DePaul Coach Ray Meyer should have sensed he was being set up going into last Saturday's game with UCLA. First the crowd at Pauley Pavilion sang Happy Birthday to the coach, who had turned 68 the day before, and then each Bruin went to the DePaul bench and shook his hand. Even the first half resembled a birthday gift, as DePaul dominated play to lead 37-32. After the intermission, however, UCLA took it all back, rushing past the Blue Demons to an 87-75 win. The reversal came when UCLA moved Mike Sanders from forward to center and inserted speedy Darren Daye and Rod Foster into the game. The Bruins then outscored DePaul 45-28. "With that quick lineup in there, our press is better and so is our rebounding," said Daye. "Sometimes quickness is better than strength. This win does a lot for our confidence."
Neither Rice nor Iona could deal with San Francisco's Quintin Dailey as the Dons won their own Golden Gate Invitational, beating Iona 88-81 in the finals. Tournament MVP Dailey scored 34 points against the Gaels, following a 24-point effort in a first-round 85-69 rout of the Owls. "Quintin can put them in from anywhere, sometimes without dramatics, and you're surprised when you add up the score," said former USF Coach Dan Belluomini. Current Coach Pete Barry added up the rebounds and was less than pleased, however. "We're supposed to be one of the best rebounding teams in the country, but we were caught napping by two smaller teams," he said, speaking of Rice's 55-44 rebounding edge as well as USF's 37-36 advantage over Iona on the boards. San Francisco had only a 45-44 halftime lead against the Gaels, mainly because of Dailey's 24 points, and Iona had visions of an upset when Dailey picked up his fourth foul with nine minutes to play. A few minutes later, with USF still barely leading, starters John Hegwood and Wallace Bryant each picked up his fourth personal, but a spread offense and seven free throws enabled the Dons to hang on.
Free throws also helped Brigham Young to a 63-55 win over Weber State. The Wildcats had two more field goals than the Cougars, but BYU outscored Weber 21-9 at the line.
Even before the start of the 118-65 thrashing Pan American got at Wichita State, Broncs Coach Bill White was fit to be tied—or cuffed. White marched up to a Henry Levitt Arena security man and held out his arms. "Take me," White said. "I'd rather spend the next two hours in jail than where I'm going to spend them." White's players also looked as if they wished they were elsewhere as the Shockers took a 70-32 halftime lead and set a school record with 50 field goals.
Rebounding was the decisive factor in host Houston's 62-52 upset of Iowa in the finals of the Christmas Kettle Classic. "The team that hit the boards the toughest was the best tonight," said Cougar Forward Clyde Drexler, who was the toughest of them all with 18 rebounds. Houston's 7-foot sophomore center, Akeem Olajuwon, added 11 boards in only 20 minutes of playing time. Overall, the Cougars had a 52-36 rebound advantage over the Hawkeyes, who were playing without their leading scorer, Bob Hansen, who had bruised his right foot in a game the night before. "Hansen's absence hurt because he's our best outside shooter," said Iowa Coach Lute Olson. "That made Houston's zone all the more effective."
Central Florida's plan to slow down the action against Tulsa worked for a short time, but the Golden Hurricane pulled away for a 69-58 win and its 21st consecutive home-court victory. Central led 7-4 and then went six minutes without scoring. Late in the second half the Knights held the ball for 3� minutes without shooting. The only problem: Tulsa was ahead 62-48 at the time.
"We came in here averaging 86 points a game. Obviously, we didn't want to get into a 40-point game," said Villanova Coach Rollie Massimino, but that's what Massimino and his Wildcats got. A combination of Temple's tough zone defenses and poor Villanova shooting enabled the Owls to pull off a 52-48 upset. Although Temple failed to make a field goal in the first eight minutes of the second half, the Owls came back to take the lead for good when Ed Coe and Terence Stansbury combined for the steal and the dunk that put them in front 48-46. "This may be our biggest win because of where they are and where we're supposed to be, like Nowheresville," said Temple Coach Don Casey. Nowheresville is where most of Villanova's shots fell. Averaging 60% from the floor entering the game, the Wildcats shot only 43.2% against the Owls.