Nobody could stop District of Columbia center Earl Jones, however. Jones, the high scorer in Division II at 29.2 points a game, poured in 31 in an 89-84 victory over Wright State, and 46 points, on 16-of-18 shooting, in a 92-89 loss to Morgan State.
Call UCLA's first ever back-to-back losses to Oregon (87-83 in overtime) and Oregon State (72-63) in Pauley Pavilion Larry Farmer's Lost Weekend. The Bruins blew a 71-62 lead against the Ducks with 5:53 remaining in the game, but still led 73-72 with eight seconds to play when UCLA's Montel Hatcher stepped to the foul line for the back end of a one-and-one. Hatcher missed, and Oregon's Gary Gatewood grabbed the rebound, raced down the floor and launched an errant 15-foot jumper with three seconds left. The ball ricocheted into the deep right corner, where the Ducks' Greg Trapp made a leaping catch. "I just jumped up to grab it, then turned halfway around in the air and threw it up," said Trapp. Trapp's desperation heave, which was launched from behind the plane of the backboard, cleared the top of the glass and swished through the net to send the game into overtime. In Oregon State's triumph, played before 7,841, the fourth-smallest crowd to see a Bruins game at Pauley, the Beavers shot a torrid 73.2%.
Michael Cage scored 35 points—25 of them in the second half—and had 12 rebounds in San Diego State's 73-62 defeat of UTEP. The Aztecs' triumph, their first ever over a Top 10 team, was televised back to Cage's hometown of West Memphis, Ark., where he was a high school phenom along with Memphis State star Keith Lee. "It's a big Keith Lee area," said Cage. "A lot of people have probably forgotten about Michael Cage. This was my chance to show that ol' Michael is doing well." UTEP bounced back to pound Hawaii 77-58 as the Miners' Fred Reynolds scored a game-high 28 points.
During a pregame ceremony honoring Ray Meyer at his alma mater, Notre Dame, Irish coach Digger Phelps planted a kiss on the old coach and then whispered, "Listen, Dad, your time is now, but 20 minutes from now it's mine." And it was—for the first half. Notre Dame had a 17-13 rebounding advantage and a 29-27 lead at intermission. But as the Blue Demons returned to the floor for the second half, forward Tyrone Corbin said to Meyer, "Coach, we're going to win it for you." De-Paul thereafter swept the Irish off the boards 23-10 en route to a 62-54 victory.
Kentucky roared to a pair of wins—and a one-half game lead over Auburn in the SEC. The Wildcats crushed Mississippi State 77-58, outrebounding the Bulldogs 47-23 and hitting 56.5% from the field. Kentucky then avenged a 19-point loss at Auburn last month with an 84-64 romp past the Tigers in Rupp Arena. Auburn jumped out to a 30-22 lead with 5:12 to play before the half, but then went more than seven minutes without a field goal as Kentucky ripped off a 19-2 surge.
Over two seasons, Mid-American Conference leader Miami of Ohio had defeated archrival Ohio University three straight times, and, says Ohio U. coach Danny Nee, "You lose four times in a row and you're looking for a new job." Ohio's 82-68 manhandling of Miami, which snapped the Redskins' winning streak at 11 games, not only may have spared Nee a trip to the unemployment lines but also kept alive the Bobcats' slim hopes for the MAC regular-season championship. Miami is 11-1 in league play: Ohio is 9-3.
Big Ten co-leaders Illinois and Purdue took turns beating up Northwestern and Iowa. The Fighting lllini crushed Northwestern 71-49 and then whipped the Hawkeyes 73-53. Purdue shot a blistering 61.8% in a 79-58 defeat of Iowa and cruised past Northwestern 66-56. Indiana remained a game behind the leaders with a 74-64 win over Wisconsin and a 74-72 overtime defeat of Minnesota.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]