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South Carolina shut off hitherto undefeated Purdue's inside game down the stretch, jarring the visiting Boilermakers 59-53. Harold Martin and Brad Jergenson led the Gamecocks with 15 points each. After talking to his players following the game, South Carolina Coach Bill Foster, 52, suffered a heart attack and was rushed to a hospital. His condition on Sunday was reported to be stable.
Kentucky beat Detroit 83-46 and Illinois 76-57. Mel Turpin had 20 points and Dirk Minniefield eight assists as the Wildcats toyed with the Titans. None of the Illini felt worse then Bruce Douglas, a 6'3", 175-pound freshman forward. Douglas, who didn't notice a pick set by Bret Bearup of Kentucky, collided head on with the 6'9", 230-pound Bearup and left the game with a bloody nose. Bearup showed once again that the Wildcats are blessed with excellent depth as he spelled Turpin at center, scored nine points and took down six rebounds in 18 minutes. Guard Dickie Beal was another effective substitute for Kentucky, chipping in 14 points and repeatedly disrupting the patient offense the Illini tried to run.
After coasting past Arizona 92-73, Tennessee had to weather a strong inside game by New Orleans before pulling out a 76-74 decision. The Privateers outrebounded the Vols 31-30, led most of the way and even forced Tennessee Coach Don DeVoe, a man-to-man purist, to briefly resort to a zone. New Orleans, which used one sub for only one minute, wore down at the end and squandered a 74-69 lead. With 2:18 left, Rob Jones of the Volunteers scored a rebound basket, was fouled and sank the free throw to make the score 74-72. Dale Ellis tied the score at 74-74 with 1:26 to go, when he made an 18-foot shot from the left side. Then, following a turnover, Ellis put the Vols in front 75-74 by converting one of two free throws. He finished with 30 points and teammate Michael Brooks had 25, most on shots over the New Orleans zone.
Alabama beat Southern Methodist 74-56, and Auburn was a 59-58 loser at Stetson, which had three one-point victories last week. In its Hatter Classic Stetson knocked off Tennessee Tech 68-67 and Georgia State 64-63. South Florida won its second straight Florida Four tournament as Charles Bradley gunned in 72 points. Bradley scored 42 as the Bulls defeated Florida State 90-77 and had 30 more during a 77-73 triumph over Florida in the championship game.
"Illinois State exemplifies what defensive basketball is all about," said Oral Roberts Coach Ken Hayes after a 54-40 loss to the Redbirds in Normal. "Early in the game we tried to run some cuts, and they said, 'Uh, uh. No cuts.' " The 40 points by the Titans was their alltime low. Everything had been normal in Normal earlier in the week as Illinois State fought off DePaul 72-62 behind Rick Lamb's 23 points and 11 rebounds. The Redbirds broke apart a tight game by outscoring the Blue Demons 16-6 during the final three minutes of play.
Alabama players gave Penn State fans the shirts off their backs. The shirts, which were worn during pregame warmups, carried the slogan: GO LIONS, BEAT GEORGIA, NUMBER ONE. That was the Crimson Tide's way of urging on Penn State's football team in its Sugar Bowl showdown with Georgia. Although the 'Bama basketball players won over the Nittany Lion supporters with ease, they had a hard time winning the game. It took three overtimes before the Tide came out on top 75-67. Alabama made 14 foul shots during the final five-minute period, with Guard Mike Davis leading the way by scoring nine of his 17 points in the last OT. Mike Lang's 17 points and 12 rebounds kept Penn State in contention.
A flurry of late free throws also paid off for Penn, which stunned Villanova 84-80. As the game wound down, Wildcat Coach Rollie Massimino felt his best chance of pulling out a win—the Quakers had led by a narrow margin virtually the whole way—was to have his players foul Anthony Arnolie of Penn, who had been shooting only 60.0% (three of five for the season) from the foul line. Arnolie, however, is a crack free-throw shooter, and he proved it by canning all 10 of his free throws in the last three minutes. Quaker Coach Craig Littlepage's game plan was to "concede the perimeter shooting so we could control the boards." It was a maneuver that worked splendidly, as Penn won the rebound battle 39-26. Invaluable, too, were Paul Little's 23 points.
"Coach worked on me all week, telling me the importance of positioning off the boards, and I just kept working at it hard," said Tony Bruin of Syracuse after a 92-87 win over Houston. Bruin had nine rebounds and scored 26 points. Clyde Drexler of the Cougars led everyone with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Erich Santifer, who had 22 points for Syracuse, wrapped things up by intercepting a pass with 33 seconds left. Houston had won its first five games, its best start since 1969.
Coach Charlie Harrison of visiting East Carolina, well aware of North Carolina State's new high-powered offense, chose not to use the ACC's three-point shot and 30-second rule. Without the shot clock, both teams resorted to slowdown tactics, with Johnny Edwards scoring all the Pirates' points as they took an 11-5 lead. With 6'11" Thurl Bailey guarding him in the second half, though, Edwards had just four points and the Wolfpack prevailed 57-49. N.C. State then beat Michigan State 45-41.