- Tuesday, March 14 1950 -
NIT (at New York, NY)
Kentucky - 50 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Final Rank 3rd by AP]
CCNY - 89 (Head Coach: Nat Holman) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: CCNY 45, Kentucky 20
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Game Writeup - by Louis Effrat, New York Times
C.C.N.Y. Trounces Kentucky, 89-50
NEW YORK, March 14, 1950 -- More vividly and eloquently than words, the figures tell the story of the worst defeat ever pinned on any Wildcat basketball team since the court sport was introduced at the Lexington university back in 1903. It happened last night at Madison Square Garden, where 18,000 fans saw Nat Holman's busy Beavers rout the second-seeded team, 89-50, in a quarter-final encounter in the thirteenth annual National Invitation Tournament.
Following another upset, in which Duquesne conquered La Salle, 49-47, the City College victory qualified the Lavender to oppose the Pittsburgh Dukes in one of tomorrow night's semi-fnals. St. John's will engage top-seeded Bradley in the other.
The City College-Kentucky clash pitted two of the nation's recognized master strategists, Nat Holman and Adolph Rupp, against each other in a battle of wits, which failed to materialize, for the C.C.N.Y. players, with a furious first half, gave neither celebrated coach time for thinking.
The Beavers turned the trick with baskets, some of them so spectacularly made that they left everyone, including Holman, breathless. On the other hand, Rupp, who had been named "Coach of the Year" by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association, would have had to be a magician to save the night.
Never in all his glorious twenty years as head man at Kentucky had a team tutored by Rupp been so humiliated. Run into the boards by the speedy Beavers, the Wildcats were virtually beaten in the first four and a half minutes. At this stage, C.C.N.Y. enjoyed a 13-1 spread, as Ed Warner, Ed Roman and Floyd Layne -- the first with his amazing shooting and feeding accuracy, the second with his flawless defense against the 7-foot Bill Spivey, and the third with his incredibly successful handling of rebounds -- completely dominated the struggle.
The Kentucky players were not permitted to catch their breaths. Seldom were they allotted too much room to get off their shots and except for one short span in the second half -- when they had cut a 26-point deficit to 16 -- as Spivey belatedly found the range, were made to look pitifully weak.
City College was great. None will question the superb play of the Beavers, who after they had dropped to a mere 54-38 advantage, clicked for sixteen straight points in slightly more than three minutes. Warner, Irwin, Dambrot, Roman, Layne -- every man in a City College uniform, in fact -- carried out his part sensationally. All this against a squad that Uncle Adolph had proclaimed "potentially the greatest team I ever have had."
When the Beavers needed to fastbreak, they did. When the set-up called a slowdown, they did. And when a pass or a rebound was required, they were there, on time and at the correct spot. Against such magnificence, there was little the Wildcats could do. Spivey, charged with four fouls in the first half, had to proceed with caution, and Jim Line, Walt Hirsch, Bobby Watson and Dale Barnstable were just "names" in so far as the victors were concerned.
Long before halftime, when C.C.N.Y., the Metropolitan ruler, but unseeded in this tourney, had a 45-20 lead, the Beavers had this one solidly sealed. Warner, feinting and curling in lay-ups from all angles, was the big gun, with a 26-point output. Roman netted 20 and still had time to excel on defense. Spivey's 15 was tops for the losers.
The night was full of surprises, including Holman's decision to start Watkins, who never before had done so at the Garden. However, Holman had Roman poised at the scorer's table and first-string center replaced him a few seconds after the opening tap. Watkins, a comparative unknown, was employed from time to time thereafter and like all the other Beavers, fared handsomely.
Bill Spivey and Jim Line (#25) battle CCNY's Ed Warner for the ball
Bill Spivey launches a hook shot
Bill Spivey (#77) guards CCNY's Ed Roman (#6)