- Friday, March 20 1942 -
NCAA Eastern Regional First Round (at New Orleans, LA)
Kentucky - 46 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp)
Illinois - 44 (Head Coach: Doug Mills)
Halftime Score: Illinois 22, Kentucky 20
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Great Lakes 47 - 58|||||Dartmouth 28 - 47|
Game Writeup - Lexington Herald
Kentucky Noses Out Illinois Cagers, 46 to 44
Dartmouth Is Foe Tonight
Wildcats Come From Behind
NEW ORLEANS. March 20 (Special) - In two of the fastest and most thrilling basketball games ever seen here, Kentucky's Wildcats and the Dartmouth Indians won the right to meet each other Saturday night for the Eastern championship of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. After Dartmouth had beaten Penn State 44 to 39 in the opening game, Kentucky, champion of the Southeastern Conference, arising to the occasion to outscore and outfight a mighty Illinois University team, won a hair-lifting game 46 to 44, from the Big Ten champions.
The Kentucky-Illinois game was so full of action that the crowd of 3,000 spectators was kept in a constant uproar as the teams traded sensational shots and fought for every point.
At time the play became so scintillating that terrific contacts sent members of both team headlong on the floor. Right near the end of the game Jim King of Kentucky crashed against the basket supports and for a time it was believed he was seriously hurt, as he was knocked out cold.
King Puts Cats Ahead
Illinois led 22 to 20 at the end of the first half, but some magnificent goal shooting by Milt Ticco, Carl Staker and Marvin Akers brought the Wildcats into their own not long after the second half got underway and King put the Kentuckians in front with a brilliant field goal, making the score 28 to 27.
Kentucky never was headed after that. King following with another fine shot for two points, and Ermal Allen giving his team a six-point lead with still another.
Because Kentucky was the "home" team of the four participants, the crowd was with the Wildcats all the way and lustily cheered them when in the waning moments of the game and with King still groggy on the sidelines, the Wildcats lasted to win in face of a courageous and dangerous attack Illinois launched.
Smiley Hits Long One
Desperate as the seconds of the last minute ticked away, Jack Smiley of Illinois caged a brilliant shot from deep in the court to make the score 46 to 44 and it was mighty ticklish when Illinois got the ball again a few moments later and was charging down to Kentucky's basket as the game ended.
The game was torrid from the beginning as the lead changed too often to count and both teams tried shots from all angles and distances.
The Kentuckians fitted the ball into the basket as though they were pulling it through on a string and it was this ability to make their chances good that gave them the game.
Neither team was more than six points ahead at any time.
For the first five minutes of play it was nip-and-tuck with the lead see-sawing as Akers and Staker got in a couple of fancy field goals to offset some fine basket throwing done by Sachs and Phillip of Illinois
Smiley and Menke opened a lead for Illinois with a couple of beautiful field goals, but the Wildcats kept registering foul shots and were crowding Illinois when Wukovits got a perfect crip with nobody near him and put Illinois in front 22 to 18.
Then Akers scored a long field goal on a magnificent shot as the gong sounded and the end of the half, sending the Wildcats to the dressing room two points behind 20 to 22.
The blue-clad lads from Old Kaintuck came back in the second half with an improved man for man defense that kept Menke and company at a distance, and the Illini could not match the Southeastern Conference kings at long range bombardment.
Illinois made good only half its 16 free throws missing a chance to close the gap that way while Kentucky made 12 gifts good for eight points.
Ticco with 13 points, 12 of which were made on field goals; Staker with nine pints and Akers with eight starred for Kentucky. Ken Menke, with seven field goals and a foul for 15 points, and Smiley with five field goals and three foul goals for a total of 13 points stood out for Illinois.
Penn State and Illinois will meet in the first half of Saturday night's double-header and Kentucky and Dartmouth will clash in the second half. The latter game will start at about 10:15.
Carl Staker (#16) and Marvin Akers (#8) jump for the ball in front of Illinois forward Ken Menke (#38). Watching to the right are Jack Smiley (#47) and UK's Jim King.