- Wednesday, December 18 1940 -
Kentucky - 39 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp)
Nebraska - 40 (Head Coach: William Browne)
Halftime Score: Nebraska 25, Kentucky 18
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Game Writeup - by Walter E. Dobbins, Nebraska State Journal
Nebraska basketeers surprise with 40 to 39 win over Kentucky
Held's shot cinches win for Huskers
A sharp angle shot from the side court by Sophomore Johnny Thompson and a setup under net by Sid Held in the last three and one-half minutes of play gave Nebraska a 40 to 39 win over Kentucky in a thriller-diller at the coliseum Wednesday night.
Altho Nebraska led most of the way, the Wildcats rallied midway in the second half to go ahead, 35 to 34. From then on out the lead zig-zagged back and forth with Farnsley's basket with only 40 seconds to go, putting the Kentuckians back in the ball game.
Four times Kentucky deliberately fouled and four times Nebraska passed up the chance at the free throw line to take the ball out of bounds at midcourt.
Three Seconds Left
Then with three seconds to go, Kentucky got a jump ball in the back court. Into the game rushed Center Brewer, tallest man on the Wildcat squad, to make the jump. Nebraska, battling desperately, broke up Kentucky's attempt to advance the ball down court and it sailed into the crowd as the gun barked, ending the game.
Nebraska led 25 to 18 at the halftime intermission, but Kentucky looked good enough to win even then, for they passed well and used a single post offense effectively.
Thirty-seven fouls were called and this factor alone probably had some effect on the outcome, for 23 of the violations were called on Coach Rupp's men, three going to the showers before the game ended. Nebraska drew 14 fouls with Don Fitz and Les Livingston going out on personals.
Huskers Take Lead
Nebraska got off to a 2-0 lead altho the count was tied at 2-all, 5-all and 7-all in the period. Two free throws and a fielder by Fitz helped give the Brownies a six point advantage at the intermission.
Nebraska held a seven point advantage with five minutes gone in the second half but Kentucky started hitting and at the half but Kentucky started hitting and at the halfway mark the Huskers were clinging to a 34-32 advantage.
When the Wildcats lost Huber on fouls their stock went down but even so Akers carried the burden and with less than seven minutes to go Kentucky went out ahead, 35 to 34 on Farnsley's long shot.
Johnny Fitzgibbon, sophomore from Tobias, put Nebraska back in the lead with a setup on a fast break play but Akers' long shot again put the Wildcats in front, 37-36.
Then Thompson and Held took command, giving the Scarlet a lead they never relinquished.
Fitz Leads Scorers
Don Fitz, altho held scoreless the second half, paced the Husker scoring with 12 points while Akers and Huber shared honors for Kentucky with eight tallies each.
Coach Browne started Sid held at center with Livingston and Thompson completing the front line. Fitz and Young were at guard. But before the game was over Goetze, Randall, King, Vacanti and Fitzgibbon had seen service.
Thursday the Wildcats meet Creighton in Omaha and Friday will go against Kansas State at Manhattan. And, incidentally, to show the caliber of Coach Rupp's squad -- Kentucky has won 133 gams and lost only 6 on their home court in the last 11 years.