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WALKER SCORES 29 AS CATS ADVANCE IN WEST REGIONAL

Date story was published: Friday, March 15, 1985

SALT LAKE CITY -- Kentucky made Marv Harshman say goodbye and probably silenced some of its critics last night by winning in the NCAA Tournament's West Regional.

The Wildcats' invitation to this tournament had been questioned, but their 66-58 victory over Washington was certainly convincing.

UK, now 17-12, took the lead for good at 14-12 on Kenny Walker's three-point play with almost 14 minutes remaining in the first half.

The Cats built up an eight-point edge in the second half, survived a scare when Washington closed to within one, then won going away at the foul line.

''It's good to get the first one," UK coach Joe Hall said. "We know the road to Lexington (and the Final Four) better than anyone."

With the victory, Kentucky advanced to a second-round game here at 5:40 EST Saturday against Nevada-Las Vegas.

Washington, co-champions of the Pacific 10 Conference, saw its season end at 22-10.

Last night's game also marked the end of Harshman's 40-year coaching career. The Washington coach is now officially retired with a 642-448 record.

Kentucky lost most of an eight-point lead in the late stages of the second half.

When Richard Madison hit a jumper, UK held a 48-40 lead with 8:08 to go.

It was cold-shooting UK's last field goal of the game.

Three straight Washington baskets, two improbable bankers by Paul Fortier, helped the Huskies cut the margin to 49-48 with 4:12 to go.

Walker, who finished with 27 points, came to the rescue, hitting four straight free throws to keep Kentucky ahead.

In protecting its lead, UK hit 17 of 20 free throws in the final 3:54.

Ed Davender converted five of six in the stretch run.

Unpopular because of its inclusion in the field, Kentucky made a few more enemies in an 11-4 run that pushed the Cats into a 46-38 lead with 8:56 remaining.

During the spurt, in which Kentucky ran off seven straight points, Ed Davender appeared to deck Shag Williams near midcourt. He then took the ball and drove for a basket.

After the play, which increased UK's lead to 44-38, he was booed by all contingents represented here except Kentucky's.

Richard Madison, playing his best game since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Feb. 15, hit a jumper to cap the UK charge. It put the Cats up 46-38 with 8:56 remaining. Besides Walker, Madison was the only UK player to score in double figures. He finished with 10.

Walker scored the first five points of the run. He rebounded home a basket, then hit three free throws.

James Blackmon's jumper made it seven straight points, putting UK ahead 42-34.

So desperate was Washington, it rushed Christian Welp back into the game after Blackmon's basket. Welp had four fouls, but with 11:43 left, the Huskies could not wait.

In one five-minute period, when UK appeared to take control, Washington managed just two baskets.

The game may have had a late starting time (11:43 p.m. EST) and been played at high altitude (4,200 feet above sea level), but there were few other unusual developments in the first 20 minutes.

Walker's 16 first-half points pushed Kentucky to a tenuous 27-24 lead at intermission.

After Walker, UK's leading scorer and rebounder all season, the Wildcats' next biggest scorer was Winston Bennett with three.

Also as expected, Detlef Schrempf led Washington. The 6-foot-9 West German scored eight points and passed for three baskets in the first half.

Thanks to Walker and Schrempf, neither team could forge more than a six- point lead in the first half. Kentucky had that margin twice (18-12 and 20-14), both coming on Walker baskets.

On the first, Walker posted low, crashed into 7-footer Christian Welp for a pass and hit a turnaround.

Walker's hoop that made it 20-14 also came over Welp, this time a short bank shot off the fast break.

Washington came into the game as the Pacific 10's best defensive team. The Huskies lived up to that billing. UK shot only 40.7 percent in the half. Walker's 7-for-10 shooting saved the Cats because Kentucky's other four starters were four of 17 from the field.

One surprise came when the Huskies opened in a man-to-man defense instead of their reliable 2-3 zone.

It took only a little more than six minutes and four Walker baskets over Paul Fortier to push the Huskies into their favorite zone.

Back-to-back baskets by Walker, including a layup he manufactured under Welp after grabbing a rebound on the other side of the basket, shot Kentucky into the lead at 14-12 with 13:47 remaining. UK maintained the lead through intermission.

UK also changed defenses in an effort to spot Washington's main man.

The Cats opened in a man, with Bennett assigned to Schrempf. The West German had only three baskets against UK's man, but his passing was effective.

Hall went through three centers - Bret Bearup, Robert Lock and Cedric Jenkins - looking for help-out defense against Schrempf's passes.

Schrempf passed for two layups in the first four minutes. After the second, by Shag Williams, Hall replaced Bearup with Lock at the 16:33 mark.

Lock was gone at 13:47. Welp, who also had eight first-half points, had driven around Lock for a layup.

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