Utah, Wyoming and Brigham Young, which are one-two-three in the WAC, were all bushwhacked on the road. Neither 30 points by Tom Chambers nor 27 by Danny Vranes could keep the Utes from being waylaid 83-74 by Hawaii. Aaron Strayhorn helped the Rainbows end Utah's victory streak at 14 games by scoring nine of his 20 points in the final six minutes. BYU, down 72-62 with 57 seconds to go, put on a furious charge but lost at San Diego State. Though Danny Ainge got six of his 27 points in that rally, the Cougars fell short 73-72. The Aztec upset was engineered by Point Guard Tony Gwynn, who had 10 assists, sank nine of 10 shots and scored 21 points. Wyoming, victimized at New Mexico 57-56, returned to form in its next road game, beating Texas-El Paso 63-58.
Utah and BYU also won their other games. Vranes scored 18 points and got nine rebounds as the Utes held off San Diego State 62-53. And the Cougars beat stubborn Hawaii 77-72 behind 24 points by Fred Roberts and 17 by Ainge. That was the 102nd consecutive game in double figures for Ainge, an NCAA record.
San Francisco was also jarred on the road, 102-99 at Pepperdine, as Dane Suttle of the Waves sank five free throws in the last minute of overtime. Suttle scored 27 points in all, and freshman Mark Wilson sank 11 of 13 field-goal tries as Pepperdine tied the Dons for first in the WCAC.
Arizona State narrowly averted a loss to Washington, prevailing 78-76 after being ahead by 18 points. At UCLA, it was the Sun Devils whose rally barely failed; their 19-8 spurt in the final 7:11 left them on the short end of a 64-61 score. The Bruins, who didn't have a field goal during the last 8:56, got their final points by converting 10 of their last 15 foul shots. UCLA also beat Arizona 90-79, Michael Holton scoring 24 points for the Bruins, Ron Davis 38 for the Wildcats.
Oregon State's Jeff Stoutt found his shooting touch during a 78-61 victory at Oregon. Stoutt, a 53.0% shooter from the field in the opening eight games of the season, had made only 30.0% in the first 11 Pac-10 games and scored just 12 points in the Beavers' last seven outings. But against the Ducks he came off the bench to sink eight of nine.
In Bradley's lopsided 87-65 loss at Wichita State, three Shockers were mainly responsible for stunning the Braves: Tony Martin had 19 points and six assists; Cliff Levingston 18 points and 13 rebounds; and Antoine Carr 20 points. Levingston likened Wichita State's play to "a train picking up speed." The Shockers also chugged past Southern Illinois 81-61 to pad their MVC lead.
Like the Saturday night buckeroos who are flung from atop those mechanical broncs, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were thrown from a share of the Big Eight lead. First came a 73-70 jolt at the hands of Kansas State, whose Randy Reed scored 21 points. Leroy Combs had 22 for the Cowboys, even though he spent much of the second half in the locker room being treated for an allergic reaction to an unknown substance that caused his eyes to swell shut. In its next game Oklahoma State lost 85-57 at Colorado. Jo Jo Hunter pumped in 29 points for the Buffaloes, who had a 47-26 advantage in rebounds. Kansas State moved into a first-place tie with Nebraska by beating the Huskers 66-49. Nebraska had begun the week by winning 57-56 at Colorado when Jack Moore sank a foul shot with one second remaining.
Arkansas, apparently recovered from a three-game midseason slump, extended its victory streak to seven by disposing of Baylor 67-50 and Houston 70-55. That left the Razorbacks and Cougars deadlocked for the top spot in the Southwest Conference.