The Michigan Daily-Sunday, March 25, 1979-Page 11
Johnson, Bird lead teams to showdown
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - It was too
much "Magic" and too little muscle for
Penn's basketball team.
Outshone by the dazzling talents of
Earvin "Magic" Johnson and out-
muscled by a taller, stronger Michigan
State team, punchless Penn suffered a
humiliating 101-67 defeat in the NCAA
basketball semifinal playoffs yester-
"I can shoot better facing the basket
and that's just what I did," said John-
son after scoring a game-high 29 points.
"They played off the zo ie and they
made it easier for me."
Meanwhile, Penn's dispirited Ivy
Leaguers weren't shooting nearly as
s humiliate Penn
well, only hitting 16 per cent in the first
half and 29 per cent for the game.
"We were able to attack the zone just
about the way we wanted," said. Penn
Coach Bob Weinhauer. "But we were
just missing the layups. Then, they just
beat us down the floor with their
Talking about the gifted Johnson and
his frontcourt teammate, Greg Kelser,'
who scored 28 points for the Spartans,
"I'm not surprised that those two
guys performed the way they did.
They're certainly two super basketball
MIchigan State Coach Jud Heathcote
also praised his two dynamic players,
but added: "We also got good perfor-
mances from everyone else - just as
we have had all year."
Michigan State, 25-6, had the game
sewed up in the first half, when the
Spartans looked like a pro team toying
with a college squad.
The Spartans pounded out an em-
barrassing 50-17 halftime lead behind
their two superstars as the gifted John-
son scored 15 points, handed out eight
assists and collected five rebounds and
Kelser scored 14 points and pulled down
The Spartans went on a 19-point
scoring streak midway through the first
half, with Johnson and Kelser doing
most of the damage to rush into a 32-6
lead with 7:09 left before intermission.
Penn, 25-6, was not able to score a
point for nearly nine minutes during
one stretch and didn't break into double
figures until 3:06 was left in the first
Michigan State shot a sizzling 63 per
cent from the field in the first half.
The Quakers' problems were com-
pounded by early foul trouble to Ivy
League Player of the Year Tony Price,'
who was saddled with three fouls and
had to sit down with nine minutes left in
the first half.
Heathcote used his reserves
generously throughout the lopsided
Mike Brkovich added 12 points for
Michigan State. Matt White was Penn's
second high scorer with 13.
The result put Michigan State into the
NCAA final for the first time, in the
school's history. The game was Penn's
first appearance ever in the NCAA's
When Michigan State's Greg Lloyd
sank a pair of free throws with eight
seconds left in the game, putting the
Spartans over 100 points, a loud roar
went up from their fans and they began
to chant, "We want Bird, we want
Bird," referring to Indiana State super-
star Larry Bird.
Penn zone strategy
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Pennsylvania Coach Bob Weinhauer, his Ivy
Leaguers' quest for college basketball recognition squelched by Michigan
State, said there was no sense discussing strategy at halftime with his
Quakers trailing the Spartans 50-17.
Underdog Pennsylvania, ranked No.'14, shot just 16.7 per cent in the first
half and never recovered, losing to third-ranked Michigan State 101-67
yesterday in the NCAA semifinals.
'To be here is a great feeling," said Weinhauer. "Not to be competitive
for a portion of the ball game is disappointing. But to come out and play the
way the kids played in the second half, I really feel has to make us proud."
Weinhauer said the Quakers' struggle to penetrate Michigan's State's
tenacious zone defense, and their failure to convert inside shots when they
did penetrate, were factors in Penn's disastrous start.
"Obviously, the beginning of the ball game didn't go as we wanted it to
go," said Weinhauer in a major understatement. "Quite honestly, I felt we
were attacking them fairly well, getting the ball to where we wanted to get it.
But we missed a number of layups and close-in shots."
The Quakers went for a span of 8:33 of the first half without scoring as
Michigan State reeled off 18 points in a row to break the game open early.
Weinhauer, the second-year Quaker coach, said he didn't think Penn had
played "anybody better than Michigan State this year, and we have played
some good teams. They're riding a hot streak all the way through the tour-
nament, and they have got one more game to ride."
t 0-6 0-0
5-12 3-4 1
M. Brkovich .
D. Brkovich ...
MICHIGAN STATE'S Greg Kelser (32) zips a pass off to a te aimate after driving
inside against Penn yesterday. The Spartans spent an awful lot of time passing,
shooting and running at will over the beleagured Quakers, who were trounced,
101-67. Michigan State now faces Indiana State for the championship Monday
night at 9 p.m.
24 22 101
67 Fouled out-Price, Smith
Halftime score: MSU 50, Penn 17
SOARING S YCA MORES TO MEET SPAR TANS
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Unstop-
pable Larry Bird poured in 35 points
and miracle man Bob Heaton scored
the winning basket in the final 45 secen-
ds, boosting Indiana State past DePaul
76-74 in the NCAA semifinals yesterday.
Bird, tossing in points from all over1
the court, led the Sycamores, unbeaten
in 33 games this season, into the NCAA"
final Monday night against Michigan
State, who routed Penn 101-67 in the
other semifinal -
Indiana State held a 67-59 lead with
9:16 remaining when the Blue Demons,
paced by Mark Aguirre and Gary
Garland, staged a 14-4 spurt and took a
73-71 lead when Garland sank a 10-foot
jumper with 4:33 left.
Heaton, with an assist from Bird,
knotted it at 73, then with 1:37 left,
Garland hit the front end of a one-and-
one, making it 74-73 and bringing
venerable DePaul Coach Ray Meyer
within 90 seconds of a trip to the cham-
But Heaton, whose off-balance, last-
second shot lifted the Sycamores over
Arkansas in the Midwest Regional
final, took a pass from Carl Nicks under
the basket and laid it in for a 75-74 lead.
DePaul then called time out with 36
The Blue Demons worked the ball
down court, carefully angling for their
best shot. But Aguirre, letting fly from
the wing, missed and Indiana State
gathered in the rebound.
Leroy Staley hit a free throw with one
second left for the final margin.
Bird's aching left thumb bothered
him tremendously, but could not stop
him from putting on the dazzling one-
"My thumb really bothered me, but
AP Photo you have to play with everything," said
Indiana State's blond All-America.
ana State Bird not only dominated the game,
and ISU's but left the DePaul players slightly
"We let them score some cheap
baskets because we were worried so
much about Bird," said Garland.
"Bird's the greatest player I've ever
faced," said DePaul forward Curtis
Watkins, who guarded him most of the
Sycamores Coach Bill Hodges, now
33-0 and in the NCAA final, in this, a
fairy tale rookie season, said, "I'm
emotionally drained. This is another
ball game where it's a damn shame
either team had to lose. DePaul played
such a great game."
In Monday night's final, Bird will
lead the Sycamores against Michigan
State, which shocked Penn earlier with
a 101-67 rout.
"I hope we don't get blown out like
Penn did," said Bird. ")'m just glad to1
be in the final. Wfiatever happens, hap-
Hodges was full of praise for
DePaul's Meyer, the popular 37-year
coaching veteran who had become a
sentimental favorite with many fans
across the nation. Meyer was gracious
"Basketball is a game of mistakes,"
he said. "Unfortunately, we rade ours
in the last minute. We had a lot of fun
winning. Now, we just have to smile
with the loss."
Meyer shook his head when asked to
comment on Bird.
"Bird's such a great player that we
told our players to let him get his points
and shut out the others. But we still tur-
ned our heads to watch Bird," Meyer
Nicks and Alex Gilbert were the only
other Sycamores in double figures, with
Gilbert getting 12 and Nicks 10.
Aguirre and Garland had 19 points
apiece for DePaul, Watkins scored 16.
Jim Mitchem 12 and Clyde Bradshaw
eight as only the five starters saw ac-
Indiana State, gunning to post the fir-
st 34-0 record in major college basket-
ball history, had an uncommon 22 tur-
novers, while DePaul had only eight.
But Indiana State's huge rebounding
advantage, 34-21, made up the differen-
- INDIANA ST.
FG/FGA FT/FTA R A PF P
.1-3 ' 4
16 Bird ........... 16-19
19 Nicks ..........4-13
12 Reed........... 3-5
8 Heaton......... 3-6
19 Staley.......... 1-4
74 Totals ........ 35-56
r/FTA R A PFf
0-0 3 4 1
0-1 5 0. 2
3-4 16 9 3
2-2 1 5 3
0-0 2 2 0
0-0 3 0
1!2 2 0 3
6-9 34 19 14
Halftime score: Indiana St. 45, DePaul 42
LARRY. BIRD skies for this rebound during action from yesterday's NCAA semi-final contest which saw Indi
topple DePaul 76-74. Bird put on an awesome offensive show as well, scoring 35 points. DePaul's James Mitchem.
Steve Reed (23) follow the action.
Bird scorches nets.;
awaits MSU's Magirc
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - "I felt so good I was begging for the ball,"
All-American Larry Bird said yesterday after scoring 35 points and leading
No. 1 ranked Indiana State to a 76-74 victory over DePaul in the semifinals of
the NCAAA basketball championships.
However, the6-foot-9 forward, who is a first-round draft choice of the
Boston Celtics, was not happy with his all-around performance.
"I MADE ii errors," he said:"I couldn't grip the ball very well. I threw
it away. I usually don't do that."
With the narrow triumph, Indiana State qualified to meet Michigan
State for the title Monday. The game will feature Bird, the college Player of
the Year, against the Spartans' "Magic Man," Earvin Johnson.
DePaul nearly played its way into the finals, but Coach Bob Hodges'
squad wasn't to be denied.
With Indiana State leading 75-74 after Bob Heaton's clutch shot - his
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