"You can see it in their faces," Drake Coach Bob Ortegel said, speaking of players who have lost a lot of close games. Ortegel knows the look: two seasons ago his Bulldogs dropped 10 games by three points or fewer. "They were thinking of how they were going to lose it," Ortegel added. "They" was Drake's opponent. Air Force, which had lost all three of its games by no more than five points. Against the Bulldogs, the Falcons did it again, forging a tie at 71-all, then going cold, getting that look and losing 78-73 to undefeated Drake.
While preparing for unbeaten Oregon State, Portland Coach Jack Avina told his team, "You have a rare chance to climb a mountain. Take advantage of it." They did. Double-and triple-teaming the Beavers' 6'10" Steve Johnson, the Pilots spurted to a 15-point lead, surged again when State got to within 62-60 and finished with a 94-86 upset. Portland had three unrelenting mountain climbers: Guard Jose Slaughter, who had 27 points: Guard Darwin Cook, who left the Beavers gasping as he engineered fast breaks; and 6'5" Forward Rick Raivio, who outmaneuvered State's big front line for 27 points and 11 rebounds. Oregon State then thrashed Portland State 92-71. The Beavers benefited from the superb play of Guard Ray Blume, who had 27 points, five assists and four steals.
The La Salle-Brigham Young matchup in the finale of the Cougar Classic was replete with clutch performances. There was only one second left in regulation when Kevin Lynam of the Explorers made a corner shot to tie the score at 82-82. There were two seconds to go in the first overtime when Scott Runia of the Cougars squared matters at 92-92 by sinking a pair of free throws. Late in the second extra period. BYU's Runia and Devin Durrant tossed in baskets to make it 98-98. Finally, in the third overtime, the Cougars built a four-point lead and hung on to win 108-106. Durrant, who had 24 points against La Salle, scored 25 as BYU took its opening-round game from UC-Santa Barbara 87-65.
Two players joined the NCAA list of 2,000-point scorers: La Salle's Michael Brooks, who sank 24 of 36 floor shots against BYU; and Andrew Toney. who had 32 points as Southwestern Louisiana won 64-59 at Oregon.
Weber State knocked off teams from three regions. The Wildcats beat an Eastern squad ( Rhode Island) 82-60. one from the Midwest (St. Francis of Illinois) 96-67 and one from the West ( New Mexico) 80-70.
1. BYU (5-1)
2. OREGON STATE (6-1)
3. UCLA (3-2)
Evaluating his team's performance against Duke, Penn Coach Bob Weinhauer said, "We played with an intelligence that wasn't there in our first three games." Intelligent or not, the Quakers lost 70-57, giving them their dullest start—0-4—in 79 years. Doing 'some right smart shooting for the Blue Devils was Mike Gminski, who had 27 points. In another matchup of teams from Philadelphia and the ACC, Temple beat visiting Wake Forest 74-69. Detroit couldn't contain North Carolina freshman James Worthy, whose 24 points and 16 rebounds helped the Tar Heels win 90-72.
St. John's and Ohio State both won at home and away. After defeating Columbia 91-75 at home, the Redmen took to the road and handed Rutgers its first setback, 75-64. The Buckeyes started off by winning 72-55 in a sloppy game at West Virginia, but polished up their act while smothering Cal Poly-Pomona 87-46 at home and Holy Cross 79-63 on the Crusaders' floor. Ohio State's shifting zone defenses shut down the Mountaineer attack, and then before the biggest crowd ever at Holy Cross (a sellout 4,000, plus SRO ticket holders), the Buckeyes forced the Crusaders out of their patient style by outscoring them 19-4 early in the second half. Ohio State Guard Kelvin Ransey, who twice had 20 points last week, has now scored in double figures in 68 consecutive games.