win at Utah State, Richie Adams scored seven points—including a spectacular back-door slam off the delay offense—in the final 3:17 to help break open a tight game.
Kentucky's 82-63 defeat at Auburn was the worst loss for a Wildcat team since Indiana bombed Kentucky 98-74 on Pearl Harbor Day, 1974. "I'd be lying if I said I thought anybody could beat us by 19 points," said Wildcat forward Sam Bowie. "I would never have believed it." Auburn forwards Charles Barkley and Chuck Person—dubbed the Twin Powers by the local press in answer to Kentucky's Twin Towers, Bowie and Melvin Turpin—made a believer of Bowie. The Twin Powers outscored the Twin Towers 46-37 and outrebounded them 19-15. "Person is as good a forward as there is in the conference," said Bowie. "And Barkley is a great player. He is going to score his points, and it doesn't matter who he is playing against."
Against Auburn's triangle-and-two defense, the Wildcats' Jim Master and Kenny Walker failed to get their points. Master scored just two, while Walker, who had a total of 33 in Kentucky wins over Alabama (76-66) and Mississippi State (51-42), had just six. " Kentucky was a tired basketball team," said Auburn coach Sonny Smith. Indeed, it was UK's fourth game in a week.
LSU blew the front ends of four one-and-one situations in the last :56 of a 70-69 loss at Tennessee, leaving Tiger coach Dale Brown furious. "We're going to find five people who want to be committed to something for 40 minutes," he snapped. Brown then drove his players relentlessly in practice in anticipation of a battle with Mississippi, and it paid off: LSU roared to a 39-14 lead in the first half and coasted to a 93-70 rout of the Rebels. Seventy-one fouls were called in the game, and the teams hit 63 of 89 free throws.