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"Look at me. Look at me. Remember: Stay poised and play our defense." That's what Pepperdine Coach Jim Harrick told his players during every time-out of a 102-91 upset of San Francisco. The Wave defense—a two-three matchup zone—called for extra pressure on Don sharpshooter Quintin Dailey. It worked. Dai-ley's 18 points were far below the 33 points he'd averaged in his last four outings against Pepperdine. A 46-31 rebounding edge for the Waves helped, as did the play of Bill Sadler (26 points and eight rebounds) and Orlando Phillips (23 and 12).
"It's not hard to see that one team wore orange shirts and the other wore yellow," Oregon State Coach Ralph Miller said angrily after playing at Oregon. No, the Beavers didn't lose. They hounded the Ducks into 24 miscues and won 76-61. Miller, though, was annoyed because his squad, which led only 52-50 with 6:06 left, was guilty of 16 turnovers. But Miller could find no fault with his team after it handed Stanford, which committed 30 turnovers, its second-worst loss ever, 81-38.
Washington, which was predicted to be ninth in the Pac-10, retained its half-game conference lead over Oregon State. The Huskies ran their winning streak to 10 games by beating Stanford 75-70 and then, with Steve Burks passing off for 12 assists, California 74-62. UCLA ended its three-game losing streak, defeating stubborn Arizona 65-56 as erstwhile starter Rod Foster came off the bench to score 19 points.
Mike Wacker's cold was nothing to sneeze at and LaSalle Thompson's twisted ankle was bad enough to give Texas Assistant Coach Barry Dowd a fright. Despite these impairments, both players had hearty stats as the unbeaten Longhorns pulled off a double-barreled Southwest Conference surprise by gunning down Houston 95-83 and then Arkansas 87-73. Wacker, who had so much difficulty breathing against the Cougars that he had to call a time-out, triggered the first upset with 32 points, and Thompson performed so well against the Razorbacks—32 points and 13 rebounds—that Dowd said, "Before our next game, I may be tempted to twist both his ankles." Houston lost again. 67-66 to SMU, when Mustang Chuck Anderson made two foul shots in the last four seconds, but Arkansas edged TCU 62-59.
Like Wacker and Thompson, Tulsa's Phil Spradling overcame physical hardship. Thirteen days after he'd had an emergency appendectomy, Spradling sank seven of 11 field-goal tries and geared up the Golden Hurricane fastbreak during a 98-84 romp at West Texas State. In two other Missouri Valley Conference games, Tulsa breezed past Drake 71-54 and jarred Wichita State 99-88. The Shockers, who at one point had a 23-8 lead and who were up 38-32 at the half, were blown out by the Golden Hurricane's remarkable second half: 67 points and 74% shooting. During those final 20 minutes, Tulsa committed only three turnovers and forced 16 by Wichita State that led directly to 31 points. Mike Anderson and Greg Stewart had 26 points apiece for the winners, but Paul Pressey had the most impressive overall figures: 20 points, seven rebounds, seven steals and seven assists. It was part of a shocking week for the Shockers, who were hit by the NCAA with a three-year probation that ruled out postseason play this year and next. An NCAA official explained that "the most serious violations, involving promises of cash, and airline flights," occurred from 1976 to 1978. They did not involve any members of Wichita State's present coaching staff.
"You can't diagram that. It's just instinctive basketball," said Missouri Coach Norm Stewart of a superb play by Ricky Frazier that beat Nebraska 44-42. Realizing he was hemmed in by the harassing Husker defense and that time was winding down, Frazier whirled and rifled an under-the-basket pass to Prince Bridges, who put in the decisive layup at the buzzer. The Tigers also struggled past Oklahoma State 54-49 but had less trouble with bumbling Louisville, which went down 69-55 on Sunday in a non-conference game. Kansas State won two Big Eight matchups, 75-55 over Iowa State and, with Randy Reed getting 32 points and nine rebounds, 78-68 at Colorado.
Virginia continued to prove that it's more than a one-man team, and Craig Robinson proved that he could, in a sense, be a one-eyed marksman. The first of four games in six days was the toughest for the Cavaliers, who trailed Maryland 28-16 early in the second half before winning 45-40 in overtime. A swarming defense that forced 10 Terp turnovers during a stretch of 12 possessions got Virginia untracked. So did Jeff Jones, who scored six points while the Cavs went on a 19-6 tear that put them ahead 33-32. Jones then had five more points in OT, two of them on a layup after he stole the ball. Robinson was the main man during a 99-67 blowout of Wagner, even though his vision was blurred because he had only one undamaged contact lens. The 6'8" Robinson sank nine of 12 shots and finished with 24 points in just 18 minutes. Ralph Sampson, held to six points against Maryland and 12 against Wagner, showed his stuffs as he scored 24 points and had 14 rebounds in a 79-60 defeat of Georgia Tech. On Sunday, Virginia overwhelmed Clemson 89-68 behind Sampson's 22 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots. Added to that were a total of 29 points by Tim Mullen and Jimmy Miller, a pair of freshman forwards.