This Week in Kentucky Basketball History: Issel-Maravich Duel Edition
On Tuesdays throughout the 2015-2016 season we will take a trip down memory lane and look back at past great plays, players and games associated with University of Kentucky men’s basketball for that given week. So be sure to check back with us each and every Tuesday to relive the moments that make the winningest Division I men’s basketball program so special.
• 1918: Kentucky and Centre College were involved in an intrastate battle that seemed to never end. The Wildcats were leading by a slim margin, one point, at halftime, but Centre forced overtime with the score tied at 14 at the end of regulation. But one, and even two, overtimes were not enough as the Wildcats outscored Centre 2-0 in the third overtime for the 22-20 victory at Buell Armory Gymnasium. H. C. Thomas led Kentucky in scoring with 12 points. This was Kentucky's first three-overtime game.
• 1924: Trailing Centre College by one point at halftime, Kentucky outscored the Colonels 24-9 in the second half to secure the 38-24 victory in the State Championship Game at Buell Armory Gymnasium. Lovell Underwood led the Wildcats in scoring with 10 points. In the early part of the 20th century, certain intrastate games were scheduled and used to determine the state champion among Kentucky colleges. This was the last time that Kentucky participated in the State Championship Game.
• 1955: Despite having three players foul out, No. 2 Kentucky had no trouble with No. 20 Vanderbilt, defeating the Commodores 77-59 at Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats also overcame a poor shooting performance from the charity stripe, making just 57.6 percent of their 33 attempts. Kentucky had three players score in double figures, led by junior Bob Burrow's then-career high 31 points.
• 1959: No. 3 Kentucky welcomed No. 2, an undefeated with a 19-0 record, Auburn to Memorial Coliseum and were not very hospitable to the Tigers. The Wildcats took advantage of taking 20 more field-goal attempts than Auburn to the tune of a 19-point blowout, 75-56, handing the Tigers their first loss of the season. Kentucky also took advantage of its chances from the charity stripe, making 81 percent of its 21 free-throw attempts. Four players scored in double figures for Kentucky, led by a pair of 18-point scorers, Johnny Cox and Bill Lickert.
• 1970: No. 2 Kentucky easily defeated LSU 121-105 in Baton Rouge, but the game was about two players and their epic battle. Senior Dan Issel for Kentucky and senior "Pistol" Pete Maravich for LSU put on a show for the 9,000 fans in attendance at John Parker Memorial Coliseum. Issel made 19 of his 33 field goal attempts and 13 of his 17 free-throw attempts to finish the game with 51 points. That, however, was only the second-best offensive performance of the contest. Maravich made 23 of his 42 field goal attempts and 18 of his 22 free-throw attempts for an astounding 64 points. To this day, their 115 combined points scored remains the NCAA Division I men's basketball record for most combined points scored by opposing players in a single game.
• 1995: No. 6 Kentucky used its patented pressure defense to force No. 20 Alabama into 21 turnovers en route to a convincing 72-52 victory in Tuscaloosa. The difference in the game was at the free-throw line, where Kentucky made 81-percent of its 21 attempts, while Alabama made just 31.3-percent of their 16 attempts. Rodrick Rhodes led the Wildcats in scoring with 16 points.
• 2012: No. 1 Kentucky seemed to catch no breaks in the first half against Mississippi State in Starkville, trailing the Bulldogs by 13 points at halftime. But the Wildcats came roaring back in the final 20 minutes, outscoring Mississippi State 45-23 to complete one of the greatest comebacks in school history. Aided in the comeback was the difference in shooting, where Kentucky made 50 percent of its field-goal attempts in the second half while Mississippi State made just 32 percent. It was a balanced scoring effort for the Wildcats, with five players scoring in double figures, led by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's 18 points. The 13-point halftime deficit is tied for the third-largest halftime comeback in school history, and the largest halftime comeback of the John Calipari era.
• 1912: Brinkley Barnett led Kentucky in scoring with 12 points as the Wildcats defeated Vanderbilt 28-17 at Buell Armory Gymnasium in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
• 1935: Kentucky had no problems with Creighton, defeating the Bluejays 63-42 at Alumni Gymnasium. Sophomore center Leroy Edwards led the Wildcats in scoring with 34 points, becoming the first player in school history to score at least 30 points in a single game.
• 1963: Kentucky limited No. 9 Auburn to 42.6-percent shooting from the field that helped the Wildcats upset the Tigers 78-59 at Memorial Coliseum. Three players scored in double figures for Kentucky, led by junior Cotton Nash's 28 points.
• 1980: No. 3 Kentucky used hot shooting, 50.8 percent from the field, to defeat No. 5 LSU 76-74 in an overtime thriller in Baton Rouge. The Wildcats were also aided by the charity stripe, where they attempted nearly twice as many free-throw attempts as LSU (25-13). Fred Cowan led Kentucky in scoring with 27 points, while Kyle Macy was an iron man, playing all 45 minutes.
• 1921: Kentucky raced out to a 14-point lead at halftime against Tulane and cruised in the final 20 minutes to defeat the Green Wave 50-28 in the opening round of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament. Three players scored in double figures for the Wildcats, led by Paul Adkins' 18 points. This was Kentucky's first appearance in a conference tournament in school history.
• 1977: No. 2 Kentucky seemingly couldn't miss against No. 8 Alabama, making 57.8 percent of its field-goal attempts, as the Wildcats defeated the Crimson Tide 85-70 at Rupp Arena in a battle of Top-10 conference foes. Kentucky's defense was just as impressive, limiting Alabama to just 34.6-percent shooting from the field. The Wildcats were extremely balanced on offense, with six players scoring in double figures, led by Larry Johnson's 16 points.
• 2011: No. 22 Kentucky made 51.7-percent of its field-goal attempts to secure a 76-68 upset victory over No. 13 Florida at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats were also very disciplined when taking care of the ball, committing only seven turnovers. Three players scored in double figures for Kentucky, led by Darius Miller's career-high 24 points.
• 1993: No. 2 Kentucky was perfect from the charity stripe, making all 11 of their attempts, and the Wildcats needed to be perfect in order to narrowly defeat Auburn 80-78 on Senior Day at Rupp Arena. The game went down to the wire, with the teams tied at 78, when Travis Ford passed to Rodrick Rhodes who made a 12-foot jump shot with two seconds left that sealed the game for Kentucky. Jamal Mashburn led the Wildcats in scoring with 22 points. Although Mashburn was a junior, it was his final regular-season home game as a Wildcat.