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THE WEEK (Dec. 11-17)
Herman Weiskopf
December 25, 1978
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December 25, 1978

The Week (dec. 11-17)

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Michigan State brought its Magic Act to North Carolina, but it was State's unbeaten record that vanished. The Spartans, who trailed by 12 points in the first half and by seven with 1:10 to go, closed to within one with 17 seconds remaining and seemed poised to pull the game out when they forced a turnover. But Jay Vincent's shot fell short and the Tar Heels came out on top. 70-69. Carolina sprang its upset by holding Earvin (Magic) Johnson to a slightly subpar performance—18 points, six assists, eight turnovers—by outrebounding the Spartans 33-30 and by getting 18 points, six assists and 10 rebounds from Mike O'Koren.

Duke's Mike Gminski got the best of Southern Cal's Cliff Robinson in a matchup of two of the nation's finest centers. Gminski out-scored Robinson 25-6, but was outrebounded by him 14-8 as the Blue Devils beat the Trojans 79-65. Duke's Jim Spanarkel was typically scrappy, scoring 20 points despite suffering a gash in his forehead while scrambling for a ball in the early going.

Georgia Tech, which had just finished a break for exams, returned to action and passed tests against Biscayne (70-49) and Tennessee Tech (108-63) before flunking at East Tennessee State (86-76). The Buccaneers shocked Tech with 22 points from Scott Place and 29-of-32 free-throw shooting.

"I wish I could take the defense we played in the first half to my clinics. It was the best half of basketball ever played by any team I've coached." That was the appraisal of Rhode Island's Jack Kraft, now in his 18th season of coaching, following an 85-76 win over Brigham Young. During those first 20 minutes, the Rams kept the Cougars away from the basket with a 1-2-2 defense, shot 67%, forced 18 turnovers and built a 41-24 lead. Sly Williams had 21 points for the Rams, and John Nelson 20. Next time out, the Rams got 29 points from Williams and beat Manhattan 83-76 despite JoJo Walters' 30.

BYU also lost 90-83 at St. John's, where the Redmen canned 30 of 33 foul shots and got a superb effort from Guard Reggie Carter, who set a school record by making 17 of 18 free throws (all in the second half) and established a home-court mark by pouring in 39 points. Earlier in the week, St. John's had been routed by Columbia 90-77.

Georgetown and Temple each ran its record to 6-0. The Hoyas trampled St. Mary's (Md.) 96-58. The Owls drubbed Navy 73-47, as Keith Parham had 20 points, and beat Villanova 66-58.

American University trimmed St. Mary's 105-87 and Delaware 77-68, with 6'5" Forward Ray Voelkel sinking all four shots in the first game and his first try from the floor in the next. Voelkel thereby broke the NCAA record for consecutive field-goal attempts without a miss, making it 25 in a row. This season, Voelkel has been successful on 27 of 29 shots, a shooting percentage of .931.

Dale Shackleford and Roosevelt Bouie each scored 19 points as Syracuse won 67-50 at Penn State, and North Carolina State was an easy winner over North Carolina-Wilmington, 75-51.

1. DUKE (6-0)
2. N.C. STATE (7-1)
3. SYRACUSE (6-0)

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