- Monday, March 18 1946 -
NIT (at New York, NY)
Kentucky - 59 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp)
|J. Ed Parker||1||1||1||0||3|
West Virginia - 51 (Head Coach: Lee Patton)
Halftime Score: West Virginia 27, Kentucky 25
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Arizona 77 - 53|||||Rhode Island 46 - 45|
Game Writeup - by Louis Effrat, New York Times
Kentucky Downs W. Virginia, 59-51
Wildcats Take Close Battle to Gain Final in National Basketball Tourney
Kentucky's Wildcats, the top-seeded team in the ninth annual national invitation college basketball tournament, conquered West Virginia, 59-51, in the second semifinal encounter at Madison Square Garden last night. To accomplish this, however, the Southeastern Conference champions had to score eight straight points in the final two minutes of the best-played game in the competition thus far.
With this thrill-jammed victory the Kentuckians joined the wild running Rams of Rhode Island State in the title round. The New Englanders earned the right to oppose Kentucky in tomorrow night's final by routing Muhlenberg, 59-49, in the opener, thanks principally to the precocious Ernie Calverley, who enjoyed another great night.
The Kentucky-West Virginia contest probably set a new high for ties. Fourteen times the quintets found themselves deadlocked, the last standstill, with two minutes left to play , at 51- all. Then the veteran Jack Tingle, who had cost the Wildcats points because of his comparatively weak defensive work, took over and swayed the outcome. Twice within thirty seconds Tingle curled in baskets, converting passes from Jack Parkinson and Kenton Campbell, the second a sleeper that caught the Mountaineers flatfooted.
Victors Freeze the Ball
That second field goal was the ball game, since it came with a minute and a half to go. Thereafter the Kentucky players, reaching the final for the first time, froze the ball until Parkinson and Tingle supplied a softer cushion with 2 pointers that West Virginia, in its eagerness to gain possession, virtually handed to the Wildcats.
For West Virginia to have made the battle close as it was against so experienced and talented an outfit as Kentucky, was a moral victory. The losers, in front, 27-25, at the half, proceeded smoothly against the favorites and at times made the latter look bad. There were moments during this contest when the Kentuckians seemed to be losing their poise, becoming, in fact, panicky to such an extent that they resembled a green schoolboy five.
Kentucky placed itself in jeopardy of fouling repeatedly, unusual for Adolph Rupp-coached teams. Two of the victors, Tingle and Wallace (Wawa) Jones, had to be benched because each had committed four fouls and rupp deemed it wise to deactive them until the situation became desperate. That it did midway of the last half and the mentor rushed Tingle back into the struggle. In the end, this moved proved the difference between victory and defeat.
Still, it was the Kentucky replacement, Joe Holland, Campbell and Buddy Parker, who kept the team in the thick of the battle. In particular, Holland was a tremendous help, with his nine points, all in the second period.
Just Miss an Upset
Leland Byrd, Bob Carroll, Clyde Green and the other Mountaineers tried their utmost to effect an upset, but just missed. Right now the West Virginia youths are not quite in Kentucky's class. However, a crowd of 18,478 fans who saw the game will concur in the belief that with another year or so of experience they will be in the upper brackets.
Three times in the final ninety seconds, the Mountaineers had golden opportunities, only to flub wide open chances. Handed such breaks, the Wildcats made the most of them.
Tingle, with 16 points, was the game's high scorer, followed by Ralph Beard, who notched 15. the latter, though, was terrific on defense.
Wilbur Schu (right) fights WVU's Leland Byrd and Clyde Green for the ball which squirts to the right. Also seen are UK's Wah Wah Jones (#41) and Ralph Beard (#40)