- Saturday, February 11 1939 -
Alabama - 27 (Head Coach: Hank Crisp)
Kentucky - 45 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp)
Halftime Score: Kentucky 23, Alabama 13
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Game Writeup - by Laurence Shropshire, Lexington Herald Leader
Wildcats Overwhelm Alabama Tide, 45 to 27 in Rough Game34 Personal Fouls Called
VICTORY AVENGES EARLIER DEFEAT AT BIRMINGHAM
In between the blasts of a whistle symphony, the Rupp Rough Riders, otherwise known as the University of Kentucky Wildcats, carved out a 45-27 victory over Alabama in a basketball-football game Saturday night on the U.K. court.
The triumph, fourth straight for the Ruppmen and their second in four Southeastern Conference tussles, brought ample revenge for the 41-38 defeat handed them by the Crimson Tide two weeks ago in Birmingham.
The Tidesmen, evidently with something taken out of them by their 55-minute game the night before with Tennessee, in which they had to go three overtime periods to defeat the Vols, were no match for the blue cagers but they did manage to make the contest at least mildly interesting.
It was a wild and woolly sort of an affair, marked by a lot of scuffling and rough tactics and slowed down by the concert from the officials' whistles.
34 Fouls Called
Referee Frank Lane and Umpire Bowser Chest really bore down on their shrill mouth harps, calling 34 personal fouls during the game, with each team being charged with 17. At that, there probably was no more whistling than there should have been as at times a little bit of almost every sort of mayhem was committed on the playing floor.
Alabama in the first half, which ended with Kentucky on top by 23-13, had few chances at the basket and netted but three field goals. The guarding of the Wildcats was more lax in the final half, but the Crimsons were shooting wildly in that period and managed to add but five field goals to make their total eight for the evening.
The 'Cats, not in the least dismayed by the rough tactics of the crew from the Capstone, gave as good as they took most of the way and as a result did not have time to get down to smooth offensive work except on a few occasions.
They probably will have a better opportunity Monday night, when they meet Mississippi State here in another conference affray, to show that they have real basketball sill as well as ruggedness and a willingness to mix it up.
Opper is Prominent
Playing a prominent role in the Wildcat triumph was the rejuvenated Capt. Bernie Opper, now definitely out of the slump that had taken him out of the starting lineup earlier in the season. His play was appreciated by the fans, too.
One of the finest ovations a Kentucky crowd has ever given a Wildcat player was his when he left the game midway of the second half, ejected for four personal fouls.
High scorer of the contest turned out to be Homer (Tub) Thompson, senior center, who did not enter the game until near the end of the first half. Thompson was too much for Alabama to hold in check, and in addition to scoring four field goals he converted five straight opportunities from the free-throw line.
Second in scoring was Fred (Cab) Curtis, who accounted for but one field goal in each half but who connected on seven out of nine free tosses at the bucket.
Alabama's high-scoring sophomore, George Prather, battling for top honors among conference pointmakers, was well smeared by Wildcat guards. He gathered only seven points, five of those on fouls converted in the 11 free tosses he was awarded. The lone field goal he bagged came near the end of the game on a freakish one-handed hook shot from the corner when he was strangely left entirely alone by his guard.
Curtis Scores First
Curtis accounted for the first score of the game, taking the opening tip-off, pivoting and driving down under the basket for a crip. A moment later Estes pushed through a rebound shot for 'Bama's first tally. Curtis and Prather added a free throw each, then the 'Cats pulled away on a crip and a long looper, both by Opper.
Prather missed one foul, but hit the next chance he had from the free-throw line, leaving Kentucky in front by 7-4. Cluggish pivoted in a field goal. He and Prather committed a double foul but both missed their shots.
Farnsley missed a foul attempt, but grabbed the rebound and slipped through a southpaw thrust to make the tally 11-4. Prather converted a foul, but Cluggish twisted in another goal and Opper, after grabbing a loose ball at the center of the floor, charged down for a crip making the score 15-5.
After Prather flunked on another free throw, Busby pushed through a short shot for Alabama's second field goal. Prather sank two of his next four fouls, but Huber hit the same average on two shots.
Curtis made the tally 18-9 with two good charity tosses, but Stone retaliated for the Tide with a pair. Thompson, just after entering the game for Cluggish after the third foul was called on the latter, then started a one-man scoring spree, adding five points on three perfect tosses from the foul line and a follow-up field goal. That made the score 23-11. Finegan connected with a one-handed poke from the corner for Alabama's final points of the first half.
Curtis Scores Again
Opening the second-half scoring, Curtis sank half of a pair of free throws. Trocolar missed a toss from the line, but a little later swished through a looper from near midcourt. Curtis and Finegan added a foul each, then Thompson staged another one-man spurt, hooping two fouls and in quick succession adding two baskets with his stretching pivot shot.
That made the count 31-16 for Kentucky. Prather cashed a foul, Curtis retaliated, but when he missed his second toss Thompson grabbed the ball and connected for two points, Busby popped one through for Alabama, but Farnsley rammed home a follow-up attempt and Huber blasted the basket from far out to run the Wildcat edge to 38-19.
Hudson was fouled and hit both free tosses, but Curtis rebounded one for two points to keep the margin the same. The sprightly Hudson got his first fielder on a long flip from the sidelines, then Curtis got back one of the points on a foul after Hudson blew two shots that he was awarded as Opper committed his fourth foul.
As play grew even more ragged in the final five minutes, Rouse missed a foul but connected on his next two chances, making the score 43-25. Prather gave 'Bama its last tally with his strike from the corner, Rouse racked up Kentucky's last marker with an easy crip. Prather could have made the Tide total 28, but he muffed a free toss just before the final gun.
U.K. Frosh Win
In a preliminary game, the University freshmen had no trouble trouncing a crippled Flemingsburg high school team by 49-11. The yearlings' margin at the half had been 25-5.
Flemingsburg had engaged Saturday in a reserve-team tournament at Sardis, and when the Pirates appeared to oppose the frosh they were minus their captain and a first-string guard. Both boys had missed connections somewhere along the route after Coach C.D. Blair had started from Sardis to Lexington with part of his team in his car.
Part of his reserves had been left behind to play in the finals of the Sardis tourney, and some of the players he was compelled to use to make up a full team against the Kittens had played through two full games earlier in the day.
Alabama secures the rebound
more action from the game