- Saturday, December 10 1955 -
Temple - 73 (Head Coach: Harry Litwack) - [Unranked]
|Tink Van Patton||2||10||1||2||4||5|
Kentucky - 61 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Ranked 2nd by AP]
|Billy Ray Cassady||0||4||4||4||2||4|
Halftime Score: Temple 41, Kentucky 27
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Louisiana State 62 - 52|||||DePaul 71 - 69|
Game Writeup - Lexington Herald
Kentucky Jolted By Temple, 73-61
LEXINGTON Ky., Dec. 10 (AP) - Temple University, sparked by sophomore Guy Rodgers and veteran Hal Lear, raced to a quick lead tonight, then held off a desperate Kentucky rally to drop the Wildcats from the unbeaten ranks, 73-61, in a stunning early season upset.
Coach Harry Litwack's highly-rated Owls scored their third and most impressive victory as they spoiled Kentucky's home opener before more than 12,000. It was only the second time in 12 years that Adolph Rupp's cagers, ranked No. 2 in pre-season polls, lost at home. Georgia Tech turned the trick last season.
RODGERS, LEAR HOT
Rodgers and Lear clicked for 24 and 19 points respectively, to overcome the Wildcats tremendous height advantage. The home team, dropping its first home opener in Rupp's 26 years of coaching, out-rebounded the Philadelphians, 79-55.
Kentucky had its poorest shooting night in years, caused largely by Temple's spirited zone defense. The losers connected on only 21.7 percent of their shots from the field, compared to Temple's 35.7.
The Owls appeared to be home safely after five minutes of the second half. Paced by its dynamic backcourt combination, Temple increased a 41-27 halftime bulge to 49-33 with 17:10 to go.
MARGIN REACHES 18
The margin reached 18 a few seconds later on a long set by Rodgers. Then Kentucky found the range.
Gerry Calvert, a 5-10 speedster, and Vernon Hatton collaborated for three fast buckets, narrowing the deficit to 12 points.
The Wildcats started to rip Temple's zone with a fast break that found southpaw Phil Grawemeyer on the receiving end of payoff passes for two goals.
Rodgers interrupted the Kentucky streak with a one-hander, but the Owls edge dwindled to 60-57 after a push by Hatton and a tap-in by Ray Mills.
Temple tried hard to halt the deluge and Hal Reinfeld drove through for a lay-up to make the score, 62-57, with 5:10 remaining.
Van Patton upped the lead to seven points after stealing the ball from center Bob Burrow who was rushed into action midway in the first half despite an ankle injury.
The Owls slowed the pace with three minutes left and iced the decision on Lear's free throw and a two-pointer by Rodgers.
RODGERS SCORES 3
Rupp's befuddled forces never got untracked in the first half. Rodgers sent the visitors into a 3-0 lead with a three-point play and Kentucky spent the rest of the evening trying to get even.
The Wildcats first rally came at the three-minute mark when sophomore Ed Beck, filling in for Burrow, hit on a jump. A pair of foul shots by Jerry Bird closed the gap to 7-4.
Lear and Rodgers stunned the partisan crowd by spearheading a sizzling nine-point spree that forced Rupp to inject Burrow into the fray. His All-American ace immediately helped out with two fouls, but couldn't stop the Temple attack.
Three rapid-fire goals by Reinfeld, Lear and Rodgers vaulted the Owls into the driver's seat, 25-9.
Kentucky's third basket of the game, a hook shot by Burrow, opened a minor counter-attack as the Wildcats substituted freely in an effort to find the right combination.
Temple matched the surprised Wildcats, point for point, through the remainder of the half and left the floor with a 14-point edge. Veteran observers called it the biggest halftime deficit faced by Kentucky at home in nearly a decade.
Ed Beck (#34) grabs a rebound while being fouled by Temple's Tink Van Patton
Temple's Tink Van Patton grabs a rebound. Behind him is Ed Beck. Temple's Hal Reinfeld (#17) looks on at the right