- Saturday, February 21 1970 -
Kentucky - 121 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Ranked 2nd by AP]
Louisiana State - 105 (Head Coach: Press Maravich) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 56, Louisiana State 48
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Georgia 116 - 86|||||Alabama 98 - 89|
Game Writeup - by Dick Fenlon, Louisville Courier-Journal
UK Spoils Pete's Home Finale
BATON ROUGE, La. -- He's human.
Yes, Pistol Pete Maravich did score 64 points yesterday in a marvelous home ending to a fantastic collegiate basketball career, outscoring Kentucky's Dan Issel by 13 points. It was a dazzling duel of individual performers.
But, for a period of just over two of the 40 minutes of the nationally televised game, Kentucky's Wildcats transformed the Pistol from a basketball deity into a mere mortal.
And during that time - when Pete was more humble than All-American - Kentucky got the points it needed to sail away to a 121-105 Southeastern Conference victory over Pete and Louisiana State before 9,000 fans in Parker Agricultural Center.
"I just don't know what happened," Pete's father, LSU coach Press Maravich said in describing the short, devastating period that began with 9:17 left in the game and LSU behind by only two points, 80-78.
"I think that if we had tied them, then we would have beaten them," said the coach. "I'm sure of it. We would have had the momentum. It would have turned the game around."
LSU never got the points. And Pete, alas, was one of the reasons why. After LSU had crept to within two points for the third and final time for the game, Kentucky's Terry Mills scored on a 20-foot jump shot to put the visitors up 82-78.
Then, 46 seconds later with 8:29 left, Pete turned the ball over to Kentucky while trying to pass it inside and Mills scored on a fast break layup to open the lead to six points.
With 8:01 to go, Maravich was fouled by Jim Dinwiddie while driving for the basket. But after making all of his previous 14 free throws in the game, Pete suddenly went cold ..... (rest of article missing).
Sidebar - Louisville Courier-Journal by Dick Fenlon
... Last Hurrah for Pistol Pete
....(beginning column of article missing)... The bathrooms were their last hideouts. They stood on commodes to evade detection.
Finally around daybreak the arena was cleared. At 11:30 a.m. the gates were opened and the students - some armed with pillows and sleeping bags - were admitted. And if they were sleepy, it didn't show. Pete's initial appearance at 1:49 p.m. was greeted by a standing ovation. His last basket - a 30-footer with one second on the clock - was, too. In between there were many others.
But in the end, it was a sad day, both for Pete and LSU. Kentucky's Wildcats rubbed out the home team 121-105, ending LSU's last hope for the Southeastern Conference Championship.
Afterwards, slipping into brown trousers, a yellow shirt and a soiled windbreaker, Pete allowed as to how his hopes hadn't been too high, anyhow.
"Kentucky would still have won the title, even if we had beaten them," said the young man who came from Raleigh, N.C., to LSU three and a half years ago and -- in two and a half varsity seasons - became the greatest individual scorer in the history of collegiate basketball. "But I think it would have been good for the conference if we had beaten them. And it would have given us something to bring into the NIT. That's what we're looking forward to."
Pete has never played in Madison Square Garden, site of the National Invitational Tournament. But, with a 17-7 record, LSU will certainly be invited this year, even if it loses its four remaining games. The Pistol is too much of an attraction for the promoters to pass up.
Pete and his dad, LSU coach Press Maravich, argued that LSU was not beaten in the major areas of play yesterday.
"What happened ?" said Pete, repeating an interrogator's question. "Well, for one thing, Kentucky was hot as hell. And for another, it seemed everytime I looked up one of their guards would lose the ball, it would roll through nine pairs of legs and (Dan) Issel would stick it in for a three-point play."
Papa Maravich analyzed it much the same way.
"The little things beat us," said the coach. "They've beaten me for four damn years against Kentucky. We shot with them. We rebounded with them. But the ball was always squirting out of our hands, bouncing off our fingertips. And they'd just pick it up and put it in the basket."
Pete was breathtakingly brilliant for all but a minuscule portion of the game. But he wasn't sold on his final home-court effort, even though his 64 points was his most ever at home.
"No, I really am not completely satisfied," he said "I missed too many easy shots. But I did think I played better defense than I did up at Lexington. We were trying to put more pressure on their guards than we did up there and it will show up in their turnovers."
In the first half, Pete -- not noted for his defense - forced Kentucky into two turnovers himself with adroit guarding. Kentucky ended with 12 turnovers while completing a sweep over LSU this season. UK had won 109-96 at Lexington Jan. 24 in a game in which Pete scored 55 points.
Pete and teammate Al Sanders were asked to compare second-ranked Kentucky to UCLA, the nation's No. 1 team. They disagreed slightly.
"Kentucky, like UCLA, is a true champion," said Pete. "I really can't say who would win if they play in the N.C.A.A. It will be close."
"UCLA would win it," argued Sanders. "They haven't got anybody like Issel (who scored 51 points) but they've got a better overall ball club."
Dan Issel (#44) shoots over Danny Hester (#35)
'Pistol' Pete Maravich (#23) rises up in front of UK's Terry Mills, Dan Issel and Stan Key (#30)
Pete Maravich throws a no-look pass while guarded by Dan Issel