- Saturday, January 24 1970 -
Louisiana State - 96 (Head Coach: Press Maravich) - [Unranked]
Kentucky - 109 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Ranked 2nd by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 49, Louisiana State 39
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Tennessee 68 - 52|||||Alabama 86 - 71|
Game Writeup - by Dick Fenlon, Louisville Courier-Journal
The Final: Pete Maravich 55 - and UK 109-96
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Yes, folks, it WAS showtime last night at Memorial Coliseum. But for coach Adolph Rupp, the game is still the thing.
Unbeaten Kentucky got its 14th victory, Louisiana State's magical Pete Maravich got 55 points and Rupp got in his two cents' worth before an overflow crowd estimated at 12,500 as UK rolled to a 109-96 triumph.
Maravich's exploits made him the second highest career scorer in college history and the greatest point producer in UK Coliseum annals.
Rupp, who admires "Pistol Pete" as much as anyone but personally couldn't care less about individual performances, spoke his mind when the public-address announcer interrupted the game midway in the second half to announce that Maravich had passed Houston's Elvin Hayes and hurtled into second place in the all-time scoring list.
"Why in the hell do they have to announce that?" Rupp demanded, loudly.
It's not that Rupp doesn't appreciate Pete. But to basketball's most successful coach, it's team play that counts. And last night, Kentucky beat LSU all the way in that regard.
UK's Wildcats, decimating Louisiana State's hapless defense with a constant parade of layups that led to 57 per cent shooting, were ahead all the way after breaking out to a quick 11-2 lead in the opening minutes.
LSU, which has precious little to back up Pete in the talent department, managed to stay close for a while but folded badly in the second half.
But Pistol Pete's gunning, some rough-and-tumble action on the floor and the antics of colorful referee Lou Bello made it a fine night for the big crowd that filled every nook and cranny of the building.
Pete made 21 of 44 shots and 13 of 15 free-throw chances while dazzling the crowd with his passing and ball-handling. He drew fouls on four Kentucky players and once even beat 6-foot-8 All-American Dan Issel to the punch by arching through a soft 20-footer when Issel went out to guard him.
Maravich saved the best for the last. With 13 seconds left, he had scored 50 points. That was within one of the previous Coliseum record set by Kentucky's Cliff Hagan against Temple on Dec. 5 1953.
Pistol Pete got the ball near the baseline on the right side of the basket with Kentucky's Larry Steele guarding him closely.
Pete shifted left and right, transferring the ball from hand to hand, and finally put his left elbow in Steele's face while launching a 15-footer. He landed flat on his back while Steele was whistled for a foul. But the ball went through.
Maravich added the free throw and then, with five seconds left, closed out his scoring with a layup.
Maravich now has scored 2,905 points in 2-1/2 seasons. Hayes had 2,884 in three years at Houston. The only barrier now left for Pete - and it should fall within the next two games - is the 2,973 amassed by Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson in three seasons.
After LSU had managed to creep within seven points with slightly less than three minutes gone in the second half, Kentucky scored five straight layups and a pair of free throws to pull out to a 69- (rest of article missing).
Dan Issel defends against LSU's Pete Maravich