- Monday, January 1 1945 -
Kentucky - 62 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp)
|J. Ed Parker||1||2||2||2||4|
Long Island - 52 (Head Coach: Clair Bee)
Halftime Score: Kentucky 26, Long Island 26
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Temple 45 - 44|||||Ohio 59 - 46|
Game Writeup - by Louis Effrat, New York Times
Kentucky Topples L.I.U. Five, 62 to 52
Unbeaten Wildcats Triumph in an Overtime Thriller After 51-51 Regular Time Tie
GROZA TALLIES 25 POINTS
Fifteen points ahead with nine and a half minute of the game remaining, Long Island University's basketball team, filled with pride until it burst at every seam, recovered to gain at 51-51 regulation-time tie with an unbeaten Kentucky quintet, but then crumpled in a five-minute overtime that brought the visiting Wildcats a 62-52 triumph, their eighth in a row, last night at Madison Square Garden.
A crowd of 13,892, the season's smallest gathering at the Eighth Avenue arena, witnessed a struggle that for thrills and tenseness was unmatched all during the present campaign. Certainly, every one in the building must have felt that the Brooklyn Blackbirds, snapping a 29-all deadlock with fifteen straight points in the second half - it was 26-26 at the intermission -- were well on the road to the upset of the season.
Kentucky, after all, had come here with a spotless record which included victories over highly rated Ohio State and Temple.
L.I.U. with Elmer Benyak, Lou Goldstein and Lester Rothman setting a terrific pace, used its fast-breaking offense to great advantage, while Kentucky made the mistake of attempting to tally with pop shots from the outside.
Change to Driving Game
These tactics enabled Long Island to go ahead by 7 points four different times in the opening period, but once the Wildcats changed their strategy to a driving game, the Kentuckians lived up to their reputation.
When the Wildcats finally got around to using the 6-foot 4-inch height of the Army-bound Alex Groza, who planted himself in the bucket and proceeded to wreck the home forces, they fared handsomely. Later they fell into a rut, which cost them fifteen consecutive points. During this seven and a half-minute spell of wildness, which sent Kentucky from a 29-29 tie to a 29-44 deficit, the Blackbirds performed sensationally.
Immediately, however, the visitors began the long, uphill trek and, with five minutes left, they were behind, 47-41. Seven straight points brought the Wildcats on top, but Jerry Lewis, a Long Island substitute, threw in a one-hander that returned the lead to his team, a minute and a half from the finish.
Foul Ties the Score
Thirty-five seconds remained when Wilbur Schu's foul tied matters and, in the final half-minute, Groza's rebound tap in and a long set effort by Benyak kept the teams even and necessitated an extra period.
The taller Kentuckians, inspired by their incredible comeback, were in no mood to call a halt once the overtime session got under way. Groza, who netted 25 points, tying the Garden season's individual high, accounted for 6 of these points in the additional period as Long Island was outscored, 11-1.
The Blackbirds, wild and inaccurate now, were unable to stop the surge of the Wildcats and the upset they appeared to have clinched became merely something to dream about, probably because they started to slow down the play and freeze the ball too early.
In the opener, completely forgotten by the ensuing struggle, Brooklyn College overwhelmed a weaponless Texas Christian University aggregation by a 56-31 margin.
Jack Parkinson and Lou Goldstein fight for a loose ball.
A UK player shoots while Lou Goldstein (32), Lester Rothman (31) and Joe Becker (24) look on