- Monday, January 31 1955 -
Kentucky - 59 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Ranked 1st by AP]
Georgia Tech - 65 (Head Coach: Whack Hyder) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Georgia Tech 32, Kentucky 24
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Vanderbilt 75 - 71|||||Florida 87 - 63|
Game Writeup - Louisville Courier-Journal
Georgia Tech's 'Iron Men' Do It Again - Trip U.K. 65-59
Atlanta, Jan. 31 - Unranked Georgia Tech, determined to prove that its first victory over No. 1-ranked Kentucky wasn't a fluke, did it again tonight.
The Engineers' "Iron Men" stood firm against a desperate Kentucky rally here and surprised the Wildcats once more this season.
This time the score was 65-59. This time, too, the Tech victory was received with amazement in the basketball world.
The pattern of Georgia Tech's previous defeat of Kentucky virtually was repeated tonight.
Georgia Tech used only five players, as it did in staggering the mighty Wildcats 59-58 on January 8 at Lexington.
Once again, it was 5-10 Joe Helms and Louisville's 6-3 Bobby Kimmel who wrought the damage ... Again, free throws told the difference ... and once more, Kentucky - despite that previous setback by the Engineers - was an overwhelming favorite.
Only in Tech's command of the game tonight did the pattern differ ... that and Gary Phillips taking the place of the inured Lennie Cohen, who didn't play.
Alabama Also Bows
The battling, confident Engineers took the lead at the tipoff and held it all the way against the jittery Wildcats.
They led by 14 points at 58-44 with five minutes of game time left, withstood a Kentucky challenge that put the 'Cats within four at 63-59 with 13 seconds left, and then won out.
The mite Helms gained 24 points tonight, compared with his 23 in the earlier U.K. engagement. Kimmel tabbed 20, against his 14 at Lexington.
The loss, only the second in 14 games for Kentucky - both inflicted by Georgia Tech - punished the Wildcats in two other ways.
1. It cost the Wildcats a chance to gain on Alabama for the Southeastern Conference championship and an automatic invitation to the N.C.A.A. Tournament.
Alabama was upset 76-74 by Florida and the S.E.C. race now is wide open between 'Bama at 4-1. Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Auburn at 4-2 and Florida and Tennessee at 3-2.
2. It represented the first time in the fabulously successful career of Coach Adolph Rupp that an S.E.C. team has whipped him twice in regular season play.
Tennessee twice defeated Kentucky two times in over-all season competition.
Each season - 1935-1936 and 1940-41 - the Volunteers conquered Kentucky once during the regular season and then again in tournament play. The 'Cats beat the Vols one time during the regular season in each of those campaigns.
Free Throws Telling
Inspired Georgia Tech, an aggressive, ball-stealing combination that led 32-24 at the half, was outscored in field goals by Kentucky 27-20. But the Engineers connected on 25 of 33 free throws. The Wildcats, meanwhile, sank a miserable five of 15.
In that unbelievable affair, where the Engineers shattered Kentucky's 129-game home-floor winning streak, the Wildcats also sank more field goal. U.K. had 24 and Tech 18, but the Engineers cashed 23 free throws to the Big Blue's 10.
Kentucky was revenge-bent after the earlier loss and, in its eagerness for victory, appeared to tie itself in knots.
Bob Burrow, with 20 points, was the only Kentuckian who played up to his capabilities.
And Burrow, said Coach Rupp - who hurried to the Kentucky dressing room through a screaming mass of Georgia Tech students after the game and didn't emerge for 15 minutes - was sick with a headache.
Georgia Tech, which used a sagging defense that blocked Kentucky's big men away from the basket jumped to an early 5-0 lead. Kentucky made it 5-4 but Tech led once again 15-10 after 10 minutes of play. After that, Kentucky never closed in nearer than six until the end.
Georgia Tech still had a 60-50 stranglehold on the game with 1:42 minutes remaining. Then, with regulars Gayle Rose and Linville Puckett now out on fouls, substitutes Earl Adkins and John Brewer hit to make it 60-54.
Then, after the count became 63-55, Gerry Calvert and Bill Evans quickly dunked baskets.
Now U.K. trailed 59-63 with 13 seconds to go. There was a jump ball with 13 seconds left. Kentucky's only hope was to gain control of the ball, sink a field goal and draw a foul in so doing. By missing the foul and getting a field goal on a rebound or a bat-in, the 'Cats could have tied it.
This bit of dramatics failed to materialize because Tech got the ball and added two free throws.
A jeering tier of partisan Tech students, delirious with joy, kept coach Rupp on edge, throughout the game with a constant chant: "We've got Adolph worried!"
For variety, they shouted defiantly, "We're No. 1, hey?" Referring to Kentucky's No. 1 rating in the Associated Press and United Press basketball polls.
Jerry Bird (#22) and Bob Burrow (#50) jump as Phil Grawemeyer's (#44) shot arrives at the hoop. Georgia Tech's Dick Lenholt (#29) is shown watching shot
Phil Grawemeyer (#44) scores inside
Bob Burrow (#50) shoots over Georgia Tech's Dick Lenholt (#30)