- Tuesday, December 18 1956 -
Kentucky - 84 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Ranked 3rd by AP]
Duke - 85 (Head Coach: Harold Bradley) - [Unranked]
|Bobby Joe Harris||4||2||2||1||10|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 50, Duke 40
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Maryland 76 - 55|||||Southern Methodist 73 - 67|
Game Writeup - Lexington Herald
Duke Stages Whirlwind finish to 'Nip Kentucky by 85-84
Five-Point Lead Blown by Wildcats in Final Minute
DURHAM, N.C., Dec. 18 (Special) -- Duke's Blue Devils overcame a five-point deficit in the last 50 seconds to hand the Kentucky Wildcats their second one-point loss of the season, 85-84, before a howling crowd of 8,000 fans in Duke Indoor Stadium.
A short shot by Bucky Allen with only 15 seconds remaining gave Duke its winning margin after the Wildcats had held a commanding lead during most of the game.
Kentucky's sensational sophomore, Johnny Cox, had a chance to tie the score or put his team ahead when he was fouled with 11 seconds to go. But Cox, who had 22 points for the night, missed the toss and Duke grabbed the rebound to salt away the victory -- its fifth against one loss this season.
The Wildcats from the Blue Grass, whose record now is 4-2, held a 15-point lead at one time in the first half and were on top by 50-40 at intermission. In the second half the Blue Devils pulled to within three points at 78-75 with six minutes remaining, but the Kentuckians upped their lead to nine points - at 84-75 - with only 2:30 on the clock.
Coach Adolph Rupp's team appeared a sure winner at this point, but Duke Coach Harold Bradley ordered a full-court press and it paid big dividends.
Bob Vernon got two quick baskets to make it 84-79, and Kentucky, harassed in the back court, called time out with 1:10 to play. When play was resumed, the Cats failed to get the ball in play in time and Duke took over. Paul Schmidt bagged a crip with 50 seconds left and was fouled on the shot. He missed, but Duke got possession a few seconds later and a tap-in shot by Jim Newcombe put the Devils only one point behind with 25 seconds to go.
Once again, he Cats had difficulty getting the ball up the floor and Allen stole the ball and dropped in a crip as the crowd went wild.
Newcombe fouled Cox as Duke supporters groaned, but it was more than a minute before Cox attempted his shot. The Wildcats called time out and before play was resumed, the officials talked briefly with both teams as they lined up around the free-throw lane. The long wait didn't help and Cox, who had connected on 12 of 12 against Maryland Saturday, missed the shot.
That was the ball game, and hilarious Duke rooters ripped the nets from the baskets at the final gun, preventing a Duke free throw on a foul called right at the finish.
Prior to Allen's game-winning basket, Duke had held the lead but once - at 4-2 after 1:30 of the first half.
With seven minutes gone, Kentucky led by only 17-15, but the Cats put on a 13-point spurt in a four-minute period to move ahead by 30-15. Duke gradually whittled the lead to 10 points at halftime.
Twice, early in the second half, Kentucky upped its margin to 13 points - at 53-40 and 55-42 - but Duke kept battling back until it got in contention with six minutes to go.
Personal fouls handicapped Kentucky on defense all during the second half. The Wildcats lost fiery Gerry Calvert on fouls with nine minutes to go and the score standing at 72-67.
Twenty-one fouls were called on UK and only 12 on Duke. The Devils hit 23 of 28 from the free-throw line while Kentucky connected only 12 of 18.
Vernon Hatton and Cox deadlocked for scoring honors for Kentucky with 22 points each. Calvert had 14 and Ray Mills, starting his first game of the season, notched 11, all in the first half. John Crigler had 9 and Ed Beck 6.
For Duke, Newcombe led with 21 points, followed by Allen with 20. Hayes Clement had 14, Bobby Joe Harris 10, Paul Schmidt 9, Bob Vernon 7 and Don Miller 4.
The Wildcats outscored the Demons from the field, 36-31, after having a 21-12 edge in the first half.
Duke's Bucky Allen (#40) shoots over a Kentucky player