- Wednesday, December 21 1938 -
Washington & Lee - 47 (Head Coach: Harry Young)
Kentucky - 67 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp)
Halftime Score: Kentucky 31, Washington & Lee 17
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Game Writeup - by Neville Dunn, Lexington Herald
Cats Wallop Straight-Shooting W and L Generals 67 to 47Fail to Withstand Brilliant Rush of Rupp's Quintet
Literally overwhelmed by the power and speed of the University of Kentucky Wildcats, the Generals of Washington and Lee University suffered their first defeat of the basketball season in the U.K. gymnasium last night. The Wildcats, registering their fourth consecutive victory without a loss, triumphed by the decisive score of 67 to 47.
Washington and Lee, presenting a quintet whose accuracy in hitting the basket was excelled only by the sharpshooters that Coach Adolph Rupp sent into the battle, never gave up for a minute, even after the margin separating them from the Wildcats was insurmountable in the time remaining to be played. The Generals finished the game as courageously as they had started it and went to the showers satisfied that they had given the 3,000 Kentucky fans who saw the tilt an exhibition of goal-shooting that few visiting teams here will equal.
Washington and Lee entered the game determined to stop Kentucky's all-victorious march and to the astonishment of the Wildcat fans, who have begun to look upon their heroes as invincible, the Generals whipped in two field goals and a free throw before Rupp's lads counted. With the score 5 to 0 against them, the Cats took time out and it was well that they did. They reorganized their offense and defense and when play was resumed, they whipped in two field goals so quickly it took the Generals' breath away.
Generals Fight Back
But the Virginians coached by Cy Young were game. They had come to Kentucky to battle and battle they did. Pinck, a tiny forward as swift as the wind, and Dobbins, the big Kentucky boy who centers for W. and L. wiped out Kentucky's two field goals with two tallies of like kind. But that lead, 9 to 4, was short-lived. Mickey Rouse, Kentucky guard, slipped through for a crip, then Cab Curtis whipped one in from the side. With his team only one point behind then, Coach Rupp sent in Homer (Tub) Thompson for lanky Marion Cluggish at center, and the Wildcats attack reached the height of its effectiveness. Opper tossed in a long one and Curtis got another two-pointer on a rebound shot. That put Kentucky into the lead for the first time, 12 to 9.
The Wildcats were functioning smoothly and like champions and Washington and Lee began to see the handwriting on the wall.
The Generals, however, still had enough wind left to make it a contest, and fighting furiously for possession of the ball, the Generals worked Parks, a substitute guard, into position where Keith Farnsley was compelled to foul him to save a field goal. Parks tossed in the free throw, and a moment later, the diminutive Pinck slipped into a two-pointer to tie the score, 12 to 12.
Thompson, who was destined to tie Curtis for high-scoring honors of the night, got his first two points at that juncture, on free throws, to break the deadlock. Thereafter Washington and Lee trailed, the gap between them and the fast-moving, fast-passing, brilliant-shooting Wildcats gradually widening. At the half, the count stood 31 to 17 in Kentucky's favor, and it was only a question then as to how big the score would be.
First Half Classic
The first half was a beautifully played game. Both teams rebounded the ball frantically, passed unusually accurately and exhibited defensive work that fairly sparkled. W. and L. probably never played better ball and the fact that it trailed at the intermission by 14 points was not due to any sparsity of effort on its part, but to the magnificent playing of the Wildcats.
The second half was strikingly dissimilar to the first in one big respect. The defenses of both teams all but collapsed. where orderly plays and maneuvers had more or less marked the action in the first period, haphazard shooting from any angle and slipshod guarding marked the second half. The result of this was an almost unprecedented number of field goals. For example, Thompson, starting guard for Washington and Lee, failed to make a field goal in the first half but popped in seven in the second period. The other players, with the exception of several reserves who got into the game in its waning stages, did almost as well.
Curtis Makes Eight Goals
Once again Curtis, the lanky Kentucky forward, proved himself an outstanding net performer and a dead shot. When Washington Lee's marksmen were peppering the basket with shots early in the game, it was Curtis who kept the Cats in the running. An injury to his right leg, which was strapped with adhesive, slowed him down and he was winded two or three times, but Curtis, nevertheless, had enough agility to slip past the Generals for eight field goals, the best shooting mark of the night. He got one free throw also, for a total of 17 points.
Tubby Thompson, who seems to play his best game only after Coach Rupp lets him cool his heels on the sidelines while big Cluggish gets the starting role at center, accumulated his 17 points through the medium of six field goals and five free throws. He tossed in five straight free opportunities before missing his sixth and last chance from the free-throw line.
Thompson, more nearly of Dobbins' size, who stood several inches shorter than Cluggish, handled the Washington and Lee star in more effective manner than Cluggish until the final stages, when Thompson's defensive work, like that of the other Cats, slipped a bit. Cluggish re-entered the game and got two more field goals while rebounding in improved style. Cluggish, 6 feet 8 inches, has only to speed up his pace to become a great pivotman. A good-natured slowness in getting back into defensive territory is his biggest weakness. Sometimes he lumbers along in the traditionally leisurely manner of giants, who are careful not to step on their smaller brethren for fear of hurting somebody.
Great Power Again Evidenced
The tremendous power of the Wildcat squad was again evidenced as the steady stream of reserves which Coach Rupp kept sifting into the lineup apparently didn't weaken the offensive strength of the team. The Wildcat ????? ever, did not particularly distinguish themselves on defense, several times becoming confused in their assignments. On such cases, Pinck, Thompson or Gary invariably dropped in a field goal.
Pinck and Thompson were the offensive stars for the Generals. Pinck, however, got most of his 15 points when the score was still close. Thompson did not begin to hit the basket until the Cats, knowing they had the game sewed up, subconsciously slowed their pace.
The game was the last for Kentucky until Jan 4 when they meet Long Island University in Madison Square Garden, New York. Two nights later they oppose St. Joseph's at Philadelphia.
The Kentuckians meet Notre Dame at Louisville on Jan. 14 and will not play another game on their home floor until Jan. 25 when they meet Vanderbilt.