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Oregon State moved into first place in the Pacific-10 with a smashing 94-51 home-court win over Oregon, the most lopsided margin in the history of the 268-game series. Les Conner and Danny Evans scored 18 points each for the Beavers, and Conner had six steals, giving him 67 for the season, one more than the team record set by Ray Blume two years ago. "It's tough to play us after we mess up," said Oregon State Coach Ralph Miller, whose Beavers had struggled against California five days before. Conner had 20 points, including two free throws with seven seconds left, and six assists as the Beavers beat the Bears 57-50.
Second-place Washington wasn't as fortunate on its trip to Bear country. Cal shocked the Huskies 54-50, as 5'9" Guard Mike Chavez scored 20 points and the Bears held Washington without a field goal for the last 3:30. Although the Huskies came back the next night to nip Stanford 53-52, Coach Marv Harshman said, "That loss [to Cal] may have effectively taken us out of the Pac-10 race. We still have to play UCLA there [not to mention Oregon State in Seattle on Feb. 18] and UCLA is playing the best ball in the conference right now." Indeed, the Bruins stretched their winning streak to 11 with an 88-73 win at Arizona and a 72-60 win at Arizona State.
Idaho continued to roll in the Big Sky Conference. The Vandals beat Weber State 71-62, as Guard Ken Owens got 25 points and two assists. It was the first Idaho victory over the Wildcats in Ogden since the conference was formed in 1964. Owens then added 17 and Phil Hopson and Kelvin Smith combined for 29 as the visiting Vandals clobbered Idaho State 77-50.
When Fresno State beat UC Irvine 71-58 it only looked like a typographical error. The Bulldogs, who normally average a mere 58 points per game, shocked the Anteaters with a blistering fast break and 62.5% shooting from the floor. Fresno's Rod Higgins scored 21 points, the 50th straight time he has attained double figures. An earlier 54-45 victory by Fresno over Long Beach State was more typical.
San Francisco was still struggling in the WCAC. USF needed eight foul shots, including four by Eric Slaymaker in the second overtime, to beat San Diego 75-69, and a pair of free throws from Slaymaker and a slam dunk by 7-foot Center Wallace Bryant in the final minute to edge St. Mary's 85-84.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]