CITY- Kansas State sweated out
a 61 to 59 victory over Arizona last
night in the opening game of the Western NCAA basketball
tournament. All the contest thrills were packed in the final 10 minutes
when the Big Seven champions blew a 21 point lead except for the winning
Brigham Young University, striving for
basketball's double crown, sputtered to a 68-61 victory over
much-maligned San Jose State in the second game. The two games opened
the Western NCAA playoffs. With the final period half gone, Coach Jack
Gardner pulled his first team and inserted his reserves. The score was
54-33 at the time. Before he could get his stars back into action the
Border Conference team had cut the margin to 59-45.
Driving constantly, the Arizona team,
first round victim in the National Invitational Tourney at New York,
slashed the deficit to only three points, 60-57, on Bob Honea's basket
with about three minutes remaining. Roger Johnson looped in another for
the Far Westerners to make it 60-59 with 90 seconds left.
Kansas State repeatedly refused free
throws in those stirring last seconds to keep the ball, and just before
the gun Ernie Barrett sank the first of two gratis shots for the final
The eight team Western field will come up
with a champion Saturday night who will move on to Minneapolis for a
meeting with the Eastern king Tuesday to determine the NCAA titleholder.
Until the final Arizona spurt, the game
was all Kansas State with Ed Head, a brittle senior from Los Angeles,
Four times during his career at Kansas
State, Head had been sidelined by injuries, but last night he was sound
as a pre-depression dollar. He poured in 13 points, and starred under
both backboards. He was the victors' leading scorer.
Honea and Roger Johnson each collected 15
points for Arizona.
Arizona's dying gasp was in sharp contrast
to its spotty play in the first 30 minutes. Kansas State had built up an
11-1 lead in the first five minutes and left the floor at intermission
with a 36-20 edge
That bulge was brought about when Arizona
was shut off for five full minutes while Kansas State was hitting
sharply. The Big Seven kings kept right on having their fun at the start
of the second half and when Kansas State's lead went over the 20 point
mark Gardner sent in the reserves. Then, came the fireworks.
CITY- Big Mel Hutchins, BYU's All-American center, is a doubtful
participant in Saturday night’s NCAA consolation battle with Washington
University. The Cougar star injured his ankle against San Jose on
Wednesday and irritated it further against Kansas State Friday night,
according to Hack Miller, Deseret News-Sports Editor, covering the
Cougar tourney games.
Deseret News Sports Editor
CITY- The long hard grind to the 1951 grand slam basketball championship
has ended for Brigham Young University. Kansas State, living on an
18-point, 39-21, halftime lead, staved off an amazing BYU comeback to
win 64-54 and move into the finals of the western division playoffs.
Cougars will play Washington, 61-57 loser to Oklahoma A. & M. in the
other Friday night tussle, in the Saturday preliminary.
State is no better than the Utahans in our books. It was just the way
the game went.
Wildcats went completely mad at the front of the contest with a scoring
rampage that saw them sink 47 per cent of everything they threw. They
made 18 field goals in the first half to seven for BYU. The winners had
38 shots to BYU's 34. There's where the game was won.
given a chance by anyone at halftime, the Cougars went on a lark, after
slowing the game down in the first part of the second half, that saw
them scare the daylights out of half of Missouri and all of Kansas.
Richey opened the second half with a jumper. Hillman, in for Minson, who
was resting with four fouls hanging over his shining pale, went berserk
with four baskets and, before the third quarter was over, Kansas State
was ahead only four points, 49-45. It was right then that the Cougars
had proved their mettle and it looked like drapes for the Kansans.
Head and Rousey went to the foul line and before BYU could get in the
point columns again, they were behind 10 points with six minutes left.
and Hutch came up with a foul and tip in, but the Wildcats started a
stall that tore up the chances for the NIT champions.
fought to the last but couldn't beat that first half advantage.
story is best told in the shooting percentages. K-State shot 26-59 for
44 per cent. BYU had 22-68 for 32 per cent.
paid off, for the winners had 27-19 edge in defensive rebounds and a
19-11 margin on the offensive side. BYU trailed in assists, 4-6.
other factors played their ugly roles. Hutchins was benched early
because his game ankle was obviously slowing him up. Minson sat out most
of the game again when four fouls had him cornered. He didn't play the
first 14 minutes of the second half. Even then, the Cougars came up and
almost kicked over the dope bucket.
honors were spread all over both rosters with little Rob Rousey, a
substitute guard, getting the most with 13.
held big Lew Hitch to three field goals, two of them made when Hutch was
on the floor.
days of travel, tournament play, hotel lobbies showed on the Cougars in
this game. They were playing a team that had just left home for this
meet, a club that was virtually at home in the hall and a club that,
despite some opposition from hundreds of BYU rooters, was overwhelmingly
the idols of the patrons.
Cougars were defeated by a great club. That is not to be denied. But the
Cougars were mighty sweet again, even in defeat,
itself in a terrific hole the first half when the Wildcats ran up a
39-21 half-time edge.
was a reasonable explanation for it. The Wildcats were sensational at
the hoop and were running red hot.
shot 47 per cent- 18 baskets out of 38 against 21 per cent for BYU-
seven out of 34.
Cougars, if they made any mistakes, made the error of running with the
K-Staters. By half time the NIT champs had learned this wouldn’t work.
Watts benched Hutchins to give him a look at the game and hustled him
back in when BYU had watched a four-point deficit jump to 14.
fouls on Minson put the Cougars in a touchy spot as the second half
opened. Watts chose to save Minnie for whatever emergency that arose.
Oklahoman Sports Writer)
CITY, March 24- Kansas State's Big Seven champions, playing relentlessly
throughout, caught Oklahoma A&M on one of its coldest nights, routing
the Cowpunchers, 68-44, to win their first western NCAA basketball
championship in history.
standing-room crowd of nearly 11,000 fans watched the finals of this
13th annual tournament in Municipal Auditorium here Saturday night.
Jack Gardner will send his Wildcats against Kentucky in the national
finals at Minneapolis Tuesday night in a bid to give the Big Seven
conference its first NCAA cage title.
goes along to Minneapolis to play for national consolation honors
against Illinois, a 76-74 loser to Kentucky at New York City Saturday
did the Aggies go down to one of their most ignoble defeats since coach
Hank Iba came to the Stillwater school in 1934, but they also were
deprived of the services of stellar guard Keith Smith in the first three
minutes of play.
little black-haired scooter suffered a shoulder separation when he
collided with the Cats' Jim Iverson as they dived after a loose ball.
was taken to St. Joseph's hospital here and he will miss the trip
northward. It was learned after the game that Smith's injured right
shoulder would be placed in a cast.
the third loss for the Cowboys in three starts against Kansas State and
also ended their tremendous run in western NCAA competition which had
seen the Punchers win eight games in a row since the first appearance
here in 1945.
Aggies had one of their coldest nights of the season, hitting only 16 of
52 shots for a 31 percent average. Kansas State, meanwhile, was filling
the bucket full as Jack Stone, Lew Hitch and sub center Dick Knostman
led the way.
the big 6-3 Wildcat forward who sparked an early burst that left the
Pokes reeling, hit five goals in five attempts from the floor.
Johnson and Gale McArthur, the Aggies top scorers throughout the season,
did a complete about-face from their brilliant shooting against
Washington in the semifinals.
(AP)- Ever start your car up a long hill only to have it stop halfway to
the top because it ran out of gas?
also a description of Lew Hitch, Kansas State center, Tuesday night in
the NCAA title-deciding game which Kentucky won, 68 to 58 with a rousing
last half rally.
first half, Hitch, 6-foot-7 inch center, made 7-foot Bill Spivey, his
Kentucky rival, look almost inexperienced.
came the second half.
Spivey kept right on
going, Hitch all but stopped. And when Spivey took command of the
rebounding, Kentucky wiped out a two-point half-time deficit to saunter
to its third NCAA title in four years.
snagged nine rebounds during the entire game but only one came in the
second half. Spivey split his 21 rebounds almost down the middle with 12
coming after the intermission, which found Kansas State ahead 29 to 27.
fellow's efforts brought a successful close to the second year of Coach
Adolph Rupp's current three-year plan. He started almost from scratch
some 17 months ago with a band of sophomores and incidental upper
classmen. His aim was to
win the 1952 NCAA crown and a possible trip to the 1952 Olympics.
has the big title a year early. Nine of the ten men on the squad return
next season. Only exception is Roger Layne, third string center.
the title conquest, Rupp gave most of the praise to Spivey's amazing
second half effort but he also singled out Cliff Hagan for bouquets.
Hagan, who missed the final practices because of flu, entered the game
when it was almost 15 minutes old and with Kansas State ahead. Within
minutes the score was tied only to have Kansas State edge ahead again
and remain two points ahead at the recess.
the intermission, Shelby Linville potted a free throw and then Spivey
tipped in a two pointer to put Kentucky ahead. The blue grass Wildcats
never again trailed.
through the last half, with Spivey a demon under the baskets, the
Kansans went eight full minutes without scoring. That, combined with
Spivey, meant the ball game.
addition to his defensive work, Spivey was the game's leading scorer
with 22 points. That lifted his total to 72 for the four NCAA tourney
the big center was getting the praises of his coach and the
congratulations of his teammates, Coach Jack Gardner of the losing team
thought some of the Kentucky credit should go to Bobby Watson, stubby
faster than Ralph Beard, guard on the Olympic team," moaned Gardner.
was the game's leading scorer with 22 points. That lifted his total to
72 for four NCAA tourney games.
Kentucky, replacing City College of New York in the NCAA top spot, was
rated the No. 1 team in the Associated Press basketball poll.
foul-marked consolation game, Illinois defeated Oklahoma A & M, 61 to
46. Fifty personals were fouls were called, 31 on the Aggies.