CUMBERLAND, MD., DEC. 11 -- About 345 nights each year the nondescript, relatively windowless brick building adjacent to Allegany Community College's main athletic fields serves as the school's physical education building.

However, on approximately 20 fall and winter nights a strange and powerful force overtakes this place. The rural stillness in which it stands is shattered as the structure comes to life and seems to develop a mind of its own.

Suddenly, it is more than Allegany's physical education building. It is Trojan Square Garden. And visitors are not welcome.

Since Nov. 11, 1980, 128 teams of outsiders have tried to conquer The Garden. None has succeeded.

That's right, the Allegany Trojans have won 128 home games in a row. If they defeat Prince George's Community College on Saturday and Louisburg (N.C.) College on Sunday, they will unseat Kentucky as owners of the longest home winning streak in college basketball history.

"Sometimes it is unbelievable to me," said Allegany Coach Bob Kirk, under whom all of this has taken place.

Last January was one of those times. So, Kirk's secretary, Carol Hauger, wrote a letter to Kentucky's sports information department just to make sure. Yes, the reply said, the Wildcats had won a record 129 straight home games from Jan. 4, 1943, to Jan. 8, 1955.

It is not likely Bob Kirk ever will be confused with Adolph Rupp. However, it is not likely any junior college coach ever will be confused with Bob Kirk.

"Yeah, I've had offers from four-year schools," said Kirk, a Cumberland native in his 17th year as Allegany's coach. "But it would take a whole lot of money to get me away from this job. I like it here."

He likes winning here even more.

Since December 1978, his teams have lost just one game at The Garden, which got its nickname in 1971 from a local sports writer named Gene Goodrich. Had the Trojans not lost the national JuCo Region XX final to the Community College of Baltimore in March 1980, their home winning streak would be 156. Kirk's overall record at The Garden is 238-22. Even the Harlem Globetrotters might not win here.

"We've had some close calls here," said Kirk, whose team defeated Vincennes (Ind.), 81-79, Nov. 28 on freshman Charles Becton's three-point play with six seconds left in the game. "But we've always told every kid that ever played here that we should own this gym . . . we have the best fans you have ever seen. I've seen more people at {other places}, but I've never seen a more enthusiastic group of people than the one we have here."

The Garden seats 1,500 in roll-away bleachers that run along two walls. And among Allegany's 2,000 students and Cumberland's 30,000 residents, there isn't a hotter seat in town.

Other than relatives and season-ticket holders, the only people guaranteed seats are the 25 or so members of Allegany's baseball team, who serve as a deep-throated, roar-leading squad.

"The first couple games, I was scared," said freshman guard Clint Venable, an All-Met for Northwestern High School.

"If I was on an opposing team, I wouldn't want to play here," said Becton, a freshman forward from Friendly.

But because of the streak and Kirk's ability to offer guarantees such as free hotel rooms, finding ranked opposition is rarely a problem.

Why not take a chance at making history? Chances are, most teams are going to lose to Allegany no matter where the game is played.

Since their home winning streak began more than seven years ago, the Trojans' overall record is 243-31. And Kirk's overall record at Allegany is 437-104. Remember, this is a situation in which virtually every season is a rebuilding season.

"Considering the number of new people we have this year," Kirk said, "I'm surprised we're 11-1 and ranked as high as we are {11th in the NJCAA athletic directors' poll; 15th in the USA Today coaches' poll}."

This season, the Trojans are led by Venable (19.5 points and 11.6 assists per game); forward Curtis Williams, a sophomore transfer from Boston University (19 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.4 blocks per game); Becton (14 points, 11.2 rebounds per game), and guard Rodney Johnson (14.9 points per game), a sophomore transfer from Tulsa.

But by next season or the season after that, those people will be gone -- gone, they hope, the way of Rudy Archer (now playing at Maryland) or John Turner (sitting out this season after transferring to Georgetown) or any of the other former Allegany players whose four-year college jersey is displayed in The Garden's lobby. In any case, if they graduate from Allegany, they probably will graduate from a four-year school. Kirk says approximately 90 percent of his graduates have done so.

That, said one Allegany teacher, is what Kirk's program is all about.

"He is very understanding, but he is firm," said Carolyn Kershaw, an associate professor of humanities, who teaches remedial English and reading. "If his players don't want to do the work and don't want to go to class, they're out."

According to Kershaw, the percentage of basketball players needing to enter a remedial reading class upon matriculation is greater than that of the student body. However, Kershaw said, the percentage of basketball players succeeding in the program also is greater than that of the student body.

"I don't think you can keep it going as long as we have if you're not doing things right," Kirk said. "Our kids aren't only successful here, they're going on and being successful -- they're graduating and getting recruited and getting their degrees. The kids we get are making it."