- Saturday, January 8 1955 -
Georgia Tech - 59 (Head Coach: Whack Hyder) - [Unranked]
Kentucky - 58 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Ranked 1st by AP]
Halftime Score: Georgia Tech 26, Kentucky 23
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Temple 101 - 69|||||DePaul 92 - 59|
Game Writeup - by Larry Boeck, Louisville Courier-Journal
Tech "Iron Men" Lead 59-58 win
LEXINGTON,Jan. 8,1955 -- Georgia Tech employed no witchcraft in strategy, in surprising Kentucky, 59-58, here tonight.
"Strategy ? Naw, naw. Those kids just went out and played their hearts out," said joyous Tech coach Whack Hyder of the amazing victors.
"Those five kids who went all the way -- they deserve all the credit. All I did was pray in those last five minutes."
Pulling the "Iron man" stunt for Georgia Tech were Bobby Kimmel, the sophomore captain and former Valley High star, Joe Helms, Dick Lenholt, Lenny Cohen and Bill Cohen.
"We didn't prepare anything special for Kentucky on offense," added Hyder, who recorded only his 17th victory in 76 games at Tech over four seasons.
"The only thing we did do that we hadn't done before was to switch off on the guards on defense, thus all."
When the final buzzer sounded, the supremely happy, flushed-faced Engineers whacked each other heartily -- so lustily, in fact, that Kimmel suffered a cut lip that bled freely. It wasn't serious though. "Lenny! Lenny! We beat em! We beat em!" shouted one Engineer, who appeared as disbelieving of the result as the crowd of 8,500.
Down a dimly lit corridor off the playing floor, there was disbelief, too -- silent and agonizing instead of hysterically happy -- around UK quarters.
Puffy-eyed Coach Adolph Rupp, who leaped from the bench to congratulate Hyder before even the Engineers could get to their coach, gave Tech all the credit.
"They deserve everything they got," he said. "We have no one to blame but ourselves. We had the game won three times and lost it."
Kentucky led by seven points early in the going. They lost that lead by six with some eight minutes left and had a 58-55 margin with 1:30 remaining.
Outside the room where the Cats glumly dressed, Wildcat football coach Blanton Collier appeared as grief-stricken as the basketball coaching staff of Adolph Rupp.
"I'm sorry, Adolph," he said. "It's too bad -- too bad."
Players filed out of the dressing room one at a time, not talking to one another and preferring not to talk to other people.
"We didn't work as a team tonight," said disconsolate Jerry Bird. "We were individuals, not a team."
Most of the arena was deserted when Louisville's Phil (Cookie) Grawenmeyer came out to see his parents, Air. and Airs. Ernest Grawenmeyer.
"We didn't click on anything, on our plays, shooting, rebounding, passing -- nothing," said Grawenmeyer.
This first defeat on the home floor since January 2, 1943 -- to Ohio State by 45-40 -- surprised many but it didn't catch some members of the football squad without their wits.
Outside the Coliseum, in the coldish night, the gridmen assembled a study body of several hundred and, while Wildcat basketball players filed out, the assemblage sang "On, On, U. of K." and other pep songs.
One of the leaders was football co-captain Joe Koch of Louisville.
There was good reason for the shock and disbelief among UK followers. For here was a team that had knocked off La Salle, Utah and Xavier this season -- and then lost to an outfit that had won just two of its last six games.
So lightly regarded were the Engineers that Kentucky didn't even scout them. The Wildcats had chalked up 28 straight victories over Tech since 1940.
But most observers agreed that Kentucky was a very flat team tonight -- and very smug. It had taken this victory for granted and was looking ahead, quite possibly to a tough session with strong DePaul here Monday night. It just goes to prove that Rupp was right when he said last week he'd stricken the word 'impossible' from his vocabulary," said one writer. "I'm striking if from mine, too."
Among the few elated observers in the assemblage was George Kimmel of Columbia, Ky., a brother of the sensational Bobby Kimmel. I'm happy for my brother's sake," said George Kimmel. "If Kentucky had to be beat, this is the best way." Kimmel's parents moved from the Louisville area last year to Panama City, Fla.
When did the Engineers get the feeling they could whip the Cats, we asked Bobby Kimmel. "In the last five minutes, we knew we really were after a big upset and could get it," he said. Kentucky was on the ropes then, added Kimmel, and the Engineers figured one good punch could do it. The Engineers got it and landed.
Among the last to leave the arena was Hyder. "They probably won't believe that score down in Atlanta," he said. "Especially since we got beat by Sewanee our last time out. But, you know, I've said that this bunch could beat any given club on any given night. "Yep, they probably won't believe that score down in Atlanta."
"Or anywhere else," added a hurried sportswriter on the press bench.
Georgia Tech breaks Kentucky's home winning streak at 129 games
Bob Burrow (#50) dunks
Bob Burrow (#50) fights a Tech player for the ball while Jerry Bird (#22), Cookie Grawemeyer (#44) and Billy Evans (#42) look on