Purdue's game at Iowa was another matchup of sophisticated muscles and elbows. "It was terrible out there," Cross admitted after the Boilermakers' 84-67 loss. Hawkeye Coach Lute Olsen liked the way his big men—Steve Krafcisin and Steve Waite—took charge. "They came out thinking aggressively," Olsen said of his Steve-adores, who poured in 28 points and hauled down 15 rebounds. Purdue, which began the season well, has now lost four of its last six games.
Mike McGee had 46 points as Michigan took two road games, 77-52 at Northwestern and 74-67 at Wisconsin. The Badgers led 31-28 at the half, but McGee netted 17 second-half points and propelled the Wolverines to a 70-54 lead at one stage.
"I don't put any pressure on to win," said Illinois Coach Lou Henson of his new, easygoing approach. "I tell my players to play relaxed, move the ball, play the game right." The Illini played right at Michigan State, winning 71-70, and shocked visiting Iowa 79-66 while outrebounding the Hawkeyes 45-31.
With Dominique Wilkins scoring 18 of his 32 points by halftime, Georgia led Kentucky 31-18 at one point and 37-30 at the intermission. But then the Wildcats' Sam Bowie scored several times off alley-oop passes to help send the game into overtime. Bowie blocked an unwise Bulldog shot with 48 seconds left in the first extra period, and Kentucky took the ball downcourt for a tying basket. In the second overtime, Dirk Minnie-field's dunk put Kentucky ahead 67-64 and safely on the way to a 71-68 victory.
Second-half surges kept Louisiana State unbeaten in the SEC. In a game at Mississippi, the Tigers finally took the lead for keeps with 10 minutes to go and won 69-63 as Durand Macklin had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Florida's young squad put up a fight, too, before succumbing 92-75 at LSU. Freshmen Ronnie Williams and Vernon Delancy had a total of 45 points as the Gators became the first conference team to score in the 70s against the Tigers. Macklin had 28 points in that game, Howard Carter scored 25 and Ethan Martin added 18. Martin also had 10 assists and four steals, giving him 50 thefts in the 18 games he has played.
Dale Ellis twice came through in the late going to carry Tennessee to home-court triumphs, 72-67 over Georgia and 62-58 over Alabama. Ellis led the Vols back from a pair of eight-point deficits against the Bulldogs and finished with 24 points.
It was Thursday, and DePaul Coach Ray Meyer was seated in his new office, which features dark green carpeting and walnut paneling. Nonetheless, Meyer was glum about his team's latest uninspiring victory, 54-50 the night before at Illinois State. In between mouthfuls of raspberry ice cream, Meyer said, "We were walking into the locker room after one game and a player, who didn't know I was behind him, said, 'I'll bet we took five years off Coach's life tonight.' We're not rebounding. We're a transition team and we have to rebound. Are we playing not to lose or to win?" On Sunday against Syracuse, the Blue Demons played to win and did, 91-69.
A Sun Belt Conference-record crowd of 16,131 was at Alabama-Birmingham as the Blazers bumped South Alabama out of first place 73-70. The Blazers did it the hard way, trailing by 16 in the first half and then shifting from a zone to a man-to-man in the last 20 minutes when they held the Jaguars to 32.0% shooting. Oliver Robinson had 26 points for UAB, which also ended South Florida's 12-game winning streak, 70-53.
Kelly Tripucka tossed in 39 points as Notre Dame defeated Cornell 80-57 and South Carolina 94-84. The Gamecocks' Zam Fredrick had 34 points against the Irish, 29 in a 93-77 win over Richmond and 39 in a 90-72 defeat of Hofstra.
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