- Friday, March 16 1956 -
NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinals (at Iowa City, IA)
Kentucky - 84 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Final Rank 9th by AP]
|Billy Ray Cassady||1||1||4||2||3|
Wayne State - 64 (Head Coach: Joel Mason) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Wayne State 34, Kentucky 32
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Tennessee 101 - 77|||||Iowa 77 - 89|
Game Writeup - by Jerry Liska, Lexington Herald
Kentucky's Second-Half Spurt Beats Wayne, 86-64
IOWA CITY, Iowa, March 16 (AP) -- Entirely as expected, Big Ten champion Iowa and Kentucky of the Southeastern Conference, blazed to NCAA Basketball Tourney victories tonight, the Hawkeyes trouncing Morehead State of Kentucky 97-83 after the Wildcats spanked Wayne 84-64.
A partisan crowd of 14,600 loudly cheered Iowa's drive past the little Morehead team which had set a major college scoring record of 96.4 points in compiling an 18-9 season record.
Iowa, scoring its 15 straight victory, will meet Kentucky Saturday night in the windup of this regional meet for the right to play in the NCAA championship round at Evanston, Ill., next weekend.
Iowa stormed to a 19-point halftime lead at 54-35, but found Morehead still full of fight in the second half.
Lightly reckoned Wayne gave Kentucky a stiff debate for about 25 minutes and then the Wildcats came to life behind Bob Burrow's 33-point shooting for a comparatively easy triumph.
Kentucky wasted its height edge until the game was five minutes into the second half. Then the roof fell in on game Wayne which had entered the contest with an 18-1 record and 17 straight victories.
Kentucky left the floor at the half trailing 34-32 and it was only a great display of individual shooting by Burrow which kept the Wildcats within striking distance.
After the game had been tied for the seventh time at 40--40, the Wildcats suddenly caught fire and before the second half was 10 minutes old had streaked ahead to a 16-point lead, 60-44.
Whatever chance Wayne had was squelched in this drive when the Tartars' star center, George Brown, fouled out at 11:56 of the second half. Brown was the tallest Wayne regular at 6-5 and without him the Tartars were overwhelmed under the baskets.
Brown led Wayne with 14 points.
Kentucky, three times a winner of the NCAA title, scored its 20th victory of the season against five defeats. Wayne's crisp passing and Kentucky's rebounding failure kept the Wildcats at bay in the first half, in which the score was tied five times and the lead changed hands seven times.
The Tartars, from Detroit, shoved ahead by six points, 14-8, with the game only three minutes old but Burrow's steady firing finally inched Kentucky in front at 19-17 with about five minutes to the intermission.
Still in the first half, Kentucky seemed to regain its poise briefly for a five-point lead at 28-23, but seven straight Wayne points while the Wildcats went scoreless helped the Tartars to a 34-32 halftime margin.
Kentucky scored first on Jerry Brid's crip but Wayne soon shot ahead and the Cats after leading briefly 8-7, didn't show on top again until two straight baskets by Burrow gave UK a 19-17 lead with eight minutes to play in the first half.
But Wayne kept coming back to lead at the end of the period. Twice early in the second half the Tartars led by four points, but Kentucky went ahead to stay on a hook by Burrow with three minutes gone. the last tie was at 40-40. during the next few minutes Coach Adolph Rupp's boys outscored the Detroiters, 20-6, to gain a 60-46 advantage. Wayne never got close after that.
Vernon Hatton (#40) drives
Gerry Calvert (#10) looks for somewhere to pass as Wayne's George Brown (#19) and George Duncan (#18) defend