- Saturday, January 14 1928 -
Vanderbilt - 23 (Head Coach: Johnny Floyd)
Kentucky - 43 (Head Coach: John Mauer)
Halftime Score: Kentucky 23, Vanderbilt 9
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|Centre College 36 - 23|||||Virginia 31 - 28|
Game Writeup - by Frank K. Hoover, Lexington Herald
KENTUCKY OVERWHELMS VANDERBILT
Excellent Team Work, Accurate Shooting of Cats Decide Contest
We are glad to report this morning that Vanderbilt's peculiar winning complex has been badly shattered. Furthermore, that the Commodores, famed throughout the South for their ability to "come back," failed to do so last night at the Kentucky gymnasium. We are glad to place the five starting Wildcats - Owens, Combs, McBrayer, Jenkins and McGinnis - on golden pedestals and worship them as a team which whipped Vanderbilt, 43 to 23, for Kentucky's second Southern Conference victory of the 1927-28 basketball season.
Kentucky could not be denied victory. The passing combination of the Wildcats completely bewildered the Commodores. Its intricacy and deceptiveness left the visitors floundering hopelessly in the deep, deep sea of defeat after the first five minutes of the contest.
Vandy Takes Lead
It took the Wildcats fully four minutes to adjust themselves to the rangy Vandy quintet at the start. In these four minutes Brooks, Bridges and Baker got long field goals while McBrayer was scoring one for Kentucky and Vandy led by 6 to 2. But this could not last long. The inevitable had to come. And it did. So sudden, in fact, that the Commodores seemed were left in a complete daze when the first half ended, 23 to 9, in Kentucky's favor.
During this first half, which kept Kentucky supporters in a frenzy throughout, Combs, Owens and McBrayer divided scoring honors, with Combs shading his opponents slightly. Vandy failed to tally a field goal after Baker, Bridges and Brooks got one each in the first four minutes. The Wildcats rallied with their man-to-man defense and held Vandy's shots to a minimum.
Kentucky Displays "Class"
Kentucky looked more and more like a real basketball team as the game wore on, proving that a good team will look bad against a bad team and good against a first class aggregation. Vanderbilt has a first class team - no doubt. In Bridges and Brooks they presented two men who did just about as much with the ball once they got it as did Kentucky. Bridges frequently took the ball away from a Wildcat dribbler to return it down the floor for a try at the basket. Besides he tallied eight points for his team and incidentally won high point honors.
Vanderbilt's passing attack looked as a slow as thick sorghum molasses as compared to the dazzling handling of the ball by Kentucky. Most of the time the visitors thought it was here when it was there, and then other times it would be here when they thought it was there. And all these little tricks helped the Blue team to twist the Commodores into knots and toss them about as if they were babies. The Commodores appeared tired even in the first half, and they had reason to be.
Owens, Combs Shine
For Kentucky Hayes Owens and Pisgah Combs were the most conspicuous players of the jolly evening. Owens' aggressiveness brought cheers that rocked the house and Combs' ability to shoot crip shots was marvelous to the 5,000 spectators who jammed the gymnasium to see the Wildcats win. Jenkins and McGinnis' guarding held the visitors at bay, the Commodores resorting to those long, take-a-chance shots which are typical of a team in desperate straits.
Combs will not be outdone when it comes to scoring. His total last night was 19 points, the result of four field goals in the first half and five field goals and a free throw in the second canto. Owens tried to catch up with him, but the midget's efforts brought him only 13 counters, the result of five field goals and three free throws. Hayes missed five throws, something unusual for him. But he was buffeted around so much by Vandy's giants that he was generally upset when he tried his shots.
Heaps Insult on Injury
Near the end of the game - within three minutes and a half of its close, to be exact - Coach Johnnie Mauer heaped insult on injury by sending in a flock of substitutions. Although these subs did not score a point, they held the visitors to a lone point, scored by Gibson when he was fouled by Milward.
Outside of that we would say no more, less we wrote a play by play account of the game, which is unnecessary on the face of results. We suppose everybody was there, any way, and had a good time, incidentally.
Game Writeup - by Neville Dunn Lexington Leader
WILDCATS TROUNCE COMMODORES BY 43 TO 23 COUNT
Ky.'s Powerful Shooting and Defense Keep Vandy at Bay
Visitors Start Off In Lead but Mauerman Soon Overtake Them and Pull Away by Big Margin; Game is Locals' Second Southern Conference Victory of Season
Kentucky's sophomore basket ball team made the Vanderbilt Commodores champions of the Southern Conference, look like a group of shipwrecked sailors Saturday night in the Kentucky gymnasium. The gruesome details were Kentucky 43, Vanderbilt 23.
Vanderbilt started off like a belated spouse heading for home and when the Commodores, wholly through the efforts of Bob Bridges, had made four points and the Cats had made none, Captain Jenkins, like a good captain, called time out. The Wildcats settled themselves during the rest period and from that time on it was too much Kentucky for anything and everything Vanderbilt did.
Vanderbilt employed the same kind of defense, man to man, that Kentucky did but it either lacked the individual skill or the knowledge to get the best out of it. Kentucky's guard offense left the Commodores high and dry and Combs, McBrayer and Owens, the sharpshooters primed their pieces and let fly with devastating results. The Wildcats made one more than twice as many field goals as the Commodores, getting 19 to their opponent's 9.
Cats Played Cooly
Vandy, recalling perhaps the ease with which they trimmed Kentucky's battle scarred team last year, trotted on the floor with confidence plainly written in the smiles they bestowed on the Wildcats. When Bridges gave the game impetus by dropping in two shots, long they were, not short. Vandy's optimism puffed out like an inner tube. It wasn't long, however, before the Mauermen, playing cool and heady basket ball, equaled the score on Combs' and Owens' successful shots. The Sophomore quintet didn't stop there. They kept going and soon had Vandy trailing by 11 points. When the first half ended, Kentucky was on top by 14 tallies, the score being 23 to 9.
The second chukker got well under way when Vanderbilt, duplicating its procedure at the start of the game, made two points, free throws, one each by Sharpe and Salter. Combs equalized these counters a moment later with a crip and then Vandy crept up three more points on Sulzer's free throw and Bridges' flip from mid-floor. Kentucky spurted then and dropped in two goals in quick succession. Combs and McBrayer directing the sphere on its flight through the net.
Bridges unable to get away from the tenacious Jenkins, who stuck to the Vanderbilt luminary like a leech on a black eye, desperately flung the ball from a distance and it went through without touching backboard or rim. Baker found a momentary eye for the hoop and dropped in a long one. Then Brooks potshot from near midfloor and the ball went through. Vanderbilt had crept up to within 11 points of Kentucky and again Captain Jenkins called time out to rally his boys.
Instead of resuming the game then, it might have been well for Vanderbilt if they had called bets off as far as any good they were able to do. The Commodores got only one more basket, that a long one from Bridges. Kentucky got six field goals and one free throw, Owens and Combs dividing the honors.
When it was apparent that Vanderbilt was as unlikely to catch the Cats as an Eskimo is to catch cold. Coach Johnnie Mauer rubbed salt into the Commodores' pride when he sent the entire second team into the tilt. When that was done, the capacity crowd of about 3,000 persons made themselves hoarse with cries of triumph.
The second team had only a couple of minutes in which to perform and while it did not make any points, it held the Commodores to a lone free throw.
Cat Defense Strong
Bridges, who has spanned many a chasm for the Commodores, was bombed out of any niche of fame Vanderbilt has prepared for him by the powerful and shrewd defense he Catmen planted in his way. He never knew the experience in this game of getting in for a good clear crip shot. He looped one over his head once for a marker, but he was standing fully four feet from the hoop when he did it.
Baker, another big gun for the Commodores, had an even worse night than Bridges, getting only two field goals for his share of the rations.
As the game progressed and the Cats were pulling away faster than a locomotive, the Commodores, whenever they got hold of the ball, shot any old way or from any old place. They were pestered so much by the Wildcat guards, the visitors couldn't take a decent breast shot. They had to fling the ball from over their head.
Kentucky put up a mighty clever game and in doing so, reassured Coach Johnnie Mauer who has been worrying over the harm the Cats may have done themselves in the Centre game. The team worked better Saturday night than at any time this season, but it has not hit its real stride yet by any means. There still are a lot of weakness to correct and a lot of adjustments to make in several spots.
Hayes Owens Stars
As a team and individually, the Cats played their best ball of the season. Little Hayes Owens, stacking up beside the Vanderbilt players like an ant beside a house, hit the heights and cavorted about on them quite a bit. His shooting was much better than it has been in the past and even if some of his shots were released from afar, they bolstered the Cats' morale considerably. His guarding was the outstanding portion of his playing.
Cecil Combs, who has been hitting the hoops for 15 points a game, excelled his average a bit and lassoed 19 tallies. His work too was much better in other ways.
McBrayer, Jenkins and McGinnis played an improved game and while they did not make nearly so many points as Owens and Combs, their work was just as important. They didn't let Vanderbilt shoot much and that means a whole lot, because the Commodores certainly had an eye for the basket when hey got a half-way chance to let fly.
The game was the second Southern Conference victory of the season, Clemson having gone the way Vanderbilt treaded Saturday night. A victory over Clemson mean merely a victory, but victory over Vanderbilt meant triumph.
It was the first time this season that the Commodores have been turned back by a Conference opponent and the first time since 1925 they have been defeated by such a decisive score. Mercer, boasting one of the most experienced teams in the south, was able to beat the Commodores only seven points.
In addition to humiliating Vanderbilt, a thing the Cats just love to do, Saturday night's triumph means that the south will wake up to the basket ball threat that is being brewed here in the Bluegrass region. Dixie has been told that Kentucky's sophomore had great possibilities. Now it ought to believe it.
The Cats play no more home games until Jan. 28 when Tennessee pays them a visit. Tonight they leave on a three game trip that carried them to Virginia, the Navy and Maryland.