- Wednesday, December 28 1955 -
Kentucky - 101 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Ranked 13th by AP]
St. Louis - 80 (Head Coach: Eddie Hickey) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 45, St. Louis 36
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Dayton 74 - 89|||||Georgia Tech 104 - 51|
Game Writeup - by Robert Morrison, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Burrow's 40 Paces Wildcats
Picking up the pieces was the business at hand for the St. Louis University Billikens today after their basketball machine had been blasted by the Kentucky Wildcats.
The Bills will return to the Kiel Auditorium tomorrow night against Detroit in St. Louis's first Missouri Valley Conference action of the season.
What lies ahead for Eddie Hickey's team is somewhat hard to predict after Kentucky's record-making show is a 101-80 victory before a disappointed crowd of 9502 and a television audience here last night.
Burrow Back With Bang
Bob Burrow, Kentucky's All-America candidate, who had been hobbled by injured ankles in earlier games, came off the disabled list to fire 40 points at the somewhat defenseless Billikens.
And the Wildcats of Adolph Rupp, who this season had only once beaten anybody by more than 10 points, rolled up an astonishing margin of 21 against an opponent that seldom has lost to anybody by that count.
"That's what the big boy means to us," said Rupp after the victory. It was Kentucky's sixth in eight starts and St. Louis's second setback at home in seven games.
"I still feel our team is as good or better than last year's but we had no one to pick up for us when Burrow is out, as he was in our Dayton game," Rupp said.
Burrow's 40 points were the most that any player has scored against St. Louis on its home court, topping the 39 made by Robin Freeman in Ohio State's victory here earlier this season.
.582 Pct. in Field Goals
There were other notable marks, established by the Wildcats, as follows:
The Kentucky team's tremendous field goal hitting percentage of .582 was the highest any team has hit against St. Louis in the nine years of the Hickey coaching regime.
The 101-point total was the greatest total any team has scored against the Billikens here.
The 21-point margin tied the nine-season record for games here, equaling the 50-29 edge gained by the Oklahoma Aggies in 1950-51.
The Bills, who jumped to a 4-0 lead, were quickly tied and then set in arrears by the smooth Kentucky outfit, which grabbed a 14-6 lead before Coach Hickey removed Al Serkin and moved Jim McLaughlin into the pivot on offense.
Two Baskets In 15 Seconds
Four times, then in that first half the Bills worked to narrow the Kentucky lead to three points, but that was the best they could do. Kentucky, showing bursts of speed but frequently running plays from a set offense, steadily rebuilt its lead to a 45-36 halftime advantage.
It took Kentucky only 15 seconds to get two quick baskets at the end of the half. Burrow topped off his 24-point first-half splurge with a lay-up following a long pass. Kentucky regained possession after a missed St. Louis shot, a Wildcat heaved a desperation throw that bounced far off the backboard, and Vern Hatton popped a one-hander in the last second.
Jack Keys, one of the officials, signaled the shot had been made before the halftime gun. Hickey protested and Timer Ray Obie said the shot had been made too late. But Ron Gibbs backed up Key's ruling and so the time-keeper's opinion didn't enter into consideration.
The incident was something of a setback to St. Louis, but as the game turned out, it didn't make much difference. The best the Bills could do in the second half was to cut down Kentucky's lead, once as large as 21 points to 11 with 4:23 to go.
McLaughlin Gets 23
McLaughlin, en route to a 33-point effort that was the best in the senior captain's career, and Grady Smith tried to engineer the rally, but then nine straight points returned Kentucky to a 93-73 lead within about two minutes. The tall Kentuckians finished with a rebounding edge of 55 to 44.
Before the game, apparently in an effort to forestall untoward behavior by spectators, Hickey spoke briefly to the crowd, welcoming Kentucky which he said, "so courteously welcomed us a year ago at Lexington," He mentioned that St. Louis will be playing there next year in a continuation of the series, and asked fans to accord the visitors "the best in sportsmanship."
This was one time in the famous series that fans didn't have a chance to get uproarious. And the series now is squared, 3 to 3.
Fight for the ball