This Week in UK Basketball History: UCLA 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.
• 1948: Kentucky held Indiana Central to just 14 points in the first half and never looked back in the Wildcats' convincing 74-38 win over the Greyhounds. Kentucky had four players score in double figures, led by Ralph Beard's 20 points. This was Kentucky's first game ever played as a defending national champion.
• 1986: No. 11 Kentucky used hot shooting, 52 percent from the field, to squeak by Austin Peay 71-69 in the highly anticipated debut of freshman sensation Rex Chapman. Rex finished second on the team in scoring with 18 points and chipped in six assists and three steals.
• 1996: No. 8 Kentucky used a great defensive effort, holding Alaska-Anchorage to just 33.3-percent shooting from the field, to defeat the host Seawolves in the Great Alaska Shootout. Derek Anderson set a career high scoring 30 points, including five made 3-point field goals.
• 1997: No. 8 Kentucky had a battle with No. 13 Clemson at the Premier Classic in Phoenix. Clinging to a one-point lead at halftime, the Wildcats outscored the Tigers 41-27 in the second half to pull away with a 76-61 victory. Kentucky had four players score in double figures, led by Wayne Turner's 17 points.
• 1963: No. 9 Kentucky overcame a poor shooting performance, 40 percent from the field, to defeat the Virginia Cavaliers 75-64 in its season opener. The Wildcats were fueled by the play of the senior duo of Ted Deeken and Cotton Nash. They combined to score 56 points and pull down 31 rebounds.
• 1974: No. 16 Kentucky overwhelmed Northwestern in the first half, outscoring the opponent 49-24, en route to a 97-70 win in a battle of Wildcats. This was the collegiate debut for a talented and deep freshman class. The frosh quartet of Jack Givens, James Lee, Mike Phillips and Rick Robey combined to score 31 points.
• 1945: Kentucky almost doubled up Ft. Knox at halftime, leading 32-17, and widened the lead even more in the second half for a 59-34 win in the Wildcats' first game played after the conclusion of World War II. This was also the collegiate debut of future greats Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones and Ralph Beard. The duo combined to score nine points.
• 1950: Kentucky built up a 23-point lead at halftime over West Texas State and never looked back in their overwhelming 73-43 victory over the Buffaloes in the first game ever played in the Wildcats' new home, Memorial Coliseum. A crowd of 8,000 fans was in attendance to get the first look at the "White Elephant," and they saw center Bill Spivey lead all scorers with 18 points.
• 1959: Kentucky used a stifling defense, limiting the Colorado State Teachers College to just 31.2-percent shooting from the field, to breeze by the Bears, 106-73. The Wildcats had six players score in double figures, with Bennie Coffman leading the way with 18 points. This was the collegiate debut for Herky Rupp, the son of head coach Adolph Rupp. Herky scored two points and pulled down a rebound.
• 1965: Kentucky held Hardin-Simmons to just 29-percent shooting from the field in the Wildcats' 83-55 win over the Cowboys. This was the first game for the squad nicknamed "Rupp's Runts". The most notable players of the team - Larry Conley, Louie Dampier, Thad Jaracz, Tommy Kron and Pat Riley - combined to score 74 points for the Wildcats.
• 1970: No. 3 Kentucky defeated Northwestern in a high-scoring affair, 115-100, in a game in which the score seemed to be of secondary importance. Louisville native and sophomore center Tom Payne made history for the program as he became the first African-American to play in a varsity men's basketball game for the Wildcats. Payne ended up fouling out in the game, but not before scoring 14 points.
• 1971: No. 10 Kentucky shot well as a team, 55.2 percent from the field, in a 94-85 victory over Northwestern in a battle of Wildcats. Junior center Jim Andrews set a career high with 37 points, while also collecting 13 rebounds.
• 1998: No. 8 Kentucky had an outstanding performance on the defensive end of the court, holding No. 7 Kansas to a meager 29.4-percent shooting from the field, as the Wildcats upset the Jayhawks 63-45 in the Great Eight in Chicago. The Wildcats were led in scoring by senior Wayne Turner's 14 points.
• 2011: No. 1 Kentucky hosted a block party at Rupp Arena, rejecting 18 shots in the Wildcats' 81-59 win over St, John's. Freshman sensation Anthony Davis almost had the second triple-double in school history, scoring 15 points while pulling down 15 rebounds and blocking eight shots.
• 1961: Kentucky overwhelmed Miami (Ohio) on the glass, resulting in a plus-22 rebounding margin, as the Wildcats defeated the RedHawks 93-61. This was the collegiate debut for Kentucky legend Cotton Nash. And Cotton didn't disappoint in his first game, recording a double-double with 25 points and 17 rebounds.
• 1967: Kentucky overcame a poor shooting performance, just 40.6-percent shooting from the field, to defeat the Michigan Wolverines 96-79. The sophomore duo of Mike Casey and Dan Issel combined to score 46 points and pull down 29 rebounds in their collegiate debuts. But there was another collegiate debut of importance for the Wildcats. Mike Pratt, current analyst for the UK Sports Network, scored four points and collected four rebounds in his first varsity game.
• 2000: Kentucky, clinging to a slim three-point lead at halftime, outscored No. 6 North Carolina 55-41 in the second half to upset the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, 93-76. The Wildcats had five players score in double figures, led by Marquis Estill's 19 points. This was Kentucky's largest win over North Carolina since Dec. 9, 1963.
• 1949: Kentucky raced out to an 10-point lead at halftime over Indiana Central and pulled away in the second half for an 84-61 victory over the Greyhounds. Sophomore center Bill Spivey, Kentucky's first seven-foot player, scored 16 points in his collegiate debut. It was also the collegiate debut for C. M. Newton, who later went on to become the athletics director at Kentucky in 1989.
• 1980: No. 2 Kentucky, with a narrow one-point lead at the half against No. 9 Ohio State, outscored the Buckeyes 35-30 in the second half for the 70-64 win for the Wildcats in a matchup of top 10 teams. Kentucky was led by the performance of Sam Bowie, who recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
• 1996: No. 6 Kentucky practically couldn't miss, shooting 68.3 percent on 2-point field goal attempts, to overwhelm Purdue in a 101-87 victory over the Boilermakers. The pressure defense applied by the Wildcats also helped in the victory, forcing Purdue into 26 turnovers. Kentucky was led on offense by sophomore sensation Ron Mercer, scoring a career-high 30 points.
• 1997: No. 7 Kentucky used a balanced attack from behind the arc, with seven different players making a 3-point field goal, in a 89-75 upset win over No. 6 Purdue in a battle of top 10 teams at the Great Eight. The Wildcats had four players score in double figures, led by Nazr Mohammed's 19 points.
• 2011: No. 1 Kentucky, trailing No. 5 North Carolina by five points at halftime, needed a last-second block by Anthony Davis to secure a 73-72 win over the Tar Heels in an instant classic at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats were led by freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who recorded a double-double with team highs in both points (17) and rebounds (11).
• 1959: Kentucky possibly showed its fatigue from a cross-country trip to Los Angeles in the first half of their contest against UCLA, trailing the Bruins by six points at the break. But the Wildcats responded in the second half, outscoring UCLA 40-32 to squeak out a 68-66 victory over the Bruins and legendary head coach John Wooden. The Wildcats were led on offense by Bill Lickert's 23 points. Amazingly, Kentucky pulled out the victory despite having a negative-23 rebounding margin.
• 1964: No. 11 Kentucky raced out to an eight-point lead at halftime against Iowa and cruised in the second half to defeat the Hawkeyes by the same margin, 85-77. This was the collegiate debut of future Hall of Famers Louie Dampier and Pat Riley. The two combined to score 35 points for the Wildcats in their first varsity game.
• 1971: No. 10 Kentucky frustrated No. 14 Kansas on defense, forcing the Jayhawks to shoot just 36.3 percent from the field, in a 79-69 win in Allen Fieldhouse. Kentucky was led in the game by a couple double-double performances from Jim Andrews (26 points and 16 rebounds) and Tom Parker (16 points and 15 rebounds).
• 1982: No. 3 Kentucky raced out a 13-point lead at halftime against No. 4 Villanova and held on for the 93-79 win over the Wildcats in top five matchup in Rupp Arena. Kentucky shot an impressive 63.6 percent from the field, aiding in their victory. The Wildcats had five players score in double figures, led by Derrick Hord's 26 points.
• 1991: No. 14 Kentucky, with a modest five-point lead at the half, outscored Massachusetts 44-28 in the second half to run away with the 90-69 victory over the Minutemen. The Wildcats were led by sophomore Jamal Mashburn, who recorded a double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds. But Massachusetts had a couple of names that Big Blue Nation might know. The Minutemen were coached by John Calipari, and Calipari's current assistant coach Tony Barbee scored 13 points for Massachusetts.
• 1947: Kentucky had one of their best first-half defensive performances in school history, holding Tulsa to just five points, in a convincing 72-18 win over the Green Wave. Center Alex Groza led the Wildcats, who had 15 different players score, with 11 points. Only three players managed to make a field goal for Tulsa in the entire game.
• 1953: Kentucky had a convincing 17-point lead against Temple at halftime en route to their 86-59 win over the Owls. But this game was about one player and one player only. Senior center Cliff Hagan had the game of his life, setting a then-school record with 51 points scored, with a balance of 17 made field goals and 17 made free throws.
• 1977: No. 1 Kentucky shot 52.5 percent from the field in a 78-64 victory over border rival Indiana and legendary head coach Bob Knight. The Wildcats were led by the senior duo of Jack Givens and Rick Robey, who combined to score 42 points. This was Kentucky's first game in Rupp Arena as the top-ranked team in the country.
• 1987: No. 2 Kentucky, trailing No. 5 Indiana by two points at halftime, forced overtime and outscored the Hoosiers 11-5 in the extra period for the 82-76 victory in a classic with an ironic name, the Big Four Classic. The Wildcats were led by senior Ed Davender who was an iron man in the game, playing all 45 minutes and leading the team with 22 points.
• 1992: No. 5 Kentucky overcame a great shooting performance by No. 13 Georgia Tech, 54.2-percent from the field, to defeat the Yellow Jackets 96-87. The Wildcats were led by the duo of Jamal Mashburn and Rodrick Rhodes, who combined to score 54 points.
• 2009: No. 5 Kentucky overwhelmed No. 10 North Carolina in the first half, outscoring the Tar Heels 43-28, and held on for the 68-66 victory at Rupp Arena in a top-10 battle amongst rivals. The Wildcats were led in scoring by Patrick Patterson with 19 points. This was the first win over a ranked opponent under new head coach John Calipari for Kentucky.
• 2014: No. 1 Kentucky, struggling to a 26-26 tie with No. 6 Texas at halftime, outscored the Longhorns 37-25 in the second half for a 63-51 victory in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The Wildcats held the Longhorns to just 29.8-percent shooting from the field. Kentucky was led on offense by Willie Cauley-Stein, who poured in a career high 21 points and also pulled down 12 rebounds.