Date story was published: Wednesday, December 5, 1984
Point guard Butch Moore hit a jump shot in the lane with four seconds to lift Southern Methodist over Kentucky 56-54 last night at Rupp Arena.
Moore's shot, which accounted for two of his 12 second-half points, raised No. 8 SMU's record to 3-0.
The upset-minded Wildcats lost for the first time in 23 home games and fell to 1-2.
Moore's shot under pressure typified the kind of tension that was apparent throughout the game as the inexperienced Wildcats refused to yield. SMU never led by more than 11 points in the game despite returning five starters from last season's 25-8 team.
The lead changed hands three times in the final 2:05.
James Blackmon's layup off a feed from Bret Bearup gave UK a 53-52 lead with 2:05 to go. It was Kentucky's first lead of the game.
SMU snatched the lead back when 7-foot center Jon Koncak rebounded a miss and layed the ball in with 90 seconds remaining.
UK got even when Kenny Walker made one of two free throws with 1:17 to go. That missed coupled with three other misfires from the line down the stretch loomed large.
SMU got two chances at the game winner. Power forward Larry Davis missed a post-up shot, but the Mustangs got the ball back when Troy McKinley was called for a foul against Koncak on the rebound.
The second time was a charm as Moore drove by McKinley and hit the shot.
Blackmon's heave from midcourt bounced off the back of the rim at the buzzer.
UK coach Joe Hall chased the officials off the floor claiming the Wildcats had called for a timeout after Moore's basket.
The two teams traded scoring spurts and elbows in a first half that saw SMU grab a 31-25 lead.
The early minutes belonged to the Mustangs. Their rugged and seasoned front line ruled the inside.
The acrobatic Wright took care of the finesse work. He scored 17 of his points in the first half alone. Ten of those points came in the first eight minutes when SMU shot out to a 19-8 lead.
UK fought back (almost literally) when Winston Bennett entered the lineup at the 13:08 mark. Bennett needed only seconds to make his presence felt (again, almost literally). Bennett nailed Larry Davis, SMU's 6-7 senior power forward, with an elbow.
The two players had to be separated.
But the rough stuff, at a less obvious level, continued through a first half that was not for the fainthearted.
With Bennett supplying the muscle, UK fought back. Although the sophomore forward from Louisville had only two points at intermission, his fearless attacks at the SMU 2-1-2 zone defense seemed to give the other Wildcats spirit to continue the fight.
Outside jumpers got UK back in the game. Paul Andrews, who lost his starting guard position in Kentucky's lineup shuffle, hit three from outside in a four-minute stretch. The last jumper UK narrowed the UK deficit to 22-21 with 6:42 remaining.
SMU got a breather when Kenny Walker was called for goaltending on a Koncak post-up shot. That made it 24-21.
Wright took over from there, hitting two jumpers and a free throw to push SMU to safer ground.
Koncak scored only four points in the half, but the 7-footer was certainly a factor. Koncak lead everyone with five rebounds and four blocked shots.
UK had to alter the arc on several shots to get them over Koncak. That was a factor in UK's dismal 37.5 percent field-goal shooting in the half. UK made just 12 of 32 shots.
UK begins a two-game road trip Saturday at Indiana. Notre Dame beat the Hooisers 74-63 last night in South Bend, Ind. UK plays at Louisville the following Saturday, Dec. 15.