- Monday, December 17 1951 -
St. Johns - 40 (Head Coach: Frank McGuire) - [Ranked 2nd by AP]
Kentucky - 81 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Ranked 1st by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 39, St. Johns 19
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Game Writeup - by Associated Press, New York Times
Wildcats Topple Redmen for 100th Straight Home Win
LEXINGTON, Dec. 17, 1951 -- Kentucky smashed St. John's, 81-40, in a battle of the nation's Nos. 1 and 2 basketball powers before a crowd of 12,000 here tonight.
Cliff Hagan, a leaping, twisting whirlwind, and little Bobby Watson scored 25 points apiece in Kentucky's triumph.
Hagan and Frank Ramsey controlled the rebounds on both boards and Watson fired from the outside to humiliate St. John's, previously unbeaten in five starts.
The crowd that expected a tight duel saw Kentucky go to the front at the outset and gradually build its command to 10, 20, 30 and finally 41 points. Kentucky was hot. It hit 44.4 percent of its tries to a 16.6 shooting mark for St. John's.
Though it conceded the visitors some height, Kentucky worked under both boards like it owned them and there was little doubt that St. John's was a beaten club after the first period.
Bob Zawoluk, the St. John's center who has a chance to become collegiate scoring leader, got only one field goal and wound up with seven points.
Hagan was hitting tip-ins, rebounds and wide-open lay-ups, and little Watson was firing them in from far and near as Kentucky took its 100th consecutive home-floor victory.
St. John's acted at the start as if it would make a game of it. Solly Walker, a sophomore guard, hit six of the first seven points for the Redmen with leaping shots. But Hagan had fired in nine and Kentucky was ahead, 14-7.
By the quarter, the count moved to 17-8 and Watson began to warm up. In the middle of the second period the score was 26-16 and Kentucky went on a spree that ran it to 39-19 at the half.
It took Kentucky only four and a half minutes in this frame to get a 30-point edge. St. John's began to slow the game near the end of that frame and the crowd yelled for the Redmen to "freeze the ball."
Starting the last frame, the game lost much of its luster and the ragged play was reflected in the scoring, with Kentucky gaining a 14-9 advantage for the period.
Shelby Linville, Ramsey and Watson fouled out in the last half for Kentucky, but the game was under control before their exit.
The crowd treated Walker, the first Negro to play in the Coliseum, like any other player and he got a big hand when he went out for a rest in the second period.
Bill Spivey, Kentucky's 7-foot center, who is suffering from a knee injury, sat this one out. Hagan was more than adequate as his replacement.
Solly Walker (#20) drives on Lou Tsioropoulos as Frank Ramsey (#30) looks on.
Bob Zawoluk (#30) tries to score inside, as UK's Cliff Hagan (#6) defends from the front
St. John's player Ronnie MacGilvray (#21) gets a step in front of Shelby Linville.