- Tuesday, January 5 1993 -
Kentucky - 74 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 2nd by AP]
Georgia - 59 (Head Coach: Hugh Durham) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 38, Georgia 24
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Indiana 81 - 78|||||Tennessee 84 - 70|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 2 No. 24. (All Rights Reserved)
I made it to this game last night in Athens although it took me several minutes to find someone with tickets for sale (there were many police around the arena, and I wasn't sure if they were there for traffic control or to stop scalpers).
The Georgia arena is shaped like a U, and Kentucky fans dominated the curved part of the horseshoe. We had at least 35-40% of the seats - my section was a solid wall of blue t-shirts and jackets, with a sprinkling of blue elsewhere. Several people had actually driven down that day from Lexington - I heard numerous discussions about travel routes from people in the rows behind me.
I didn't hear about it until the post-game show on WHAS, but apparently the team's plane had mechanical problems (a smoking engine) as they were rolling down the runway in Lexington, so they had to scramble and call up a bunch of alumni for last-minute chartered aircraft. They ended up getting 4. Pitino later was really profuse with his thanks for these guys, whoever they were, since otherwise everyone would have had to take various diverse commercial flights, and they probably would have just barely made it to Athens on time.
UK kept up its "tradition" this season of starting off cold for the first few minutes until they get warmed up. After 9 or 10 minutes, they were pretty much on cruise control. The Cats led by 14 at the half and they ended up winning by 15 when their 23 point margin was whittled away by the Wildcat reserves and by a Georgia team which wouldn't quit. The Kentucky staff expected their team to be tired from the ragged travel, the heat in the gym (boy, was it warm!), and stiffer opposition from the Dawgs than actually materialized.
Officiating was reasonably good - there were several bad calls, but they seemed to even out and didn't have any significant impact on the game. Roderick Rhodes took a shot in the nose from Kendall Rhine, and Rodney Dent slightly twisted his knee near the end of the game, but it was fairly clean overall and these injuries weren't major. The scoreboard failed several times, which was annoying, but after an overly long huddle, the refs continued as best they could.
Kentucky's press was beaten on several occasions, and a couple of Wildcats got into early foul trouble trying to stop breakaway layups, but overall the UK pressure bothered Georgia, which was clearly fatigued at the end of the game. Delk, Brown, and Harrison played passably at the point for stretches, although you can really tell the difference when Ford is in the game.
Hugh Durham got a technical foul near the end of the game for reasons none of us could ascertain (he didn't appear to me to be protesting a call, and although he might have been a half step out of the box, Pitino was 'way out all night and wasn't called. They just don't seem to make this call much in the SEC). Finally, I decided that he must have received it simply for "bad coaching." :-)
The Georgia players in today's Atlanta Constitution refused to give UK much credit for the victory, saying that they committed too many turnovers to expect to win such a game (Georgia had 27, 19 in the first half). Never mind that many of them were due to Kentucky's continuous pressure.
Georgia's Charles Claxton had a pretty good game, scoring 16 and nabbing 12 rebounds. He held Rodney Dent to 4 points, and Claxton seemed to be able to score at will when he got the ball down low (UK fortunately prevented this from happening too often). Mashburn had 26 points and scored almost whenever he wanted to, although he hit for only 2-6 from 3 point range.
Towards the end of the game, a large number of Kentucky fans who had seats almost on the floor began to cheer loudly "We want Todd" He didn't get in, unfortunately. Pitino later said that he was giving the team the next day off, which he's starting to do more often as a reward for good play. Although the Wildcats need a lot of improvement in several areas of their game, they are playing well at the moment.