- Monday, December 21 1953 -
Duke - 69 (Head Coach: Harold Bradley) - [Ranked 13th by AP]
|Charles Dreisell (*)||2||0||4||0||4|
Kentucky - 85 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Ranked 2nd by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 40, Duke 37
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|St. Louis 71 - 59|||||LaSalle 73 - 60|
Game Writeup - by Ed Ashford, Lexington Herald
LaSalle Defeats UCLA and Kentucky Rips Duke to Reach KIT Finals
A scoring outburst late in the third period paced Kentucky's undefeated Wildcats to an 85-59 victory over the Duke Blue Devils in the nightcap of the inaugural University of Kentucky Invitational basketball tournament in Memorial Coliseum last night.
A crowd of 9,500 fans saw LaSalle's Explorers come from behind to hand UCLA its first loss of the season, 62-53 in the opener.
Kentucky and LaSalle will meet for the tourney title tonight following a 7:30 opening game between UCLA and Duke.
The Blue Devils from the Atlantic Coast Conference stayed on the heels of the Wildcats until the last four minutes of the third quarter. Suddenly hitting their stride while holding a meager 49-47 lead at that juncture, Coach Adolph Rupp's Wildcats reeled off 21 points to Duke's four during the remainder of the period.
Duke had a five-point lead early in the game but Kentucky was on top at the end of the first quarter, 22-18, and at the half, 40-37.
Cliff Hagan, Kentucky's brilliant center, led all scorers with 27 points, although he sat out the last 12 minutes. Frank Ramsey with 19 and Lou Tsioropoulos with 15 were next in line for the winners, who scored their fifth straight triumph of the season and their 113th in a row on their home floor.
Bernie Janicki and Ronnie Mayer each scored 14 points for Duke with Joe Belmont getting 12. It was Duke's second loss in seven games.
All 12 members of Kentucky's tournament squad saw action. Billy Evans, Gayle Rose and Phil Grawmeyer each scored seven points and Linville Puckett, who started at Rose's guard berth, tabbed three. The others failed to break into the scoring column.
Kentucky hit 34.8 per cent of its field goal attempts on 32 successful shots of 92 tries. The Devils hit 26 of 78 shots for a 33.3 average.
After leading by nine points midway of the second quarter, Kentucky held only a shaky three point lead, 40-37 at the half.
Duke scored first and ran up a 6-1 lead before Hagan hit a crip for Kentucky's first field goal after two and one-half minutes. The Blue Devils stayed on top until the midway mark of the period when a one-hander by Puckett sent the Wildcats ahead for the first time, 10-9. Goals by Tsioropoulos, Hagan and Ramsey ran the score to 16-9 to complete a 10-point scoring spurt by the Wildcats before Duke tabbed again.
Kentucky led 22-14, with a minute to go in the first quarter but free throws by Junior Morgan and Joe Belmont followed by a one-hander by Rudy Lacy, cut the Wildcats' lead to 22-18 at the end of the period.
Again in the second quarter the Kentuckians appeared ready to pull away when two quick baskets by Ramsey gave the Cats a 36-27 bulge with 4:55 to go. But the Ruppmen cooled off suddenly and got only four points - a set shot by Gayle Rose and a hook by Hagan - during the remaining minutes. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils, counting three fielders and four free throws, whittled the margin to three points at the intermission.
Hagan had 17 points and Ramsey 10 in the first half while Duke's leaders were Ronnie Mayer with 10 and Belmont with eight. Hagan and Tsioropoulos each picked up three personal fouls during the first two quarters and Tsioropoulos also drew a technical.
In the first six minutes of the third quarter the Cats could get no further ahead than six points. With slightly more than four minutes left, the Devils cut the lead to 49-47. But Tsioropoulos and Rose racked up three quick points each and the Cats were on their way. At the end of the frame it was 70-52 and from that point on only the final score was in doubt.
Cliff Hagan maneuvers against the Duke defense
Lou Tsioropoulos (#16) drives against two Duke defenders
Action from the game