- Saturday, February 28 1931 -
Southern Conference Tournament (at Atlanta, GA)
Kentucky - 35 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp)
Duke - 30 (Head Coach: Eddie Cameron)
Halftime Score: Kentucky 23, Duke 10
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|N. C. State 33 - 28|||||Florida 56 - 35|
Game Writeup - Atlanta Journal
In play, which for speed and intensity surpassed anything previously shown in the tournament, a well-balanced University of Kentucky five put Duke out of the running Saturday night. The score was 35 to 30.
Kentucky started to make a runaway of it, and amassed eight points before Duke scored. Then they made it 11 to 2, before Duke solved a deceptive tip-off play the Colonels had been working. After that it was the ding-dong battle in which Duke seemed to get progressively better. At the intermission the score was 23 to 10 against them but the final period the Carolinians made twenty points while the Kentuckians were getting but twelve.
But for Duke's temporary perplexity over a backward tip that Yates worked superbly and the exceeding heat that had generated in the breast of a youth called "Little," but named Lewis McGinnis, the Kentuckians would have had a battle like tigers to stall of the rush of the maddened boys in white.
Little McGinnis was a reincarnation of Dead-Eye Dick and ran up 14 of the 23 points his team made in the first half. His style was somewhat cramped in the second half but it took all Duke had to hold him in leash.
The tall and lissome Joe Croson, playing his third engagement at the Auditorium, was the mainspring of the Duke team. The lanky lad with the peaches and cream complexion and hair the color of molasses taffy that rose and fell as he piled his speedy way up and down court was an attractive and admirable figure. What a basket ball player he is, and what ill luck he has had ! Last year, when the brilliant Councilor and Werber were his teammates, he was ill and far below his normal form. This year, when he is at his best, his teammates are youngsters and one too able. So he has gone out of competition on the second night when with better luck he might write his name high and bold.
As aforesaid, Kentucky scored 8 points to start with. Yates got a couple of field goals, Spicer got one and free shot and Worthington a free shot. Shaw pitched on e in for Duke, then Spicer and McGinnis added 3 points to make it 11 to 2. Rogers flared up with a field goal and a foul shot, but that only put the Kentuckians to harder efforts and McGinnis himself scored 12 more points while Duke was getting 5.
With the score 23 to 10 against them the Carolinians came back fighting mad in the second half. But McGinnis still was superheated and Spicer was helping mightily, and progress for a while was slow. But Duke was scoring faster than Kentucky. The margin was cut from 13 points to 8, then Kentucky became alarmed and slipped back into high gear.
The milling that followed for the rest of the game was as fast and as furious as any ever seen in the Auditorium. Both teams raged up and down the court, missing shots, stealing the ball, falling sprawling in pairs and in bunches, but Duke could not catch up, Kentucky's lead was too much and Kentucky's fighting spirit was as dauntless as their own.
The game ended, 35 to 30, and that was a fair statement of the case. Kentucky showed floor work and marksmanship that led many experts to say if the form can be maintained, the team will win the tournament.