After his Missouri Tigers fell hard to Illinois 84-62, Coach Norm Stewart was fuming. "I've got a few players I'd want to get into a car and take a trip with, and I've got about six I'd like to put in a bus and push over a cliff," he said. Top reserve Lex Drum won't be making any trips, because he bailed out earlier in the week citing a "personality conflict" with Stewart. The Tigers, who set an NCAA record for field-goal accuracy last year (57.2%) hit an anemic 40% against the Illini. They went nearly eight minutes without a basket at the start of the second half.
Three members of the Bradley Braves got up extra early Saturday morning for an 8 o'clock astronomy final. That afternoon all the Braves played with their heads in the clouds against Illinois Wesleyan, trailing 32-29 with 6½ minutes to go in the game before finally coming down to earth with a 48-42 victory. Hasan Houston, one of the early risers, came off the bench to save the Braves with 16 points. DePaul and Mark Aguirre were all business in an 83-65 win over Texas. An early 6-0 Longhorn lead disappeared after Aguirre had some admonishing words for his teammates. "Come on now, let's get this over with quick," said Aguirre, who did his part by scoring 25 points.
Coach Gene Smithson had a few choice words for his Wichita State squad after the Shockers fell behind Northeast Louisiana 36-29 in a lethargic first half. "A halftime with Coach Smithson is something you have to see to believe," said 6'8" sophomore Cliff Levingston. Properly motivated, Wichita outscored the Indians 53-27 in the second half, winning 82-63. The most motivated Shocker may have been Antoine Carr. The normally offensive-minded Carr turned into a demon on defense, holding Northeast star Terry Martin to four points in the final 15 minutes of the game. Wichita State also overcame a stall by Long Beach State, downing the 49ers 80-61.
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