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Lamar, which shocked Oregon State in last year's NCAA regional quarterfinals, raised its record to 20-2. The Cardinals took a two-game lead in the Southland Conference with a pair of victories—90-87 in overtime at McNeese State and 79-75 against Texas-Arlington—as Mike Olliver scored 50 points and B.B. Davis added 43.
Oregon State made its national television and Eastern debuts against St. John's. The Beavers won 57-45, but they weren't at their best. Oregon State's Steve Johnson displayed his usual soft touch by sinking 11 of 14 floor shots and scoring 26 points, but played only 18 minutes because of foul trouble. Largely because of poor shot selection the Redmen failed to score for the first 10:50 of the second half.
Notre Dame breezed past North Carolina State 71-55. The Irish got 24 points from Orlando Woolridge, shot a lofty 80% in the second half and sank 23 of 28 foul shots, while the Wolfpack made only one of three.
Virginia had a tougher time with North Carolina State. The Cavaliers didn't go ahead to stay until the final 2:16, when they sank six straight free throws to win 51-46. Virginia moved closer to its first regular-season ACC title with a 73-58 victory over Clemson. Twelve points and 12 rebounds by Ralph Sampson and 19 points by Jeff Lamp helped Virginia win its 27th straight since losing to the Tigers in last season's ACC tournament.
It's not uncommon for North Carolina to outscore an opponent 16-2 during a second-half spurt. It is unusual, though, when the spurt merely cuts the opposition's lead from 62-32 to 64-48, which is what happened against Wake Forest. "I can't remember us being dominated like that, especially here," Coach Dean Smith said after the 84-68 defeat. The loss, coupled with the previous week's defeat by Virginia, marked the first time since 1973 that the Tar Heels had dropped back-to-back games at Chapel Hill. On Sunday, North Carolina knocked off Maryland 76-63 as Al Wood scored 28 points.
Earlier, Wake Forest decked Duke 58-52, and Maryland squeezed past Clemson 72-70 when Ernest Graham scored from underneath at the buzzer. Two other Terps helped set up the victory, Albert King with 28 points, and Buck Williams with 16 rebounds.
Rhode Island and West Virginia, which are one-two in the Eastern Eight, both followed defeats with victories. The Rams lost to St. Bonaventure 63-58, and the Mountaineers were bumped off by Duquesne 69-64. Then Rhode Island defeated George Washington 72-70, and West Virginia beat Rutgers 73-67.
St. John's and Boston College remained tied for first in the Big East, the Redmen by overcoming Connecticut 72-65, the Eagles by beating Providence 70-55. In a non-conference game, Holy Cross ambushed Boston College 86-74. Connecticut was a 65-63 victor at Syracuse, where a national-record crowd of 26,257 for an on-campus game showed up. The Orangemen had opened the week by holding off Georgetown 66-64 as Dan Schayes scored 18 points and got a conference-record 23 rebounds.
Robin Hoey's shot at the buzzer gave American University a 71-69 triumph over LaSalle. It also put the Eagles alone at the top of the ECC's Eastern Division.