- Monday, March 3 1930 -
Southern Conference Tournament (at Atlanta, GA)
Kentucky - 32 (Head Coach: John Mauer)
Duke - 37 (Head Coach: Eddie Cameron)
|Bill Werber (*)||2||0||1||1||4|
Halftime Score: Duke 20, Kentucky 18
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Sewanee 44 - 22|||||Georgetown College 67 - 19|
Game Writeup - by Morgan Blake, Atlanta Journal
Wildcats Bow to Devils in Greatest Game in Years
Kentucky Loss Hard Fought Scrap, 37 to 32, but Sets Foul Shot Record
The Duke Blue Devils, otherwise known as the Durham speed boys, will bid for the southern basket ball crown tonight at the city auditorium, in competition with the Alabama Crimson Tide, a band of determined and capable basketeers, who have been getting better and better since the tournament opened and looking more like champions every game. This game starts at 9 o'clock and follows a preliminary battle between two crack girl teams in the city, the Druid Hills Presbyterians and the Peachtree Christians.
The Devils went to the finals by defeating Kentucky Monday night in what was, in this scribe's opinion, the greatest basket ball game ever played in Atlanta. The score was 37 to 32. Alabama qualified for the finals by defeating the Tennessee Volunteers, 32 to 22.
Duke was in the finals last year, losing to North Carolina State. The game with Alabama tonight should be a spectacular affair. The Crimson Tide has not lost a game all the year. Duke divided a two-game series with Washington and Lee for its only defeat. Victory tonight means the highest honors in conference basket ball which includes in its territory states from Maryland to Louisiana.
Duke is regarded as the favorite because it includes in its line-up probably the fastest moving five men that ever played together here. It is a team of brilliant stars. Alabama, on the other hand, with the exception of Lindy Hood, the giant center, has no particular stand-out. But the team boasts ten mighty good basket ball players. The reserves are just as good as the starting five. This enables Hank Crisp to keep fresh men in at all stages without lowering the standard of the team. Lindy Hood is the only regular who is deemed as essential to the team play. As long as Lindy is in there the team is at full strength, no matter what other four Crisp uses.
KENTUCKY WENT DOWN after a gallant scrap but established a tourney record for all time in the matter of shooting foul goals. Fourteen times did the Wildcats have an opportunity for free pitches and fourteen times did they ring the bell. A percentage of 1.000. Angels could have done no better. In addition to this Captain McBrayer, of Kentucky, established an individual tournament record in this respect. In the three games he participated in he also made a 1.000 percentage on fouls, sinking ten out of ten chances.
As an indication of just how hectic the competition was Monday in this game, the two teams were tied eight times during the contest. The speed of the battle was literally breath-taking. The fans were in a constant uproar from the start to the finish. The score was tied at 3 and 3, at 5 and 5, at 8 and 8, at 10 and 10, at 12 and 12, at 14 and 14, at 20 and 20, and at 24 and 24.
At the end of the half Duke was leading 20 to 18. At the beginning the second half Kentucky took a spurt and jumped in the lead, 24 to 20. At this stage, it seemed that Duke was slowing up. A Kentucky victory was looming up on the horizon. And then came an incident which gave the Devils renewed life. Big Joe Croson was fouled by Cecil Combs just as he sank a basket for 2 points. This gave Joe two free throws and he made both of them good. This was a gain of 4 points on one play and tied the game again. This acted as an electric tonic for the Devils. They stepped on the gas and went away from there never to be headed.
FROM THE FIRST TOSSUP the battle raged with blinding speed and with every player on both teams putting everything he had into the scrap. After a minute and a half of ferocious milling up and down the court Farley took a pass from Croson and broke the ice by dropping in a field goal for Duke. Right after this Councillor fouled Combs and the latter sank the first of Kentucky's fourteen free pitches. Then McBrayer fouled Rogers as he attempted to shoot the basket and later got one of the the two free shots. The score stood at 3 to 1 in favor of Duke for seven minutes. And then Captain McBrayer, took a long shot at the basket and it dropped to tie the count at 3 and 3. Lawrence McGinnis missed a snow bird, but was fouled in the act. He made both free shots and the Wildcats were in front 5 to 3. Rogers, of Duke, had a crip shot for basket but missed, but Captain Farley tied the score with a fine field goal. Rogers was fouled by Lawrence McGinnis as he shot for the hoop and made one of his two free shots, putting Duke ahead, 6 to 5, at the end of the first ten minutes.
Spicer, of Kentucky, missed a snow bird, but Yates a moment later dropped one in and the Wildcats were out in front again, 7 to 6. McBrayer was fouled by Rogers in midcourt and made his one free shot. Shortly afterwards Rogers took a fast pass from Croson and sank it to tie the score again at 8 and 8. The fast flying Werber came darting down the court like a race horse and took a pass and dropped the ball in to put Duke in the lead, 10 and 10. The fast and furious pace had been continuous for fourteen minutes. Now Kentucky took time out for a breathing spell.
THE REST DID THE WILDCATS good for in a minute after play started Yates dropped one in to tie the score at 10 and 10. Combs had a shot at the basket, but Farley fouled him and he missed. However, he got both his foul goals and Kentucky was again in the lead, 12 to 10. The lead was short lived, however, as big Joe Croson shot, missed, but followed it up and tipped the ball into the basket as it came back off the backboard. Combs put Kentucky in the lead again with a field goal, Councillor tied it up with one, and then Werber shot a long one to put the Devils the lead 16 to 14. At this juncture Stanley Milward, regular center for the Wildcats, made his first appearance in the tourney, replacing Yates. Croson, his opponent, celebrated his arrival by dropping in a basket to make the score 18 to 14. Garber went in for Rogers for Duke here. Croson fouled Milward as he shot for the basket ball. Milward missed the field goal but made good both his free pitches. Captain Farley shot a field goal for Duke. Then, just before the first half ended, McBrayer was fouled by Garber as he shot and he made good both free pitches. The half ended 20 to 18, in favor of Duke.
Kentucky came back from the intermission stepping high and handsome. The boys had taken on new life and went after Duke with vigor. Louis McGinnis made a beautiful field goal as he dribbled under the basket at breakneck speed. This tied the score at 20 and 20. McBrayer was fouled by Rogers and the Kentucky captain made the free pitch, the eleventh consecutive foul goal for Kentucky of the evening. then Lawrence McGinnis got a field goal, and Combs was fouled and made the free toss to give Kentucky a lead of 24 to 20.
AT THIS STAGE IT must be confessed that it looked bad for Duke; The Blue Devils seemed tired from the ferocious pace they had set, while Kentucky was fresh and determined. At this juncture came the turning point in the game. Joe Croson was fouled by Combs just as the former was dropping in a field goal, and he got the goal and two free pitches in addition. He made both. Duke got a net gain of 4 points and the score was tied again at 24 and 24.
Duke came to life with this good break and the Devils stepped on the gas again. McBrayer fouled Rogers as he attempted a goal and the latter sank one of his free pitches to put the Devils in the lead again. Then little Harry Councillor came running down the floor in all directions and dropped one in from the field. Farley got two free pitches and missed both. But the irrepressible Mr. Croson sank one and then made a free pitch after Yates fouled him. And Duke was leading 30 to 24.
The precious moments were slipping by fast. Rogers got in one and Duke had a commanding lead of 32 to 24. Louis McGinnis got this one back to cut the lead to 6 points. At this point Spicer went in for Yates who had relieved Milward at the start of the half. Louis McGinnis sank a foul shot to make the score 32 to 27. Then Croson took a pass from Werber and sank a basket. But Louis McGinnis got another foul shot and made Kentucky's fourteenth consecutive free pitch. Croson was fouled by Spicer and missed his free pitch. Combs dropped one in from the field for Kentucky and the score was 34 to 30, the Wildcats behind. The crowd was wild. Bedlam reigned. And Duke took time out.
BEGINNING PLAY AGAIN Lawrence McGinnis fouled Councillor and the little forward with the patch on his eye sank it to give Duke a 5-point margin. But Combs dropped on in for the Ole Kaintuck and but 3 points separated the teams. But Rogers brought Duke out of the woods with a field goal. Werber was hit in the stomach and had to take time out.
At this stage the Duke players learned that but seventeen seconds remained of the game and the players shouted the fact aloud with glee.
These seventeen seconds sped away fast without any further scoring and the fastest and greatest game in tourney history was added to that history.
Game Writeup - Atlanta Constitution by Ed Danforth
DEVILS DEFEAT KENTUCKY, 37-32; TIDE WINS, 32-22
Girls Play at 7:30 O'Clock in Preliminary to Title Game
Duke University and the University of Alabama clash at 9 o'clock tonight at the city auditorium for the basketball championship of the Southern conference.
Four frisky urchins and a gangling blond lad who wore the blue of Duke outsped the weaving "submarine" artists who wore the blue of Kentucky in one semi-final contest and won, 37 to 32.
Alabama's sturdy, powerful quintet plugged away relentlessly at Tennessee's defense and crashed through to a 32-to-22 triumph in the other semifinal game.
The games were played before a packed auditorium. The crowd was surprisingly large, since neither Tech nor Georgia was engaged. The multitude manifested warm interest while the Crimson Tide and the Volunteers galloped and charged and retreated.
But the clash between the Blue Devils of Duke and the Wildcats of Kentucky swept the congregation into an uproar. It was one of the most brilliantly played games the conference classic ever produced and was a neck-and-neck race down to the final gun.
Duke made such an impressive showing in beating the weaving Kentuckians that the crowd left the hall feeling sort of sorry for Alabama's prospect in the finals. They felt that any game after that heroic spectacle staged in the lower bracket would be an anti-climax. They were speculating on how much Duke would beat Alabama.
The Blue Devils left a lot of basketball right there on the floor; Kentucky carried them at a burning pace. Alabama won with plenty of strength left. Alabama is far from out of the race and may give the four frisky urchins and the gangling lad from Durham another tough evening.
The four little fellows - Harry Councillor, George Rogers, Roland Farley and Bill Werber - and the tall pine - Joe Croson - beat Kentucky by their uncanny ability to grab loose balls. They were as nimble and as sure-fingered as newsboys scrambling for pennies. They left none for Kentucky.
The Blue Devils, scooting over the floor with their elbows collecting splinters, broke up the enemy's feared submarine passing game by the simple process of anticipating it and scooping the ball off he floor as it bounced.
They got few of the balls off the back board, but they darted in and intercepted enough Kentucky passes to make up for their shortage at the end of the court.
And every time they touched the leather it went toward the basket. They shot often. They shot exactly twice as often as Kentucky. Their percentage of hits was low, but they could not miss all the time.
TWO GREAT TEAMS
That is a low-comedy attempt at experting on a game that was played by two exceptional teams whose movements were too quick for the casual eye and whose sudden changes from attack to defense were too smooth to be realized.
Duke probably is the only team in the tournament equipped physically and artistically to defeat Kentucky. Coach Eddie Cameron got the utmost out of his men. What a final game that contest would have made!
Kentucky played with great spirit, and time and again varied their attacking plan in vain effort to elude the scudding Blue Devils. They tried few long shots and work incessantly to get the ball down close. They tried for only 27 field goals and made 9 of these, a fine percentage.
The Kentuckians kept themselves in the game by setting a tournament record and probably a season record by caging 14 out of 14 tries from the foul line. The Wildcats never missed once.
Coach Johnny Mauer had worked for two weeks to get Stanley Milward, his star center, in shape for the tournament. In the first half he sent Milward into action. But the bandaged knee refused to function and Milward was unable to help much.
The first half was the most thrilling stretch of the entire tournament. The rivals sped along with rarely more than two points difference. Both were playing at top speed. Duke shot often and hit occasionally. Kentucky carefully worked every shot down close and made one out of every three count. The half ended with Duke on top, 20 to 18.
The last lap opened and Kentucky sped away to a three-point lead in no time, with the McGinnis brothers and McBrayer counting them. Then Croson, the tall one, was hacked as he shot one and made one of his fouls count. The score was tied at 24-24.
Play was frantic for a few moments. Three Kentucky drives were broken up by a Duke defense that scattered all over the floor and played man to man.
Suddenly the Blue Devils started, Rogers, Councillor and Croson rang up eight points as fast as machine gunfire and the Kentuckians were up against it.
Changing their passing system a bit, the Wildcats closed the gap to three points - 35-32 - but Duke's skillful freezing game shut them off.
In the last two minutes of play Kentucky wrested control of the ball three times as Duke sought to freeze it and launched a triple-pass play. But traveling penalties cost them a chance for shots. In their eagerness the Wildcats were careless with their footwork.