Why it matters: Any list of the top opponents to play in the Roundhouse would include San Francisco center Bill Russell. The defending NCAA champions drew a capacity crowd of 10,500 (with some fans turned away) early in the 1955-56 season. USF, atop the AP and UPI polls, is the first No. 1 team to play at Wichita.
Date: Dec. 20, 1955
Short version: USF won its 35th straight game with a 75-65 victory over the Shockers and were on their way to a then-record streak of 60. The Dons led 37-31 at halftime and built their lead to double digits most of the second half. Russell and Wichita’s Bob Hodgson led all scorers with 17 points. WU’s Joe Stevens added 13. The Shockers out-rebounded the Dons by 10, drawing praise from USF coach Phil Woolpert. Shockers coach Ralph Miller said his team played its best game of the season.
More details: Both teams shot well from the field – USF made 30 of 56 (53.6 percent) and the Shockers 25 of 55 (45.5 percent). USF star K.C Jones added eight points and Hal Perry scored 14. WU’s Don Woodworth scored 11. The loss dropped WU to 4-3 and snapped a four-game win streak in the first season at the WU Fieldhouse (later to become Koch Arena). The Dons finished the season 29-0 and defeated Iowa to win another NCAA title.
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Oddly enough: Woolpert reprimanded the crowd for booing his players at the line, causing Miller to apologize for their behavior.
Quotable: “The player going to the free throw line should not be subject to criticism for a foul he did not call. I do not believe our poor free throwing could be put on the actions of the fans, but I do not believe it is fair to the player to have to face it.” – Woolpert
Quotable II: “I cannot excuse the booing. We just do not have well-behaved fans here.” – Miller