- Saturday, January 14 1939 -
(at Louisville, KY)
Kentucky - 37 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp)
Notre Dame - 42 (Head Coach: George Keogan)
|Mark Anthony Ertel||2||2||2||2||6|
Halftime Score: Notre Dame 22, Kentucky 19
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|St. Josephs 41 - 30|||||Tennessee 29 - 30|
Game Writeup - by Heggy Dent, Louisville Courier-Journal
Notre Dame's Free Throws ....Irish Cage 22 of 24 Before Record 7,000
Presenting a scrappier battle against superior height, the Irish of Notre Dame capitalized on free throws to turn back the University of Kentucky 43-37 Saturday night at the Armory. Approximately 7,000 fans, a record attendance for basketball in Kentucky, were on hand to witness a ding-dong struggle that saw the lead change hands ten times and the tally tied thrice.
The Irish connected from the floor only ten times while the Big Blue registered 14, but the South Bend crew sank 22 of 24 tosses allotted at the free-throw line to swing the victory margin to its side. In fact, the Irish were so uncanny at the gratis line it caused a murmur from the crowd when Eddie Riska missed the first one to open the second half. Notre Dame garnered all in this manner in the first half.
This lad Riska missed the only two tosses from the free-throw line but on the other hand he counted six, which, with a field goal, tied him with his teammates, Eddie Sadowski and Joe Ziegerhorn, for scoring honors with eight.
Outclassed on Defense
Despite their advantage in height, the Wildcats were unable to control the ball and frequent fumbles in the opening session proved costly. They offered a smooth enough offense but were outclassed on defense. Several times the Irish broke through for shots unhampered.
"Tubby" Thompson, lanky Jeffersonville youth, with his pivot shots under the basket, and Layton Rouse of Paris, with a keen eye for long ones, kept the Wildcats in the running. For Notre Dame, Mark Anthony Ertel contributed a shining bit of defensive work in bottling up Kentucky's centers. Thompson and six-foot-eight Marion Cluggish of Corbin, in their pivot plays.
Irish lead 9-0
The South Benders were away for nine points before Cab Curtis, who was high scorer with 11 points, dribbled in for a crip. The Big Blue steadied at this juncture and two more two-pointers by Curtis, coupled with his free throw, one by Huber and the first of Rouse's long range baskets shot the Cats to the fore at 10-9.
Another long by Rouse put them in front 12-9 but Riska and Ertel combined to give the Irish a 13-12 advantage with ten minutes gone. Cluggish tipped one for Kentucky and Paul DuCharme cashed a free toss to knot the count at 14. From this point the Irish moved out, Sadowski and Ertel paving the way for the Irish to command a 22-19 lead at the half.
The hectic second half was a thriller throughout. But again the Irish proved a faster and more alert club in taking advantage of the breaks to pull through, despite the desperate drive of the Wildcats.
Wildcats Go Ahead
After missing the first free toss allotted him, Riska gave Notre Dame a 23-19 lead with another of this variety. Keith Farnsley, New Albany's contribution to the Big Blue got his fast-break working and he and Thompson contrived to put the Wildcats ahead at 26-25 after about five minutes of the second half had elapsed.
Tubby made it 27-25 when he was fouled by Ertel, but a gratis fling by Capt. Earl Brown and Ertel's setup shot the Irish back into a 28-27 advantage. Farnsley dribbled in for a crip to make it 29-28 for Kentucky, Ziegerhorn gave Notre Dame the edge 30-29 and Curtis overcame it for Kentucky with a nice fielder from the side.
Tied at 33-33
The Lexington cagers held the lead until Ziegerhorn again counted from the floor to give the Irish a 35-33 advantage after the score had been tied at 33. From this point on the Irish held the advantage.
Thompson put the Cats back in the running with two free throws he shot for plucky Elmo Head, who was removed from the game after being injured when he was fouled as he dashed under for an attempted crip. The big Jeffersonville boy got a great hand when he made good both shots. Ziegerhorn, however, continued to prove the lifesaver and tallied two free tosses to move the Irish out to a four-point margin with one minute left.
Riska made the final gratis toss when he was fouled by Kentucky's Capt. Bernard Opper in his attempt to gain possession of the ball.
Lee Huber (#18) makes an effort to block Eddie Sadowski's (#15) field goal attempt