xt7qz60bwg3m https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7qz60bwg3m/data/mets.xml Wildcat News Company 1977 Volume 1 -- Number 26 athletic publications  English Wildcat News Company Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. The Cats' Pause UKAW University of Kentucky Men's Basketball (1976-1977) coaches Hall, Joe B. Rupp Arena players Sale, Forest (Aggie) assistant coaches Parsons, Dick Thompson, Billy University of Kentucky Women's Basketball (1976-1977) Yow, Debbie UK vs. Mississippi State University (1977) UK vs. University of Alabama (1977) statistics schedules Cats' Pause Combs, Oscar The Cats' Pause,  5-Mar-77 text The Cats' Pause,  5-Mar-77 1977 2012 true xt7qz60bwg3m section xt7qz60bwg3m  1977, The Cats' Pause
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"SPOTLIGHTING UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY AND SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE" VOLUME 1  - NUMBER 26       SATURDAY, MARCH 5,  1977      LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY PAGE 2    THE CATS'  PAUSE, MARCH 5, 1977
We've Got To Shoot Better Against Vols
Question - This has to be one of Kentucky's biggest wins, especially when you're fighting for the SEC title down the stretch. How do you evaluate the win over Alabama?
Coach Hall- It was a very aggressive game. We played tough all forty minutes and Alabama played a great game. We just kept at it. I don't see how the score moved out there to fifteen points at the end. Robey had a real fine first half and Phillips played well. Larry Johnson had a super night, offensively and defensively. Jay Shidler found his shooting eye. La Von, Dwayne and Merion all came in and played well. I wished we could have played them even more but it was one of those kind of games where the pressure was constantly on us.
Question - Does this win sew you up an NCAA bid?
Coach Hall- No, the way we figure it we still have to win one more. We definitely want to be in the NCAA. Maybe we'll just play a little harder the next time out and we'll worry about the rest of them later.
Question - What's the difference in the 15-point win over Alabama here and the two-point win down at Alabama a month ago?
Coach Hall- We played harder up here. Both games we had a lot of errors and a lot of turnovers. Our defense was better here. We've made some adjustments from the game down there. We dropped our point man a little bit and tried to bring our post man out a little more.
Question - You must be pleased with your shooting and the fact that six players scored in double figures against Alabama.
Coach Hall- We shot awfully well the first half and we must have continued that the second half. Jack (Givens) was the only one who was off in his shooting and I'm not worried about that. Their zone was watching him pretty close.
Question - It was a close game the first half, but you slowly pulled away in the second period. What did you change at intermission?
Coach Hall- WE've been playing a little better the second half in recent games and that may have been the reason. We just continued to play hard. I don't know if other teams want to continue at that pace all night, but we did. We really did play hard that second half.
Question - Kentucky had several turnovers in the first half, in fact eight more than Alabama. What do you attribute that to?
Coach Hall- We were tense. There wa^a'JeVof'-te'n'sion.' We. could fell it
when we came out on the floor. The crowd was really up for the game. Our players were up, being on television. Both teams were tense, but we just let the ball sail when we turned it loose.', This was a real big win for us this time of year, for us to beat the No. 8 team in the country by 15 points, that really means something. It's a good show of power and we need to demonstrate that this time of year.
Question - You weren't too happy with the overall performance on the road the past two games.
Coach Hall- There were a Tot of things we could have improved on tonight, especially the turnovers in the first half. But we went to the boards hard. We just played hard. We couldn't ask for any greater effort than we played with. We made some mistakes, some of them correctable but you just can't complain when you get that kind of an effort.
Question - You're the first coach in SEC to win 100 games during his first five seasons. You just won 101 tonight. This must make you a happy man.
Coach Hall - I didn't know that. It's a tribute to my staff, to Dick Parsons, Leonard Hamilton, Jim Long, and Jim
Andrews. It's a greater tribute to our players. If they didn't play with the tremendous aggressiveness they've shown, that wouldn't be possible.
Question - Kentucky wasn't the same team which easily defeated Mississippi State a month ago nor was it the same one which rolled by the Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday. What happened?
Coach Hall - I've probably got less to say tonight than after any game we've had in a long time. I can't say very much good about the way we played. We were erratic in our passing and it took a lot of luck to win.
Question - Could your players have been looking ahead to the big game with Tennessee this weekend?
Coach Hall - I couldn't really say that. It was a bad thing if we were looking ahead. I had no idea we could play as badly as we did tonight and I don't mean to take anything away from Mississippi State. They had something to do with it with their aggressive defense and their toughness. Although I thought their aggressiveness got them into foul trouble early.
Question - State was hurt when it lost Ricky Brown with some six minutes to go and Kentucky trailing at the time. Was that the difference in
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the game?
Coach Hall - He hit about three in a row from the top of the key when they mde that run. It certainly was a break to get him out. We could have lost several players had we not protected them early by substituting for them.
Question - several of the Kentucky players said they were physically exhausted after the tough game with Alabama on television last Saturday. Do yOu think that could have carried over to tonight?
Coach Hall - It could have, I just don't know.
Question - The Tennessee game is now before you. What does Kentucky have to do differendy from the game a month ago to defeat the Vols for the SEC championship?
Coach Hall - We have to shoot better for one thing. We only hit 32.9 percent before. If we could play just the same and hit one more basket, we'd be all right. When we shot the 32 percent, the rest of our game wasn't that bad. We rebounded well, our defense was good. We do have to do a better job inside. We have to stop them from going inside as much as they did before. We'll try to prevent that with both our zone and man-to-man. Mainly, we can pick up our slack if we can just shoot better.
Question - Many people say you have to stop Reggie Johnson to beat Tennessee, but Georgia also stopped Ernie Grunfeld in the Bulldogs' upset of the Vols last week.
Coach Hall - Well, they also stopped Johnson with only two points. Of course, Grunfeld was in foul trouble. It would be mighthy nice if we could get him in foul trouble.
Question - Even though it wasn't one of Kentucky's finer games, you had to be happy with the win. It was better than an upset loss.
Coach Hall - Sure, we're pleased with any win, but not necessarily satisified. Anytime you win, you have to be happy and our boys seem to do what's necessary to win. They also play well enough to take care of the situation. That's one good thing about this bunch:
 PAGE 3    THE CATS'  PAUSE, MARCH 5, 1977
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"Good Luck to the Wildcats"
Claiborne Farm
Paris, Kentucky PAGE k   THE CATS'  PAUSE, MARCH 5, 1977
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qiw, the Cm'fate PAGE 5    THE CATS'  PAUSE, MARCH 5, 1977
Cats' Pause Publisher
How About A Football Repeat In Knoxville!
Sixteen of the eighteen SEC basketball games have gone by the board this season, but it's a whole new game as far as the Kentucky Wildcats and the. Tennessee Vols are concerned. The issue will be settled once and for all Saturday at 4 p.m. on NBC-TV in Knoxville.
Kentucky, 23-2 on the season and ranked second in the nation, fell victim to Tennessee earlier in the year at Rupp Arena by a 71-67 count in overtime.
It was one of the Cats' poorest shooting games of the campaign but that is not to take anything away from Coach Ray Mears' Vols. Tennesse has the most explosive offense in the nation with premier Ail-Americans Ernie Grunfeld and Bernard King.
All eyes will be on Knoxville and the winner will emerge as the SEC's official representative to the NCAA which will probably include a stop at Rupp Arena for the Mideast Regional semi-finals and finals.
Our prediction? Too close to call.
Spring is just around the corner and the Wildcats hit the diamond next week as Coach Tuffy Home has been sending his charges through indoor practices for some time.
Kentucky has the neuclus to better even last season's record when the Cats were SEC divisional champs. A big addition was the signing of pitcher Tim Branderburg who was offered a lucratice pro contract with Kansas City Royals, but turned it down for the Cats and an education.
Football spring practice begins on the grid-iron Monday and Fran Curci hopes to find some replacements for several talented offensive linemen who have played out their four years.
By the way, March 8 will be the date for the third annual Superior Scholar Athlete Lunchon at UK which honors all athletes with high academic standings.
The event will be held at the Student Center at 11:30 a.m. with former National Football League super official Tommy Bell as the speaker. Local sportscaster Denny Trease will be master of ceremonies.
A decision will be made in the next few months where the NCAA finals will be held in 1981 and the two finalists are Rupp Arena and the Superdome in Louisiana.
The NCAA likes to stay with university playing arenas and the word is out that Kentucky stands an excellent chance of being the selection. A big factor could be how smooth things are handled at the Mideast Regional here later in the month.
Jim Host & Associates of Lexington, the firm which has broadcasting rights to all University of Kentucky football and basketball games for radio, has also been awarded radio rights for all games of the NCAA tournament this year.
+     +     + 
Just a note to say we appreciate everyone's understanding of our situation the past few weeks. Things seem to be getting back to normal and we plan to provide you with top coverage of the Wildcats on the road to a fifth NCAA championship.
We've been handicapped in providing the coverage you're entitled to in the past three issues, but we hope to make it up to you now.
Also, our popular weekly UK sports quiz by Dewey Bentley will return to its regular schedule next week. Several of his quizes were destroyed during the great rainmaker and we have just received a new series.
HITS AND MISSES . . . "This is the cake-eatinest team I've ever seen," quipped Louisville sports columnist Dave Kindred in the Kentucky dressing room after the Cats' 85-70 win over Alabama when coaches, players and friends took part in a cake from the Committee of 101. The cake was presented minutes after Joe B. Hall had collected coaching win number 101 as head master of the Wildcats . . .
Also around was Kentucky booster Tombstone Johnny Owen all the way from Algona, Iowa, with his son. Prior to the Alabama game, Tombstone Johnny predicted a 10-point Kentucky win . . . Remember Mickey Gibson, the Hazard whiz who many though would become an All-American at UK before he was dismissed from the squad his junior year? Mickey now resides in Lexington and according to an Associated Press story, Gibson hopes, someday, that his son might be able to play for the Big Blue . . . Freshman Tim Stephens came out of surgery with flying colors Friday and doctors termed the operation a success. He is expected to fully recover and be ready to go full steam next season once the injured knee is healed . . . Even former UK cagers David Miller and Danny Hall may not be enough to save Bob Daniels' job at Marshall University. The Thundering Herd is-experiencing one of their worst seasons and the alumni are getting restless with the former coach at Kentucky Wesleyan. A wire story out of the West Virginia community says this may be Daniels' last go-around . . People in the media business around the state were shocked at the sudden "demotion" of Louisville Courier-Journal & Times executive sports editor Earl Cox to the position of a columnist. In a tune completely opposite to that which it preaches, the CJ & T provided readers with no explanation for the change and indicated that Cox had not asked for the new assignment. It was particularly shocking since the CJ & T sports -coverage is generally regarded as one of the best in America. According to some, the demotion came after others in the sports department had complained repeatedly of low morale and lack of understanding by Cox. That
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may be true, but you couldn't tell by reading the sports pages of the papers. The "putdown" of Cox certainly won't rank as one of the all-time favorite Barry Bingham moves . . . Another local favorite is in deep trouble with the natives and Dr. Bob Davis ma-have his days numbered at Auburn University. The Tigers are in danger of compiling a losing record and this comes just a few months after many had predicted Auburn would  be a challenger to the SEC title. Three-time All-SEC guard Eddie Johnson has not performed up to projected standards. The press is after the Davis program in Alabama while morale and discipline have   been   problems   this season according to people close to the scene. A   case   in   point   was Auburn's disappointing   home   loss   to LSU Saturday. Only 2,826 fans showed up for the game . . . Despite Kentucky's strong football showing in 1976 and the 21-0 Peach Bowl win over North Carolina, the weekly Football News lists Kentucky as only No. 26 for next season. It lists Tennessee as No. 23, has a two-page spread on new Vols coach Johnny  Majors,   then makes excuses for Majors by saying he has three road games "but they'll all be SEC toughies against Alabama, Kentucky and Florida." The other eight games will all be played in the state of Tennessee. Pitty poor Johnny .  . . Football News also lists Art Still as a third team pre-season choice on its All-America defensive team, but both Rod  Stewart  and Jim  Kovach are missing . . . Kentucky's football club will go through Pro Day this week. That's when representatives of the National Football League comes to town to clock times on all the UK Wildcats   as  well  as  weighing the players and checking their height. The annual affair takes away the problems of listing statistics to suit everyone's wishes ...  If you like to follow predictions, you'll love the picks of Basketball Weekly's expert staff for the  Kentucky-Tennessee  game this Saturday. The Five-man board is split 3-2 in favor of Kentucky defeating the Vols. Those favoring Kentucky predict the   Cats   by  2,   3   and   4 points respectively. The two liking Tennessee think the Vols will win by three points. All five like Kentucky and Tennessee in their season finales against Georgia and Vanderbilt respectively Monday night . . . There were some great signs in Rupp Arena Saturday for television during the Kentucky-Alabama battle. One of the best was the imitation of a national  hot  dog fast  food outlet, Weiner King. Complete with the logo, the UK students' sign read: "Bernard King, King of Hot Dogs, USA." Wait Now, Let Me Have This One PAGE 7   THE CATS' PAUSE, MARCH 5, 1977
it* see
With BiU Straub
Kentucky, Tennessee All Set For NCAA Trip
Regardless of WHAT Tennessee did at Georgia Saturday night and regardless of WHAT Kentucky is going to do in Knoxville March 5, the writing is pretty much already on the Southeastern Conference wall.
The question is no longer who will represent the SEC, but where. If there was ever any doubt of the outcome, it was more than taken care of last Saturday.
Here's the scenerio. Going into games of February 26, there were three teams vying for post-season NCAA slots. Kentucky and Tennessee had one conference loss apiece. Alabama had three.
Saturday the Cats and Bama faced off at Rupp Arena. A Tide victory would have totally clouded the SEC picture for at least another week. A Kentucky win would have pretty well decided things.
The reasoning is simple. Tennessee was very much favored to beat the ever-lasting asperations out of Georgia Saturday. That would have given them one conference loss to Florida.
Now if Kentucky did, in fact, lose to the Tide, it would have placed them in sole possession of second place with two losses. A victory would have kept coach C. M. Newton's club in third with three setbacks.
That would have made next Saturday's match-up between the Vols and the Cats unbelievably important. Although Tennessee--no matter what happened--would have had an airtight lock on an NCAA spot, Kentucky would have been forced to win Another loss would have set the Big Blue in a third place tie with Alabama. No telling what would have happened then.
If Bama had won and Tennessee had lost, things would have been even more cryptic. Coach Ray Mears' crew and the Cats would have been in a first place tie with two losses apiece. Bama would have been in second but only one game back.
That would have meant the loser of the Kentucky-Tennessee tilt would have been tied for second place instead of maintaining sole ownership. That, friends, would have been trouble in River City.
But as things turned out, the preceeding paragraphs were just an exercise in mental futility. Tennessee lost. Alabama lost. Kentucky won. The
race for the berths is all but over.
This is how it shapes up. Coach Joe Hall's Kentucky squad has three games left--against Mississippi State (already played as of this reading), Tennessee and Georgia. Even if they lose all three, the worst the Cats can do is wind up in a second place tie with Alabama. With two victories against the Tide under its belt, Kentucky appears to be a shoo-in.
Tennessee, on the other hand, has only two more games--against the Wildcats and Vanderbilt. If they lose both, they likewise can do no worse than a tie for second. The vols have also taken the measure of Bama twice. If two plus two does equal four, Kentucky and Tennessee should be the SEC's representatives.
That means only the outstanding question is where each team will play. The SEC champ starts off in the friendly confines of Baton Rouge--the home of LSU--before moving onto Rupp Arena--the home of Kentucky. That means if Kentucky can beat Tennessee and then go on to win its opening round match in the NCAAs, it will have a homecourt advantage heading towards the Final Four in Atlanta. Otherwise, a loss would send them to either North Carolina, Idaho, Arizona or some exotic berg like that.
The Cats would like the homecourt advantage. Tennessee would like to have the unfettered conference titl Although they are both almost guar anteed a spot, it should be quite a battle this Saturday. Stokely "Palace" is a difficult place for any visiting squad to win but Tennessee has been playing   rather   poorly   as   of late Kentucky,   on   the   other   hand, is surging.
Still, make it [groan] Tennessee by three.
What does the future hold for Alabama? Probably a trip to New York's National Invitational Tourn-ament--if it's held and they accept. It wouldn't be any surprise at all to find the Tide coming out on top in Madison Square Garden. After all, only two teams have beaten them all year long Unfortunately, they can both be found in the same conference.
Both important weekend games came as something of a surprise. Although Hall's crew led by only three at halftime, it gradually pulled away during the final twenty minutes of
action to record an 85-70 victory. It was the Tide's worst loss since falling to North Carolina in the NCAA tourney of 1975.
But the biggest shock--and the biggest upset of the 1976-77 SEC season-came late Saturday night. Georgia is the conference celler dweller. It has been all season long. For awhile it looked like coach John Guthrie's Dogs wouldn't win a Southeastern Conference game this season.
Well, they have won three. One of those victories sets them up as the spoiler and they get a crack at Kentucky in the season finale Monday.
"We had too many people who weren't concerned," Vols coach Ray Mears moaned after the affair. "The coaching staff was the only one concerned about this game tonight. It was an important game for us. We now have to be Kentucky and beat them to tie. Georgia was ready and we weren't."
Georgia led 46-39 at halftime and extended it to 70-58 midway through the final period.
But then Bernard King went to work. The Vols Ail-American forward who poured in a game-high 41 points--led a surge that produced 10 unanswered Volunteer points nd made it a two-point game.
Then the Dogs exploded. Center La Von Mercer sank a free throw. Walter Daniels banged home two straight lay-ups before Curtis Jackson added the crowning touch.
Ernie Grunfeld, the front half of the famed Ernie and Bernie Show, con nected for only 12 points in the game. I wonder who Mears was referring to when he said some of his people weren't ready?
ALABAMA--Tennessee wasn't the only SEC powerhouse to experience trouble with Georgia last week. The Tide got off to a shaky start February 21 and needed 21 points from center Ricky Brown to grab a 78-68 verdict
The game was tied lat 66-66 with 3:27   remaining.   The   Dogs tired however, and Bama took over from there.
AUBURN--The War Eagles won a rare Wednesday night encounter but continued their losing ways with an 86-76 loss to LSU Saturday.
Coach Dale Brown's Tigers trailed 44-43 at the half but grabbed a 68-60 advantaged with six minutes left after
the Plainsmen went stone cold from the floor. Auburn cut the lead to four several times but behind Kenny Higgs' 30 points and 24 more from freshman forward Greg Cook, LSU hung on.
FLORIDA-The Gators maintained their air-tight hold on fourth place in the conference with an 84-78 victory over Ole Miss in Gainesville Saturday.
As one of four teams over .500 in the conference, Florida used 20 points out of guard Richard Glasper to come from behind.
The two teams were even through most of the first half although Ole Miss held several leads. A 15-foot jumper by forward Rick Clarson handed the Gators a 34-33 advantage with 1:29 to go in the first half. The Rebels of coach Bob Weltlich never regained the lead.
GEORGIA--Hail the great conquering hero.
LSU--The Tigers took it easy before whipping Auburn. LSU has been a surprise in the conference holding down the fifth spot.
OLE MISS-The Rebs fell twice--to Kentucky February 21 and, of course, to Florida Saturday. They should have stayed in bed.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -Coach Kermit Davis' club continues to slump even though they probably have more talent than any other team except Kentucky and Tennessee.
Last Monday it was Tennessee's turn to belt the Maroons. The Vols worked up a whopping 39-25 halftime lead but starting taking it easy in the second stanza. State came out and scored the first ten points of the half to close within four.
Reserve guard Terry Crosby finally broke the Vol cold spell and brought his club back to life. Ernie Grunfeld helped after finding his shooting eye and before you knew it the score was 55-41. So much for that.
Then Saturday, Vanderbilt guard Dicky Keffer hit four free throws in the final 1:24 to upset the Dogs 68-66.
The Maroons led the entire first half but went into the lockerroom up only 35-33. Keffer and Greg Fuller led the second half surge and took the lead for good with 13:27 left.
After that it was gone, forget it, good-bye even though State did manage to stay close. It wouldn't be at all surprising to see the Dogs go coach hunting at the end of this campaign.
Cats Journey To Knoxville Saturday With Title On Line PAGE 8    THE CATS'  PAUSE, MARCH 5, 1977
1976-77 Kentucky Wildcat
Basketball Album
'Dick "Pcvi&w4> PAGE 9    THE CATS'  PAUSE, MARCH 5,   I 977
Six Cats Score In Double Figures
Big Blue Blasts Crimson Tide, 85-70
By MARK BRADLEY
For the first twenty minutes last Saturday, the Kentucky-Alabama tilt was a tight, pulse-pounding drama. Both teams battled each other up and down the Rupp Arena floor before a record 23,412 crowd with neither able to break the game open. The second half, it seemed, surely would be more of the same. But it wasn't.
The thrilling regionally-televised battle between two fo the nation's finest basketball teams turned into a showcase for the Kentucky Wildcats who rode an early second half surge all the way to a crucial 85-70 victory.
Although the game was a match-up of Bama's quickness versus UK's inside strength, the outcome was determined by the most important of basketball skills-shooting.
The Wildcats riddled the Crimson Tide with 57.8 per cent shooting from the field, while Alabama was able to connect on but 34.6 percent of its field goal attempts. Much of the Tide's shooting difficulty can be traced back to the tenacious defense thrown up by Kentucky. UK employed both a man-to-man and a zone defense. THe Cats' 1-3-1 zone forced Bama players to settle for outside shots, and they simply could not hit during the first five minutes of the second half, when Kentucky opened up a 12-point lead. Kentucky had led 38-35 at the half.
James Lee, the Wildcats' burly sixth man, served as a catalyst for the Cats' breakout after the intermission.
Lee started the second half after playing only a minute in the first period. He scored three baskets in a three-minute span, two coming on shattering slam dunks after the UK junior drove through virtually the entire Alabama team.
While Lee was putting on his act, the Bama players were giving a fine impression of five fellows shooting at a moving target. The Tide scored only one field goal in the first five and half minutes of the second stanza.
And, although Bama refused to roll over and die, the closest they could come to UK was seven points, 63-56.
Kentucky was led in the second half by Lee, and guards Jay Shidler and Larry Johnson. It was the shooting of the two back court men that kept Alabama from mounting a charge late in the game.
Shidler scored three baskets, all at key moments, in the second half and finished the game with 13 points.
For Johnson, the Alabama game was yet another in a series of outstanding performances by the UK co-captain this season. Larry hit seven of nine attempts from the field in the game and led Wildcat scorers with 16 points, 12 of which came in the final twenty minutes.
The Cats' two big men, Rick Robey and  Mike   Phillips,   also performed
well, as the pair combined for 26 points and 16 rebounds, and generally made things tough inside for the Tide's splendid Reginald King.
In a way, it was a shame that Kentucky's excellence in the second half broke the game open (from a neutral viewer's standpoint), because the first half was a thing of beauty, a pitched battle between two fine teams, both with hopes of post season play uppermost in their minds. Neither team led by more than five points in the first half, as the score was tied three  times  and the  lead changed
TOTALS 37-64 11-17
UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
hands ten times.
Both teams started off tight. Bama began by throwing up several wild, off-balance shots. UK wasn't any better as the Cats failed to hit the rim on their first three trips downcourt.
The action picked up after that, and soon reached a furoius plateau. UK and Bama were playing rugged defense, both were going to the boards well, and both played as if the national championship was on the line.
"We just went out and played hard-the whole way," said UK coach Joe B. Hall. "It was a real aggressive
42   22     85    17    20 200
35        35 ----- 70
38       47 ----- 85
basketball game and I thought Alabama gave a great effort."
"Everything seemed to fall in place in the second half," Mike Phillips said. "James slammed a couple and that really got us going."
Robey, Phillips' partner inside, called the win "one of our biggest of the year. They're a good ball club."
For the most part, the Alabama players were generous in their praise of Kentucky. T. R. Dunn said it best, "We played a real fine game, but Kentucky just played tougher."
King, who finished with a game-high 21 points, said the game was "one of the roughest of the year. I'd much rather play against a forward (than Robey and Phillips) because those guys are bigger and outweigh me."
Tide coach C. M. Newton said, "The key thing was James Lee in the second half. He played super at both ends of the court. He did an outstanding job on the boards, played well defensively, and took the ball to the basket well. I felt like he did a great job on Rickey Brown. He denied him the ball several times."
"The significant thing was the way Lee played on the boards," continued Newton. "I don't know how many rebounds he had, but he also kept the ball alive on the offensive boards. His play was probably the spark Kentucky needed to win."
Newton also said, "we played very well, everyone played hard. We just got beat by a tough, outstanding basketball team. I suppose the big difference in this and the first game (won by Kentucky 87-85 at Tuscaloosa) was that we didn't shoot well. We had pretty much the same shots we got the first time, but we weren't hitting."
And so, providing Kentucky gets by Mississippi State Monday, the conference chase will come to a head Saturday when Kentucky journeys to Knoxville with the Cats holding a game edge.
The Alabama players, who have lost only four games this season and all four to Tennessee and Kentucky, were reluctant to pick a winner in that game.
Anthony Murray, the Tide's lightning quick guard, said, "both teams beat us. I couldn't say one is better than the other."
"It's going to be a reall, real, real fine game between the two. Both are very fine clubs," Dunn said.
Rickey Brown said it would be a great game, "but I'd have to go with Tennessee because of the game being at Knoxville. They have awfully great shooters down there."
Newton refused to compare UK and UT, and said it would be like "comparing apples with oranges. They're totally different teams."
Attendance: 23,412 (New Rupp Arena Record) Officials:    Jack Manton and Red Strauthers
ALABAMA - 70
Player	FG	FT	REB	PF	TPS	AS	TO	MIN
T. R. Dunn	7-14	4-6	13	1	18	.....2	2	37
R. King	7-17	7-8	9	2	21	0	111	36
R. Brown	5-19	2-3	8	4	12	1		33
R. Scott	0-5	o-o	2	3	0	4	0	23
A. Murray	2-7	1-2	2	3	5	2	5	28
L. Russell	0-1	0-0	0	0	0	0	1	1
K. Looney	1-4	o-o	0	i	2	4	1	17
K. McCord	4-8	o-o	2	2	8	0	>0 .	13
D .  Bowerman	1-3	o-o	0	1	2	1	0	10
T. Bonds	0-0	2-2	0	0	2	0	0	rK
C.  Bragwe11	0-0	0-0	0	0	0	0	0	1
Team Rebounds			4					
TOTALS	27-78	16-21	40	17	70	14	14	200
KENTUCKY					-85			
Player	FG	FT	REB	PF	TPS	AS	TO	MIN
J . G i vens	4-13	2-3	7	2	10	2	3	36
R. Robey	6-8	1 -2	9	5	13	3	4	23
M.  Ph.i 1 1 ips	6-11	1-2	7	3	13	!	4	25
L. Johnson	7-9	2-3	6	2	16	7	4	36
J . Shidler	6-8	1-3	4	2	13	3	3	27
D. Casey	1-2	2-2	1	1	4	0	0	8
T. Claytor	0-2	0-0	,0	I	0	0	2	9
M. Haskins	1-2	o-o	0	2	2	1	0	8
J . Lee	6-9	2-2	4	4	14	0	0	20
L. Willi ams	o-o	o-o	0	0	0	0	0	8
Team Rebounds 4 PAGE 10   THE CATS' PAUSE, MARCH 5, 1977
1977 National Collegiate Basketball Championship
First-Round Re