- Saturday, February 20 1993 -
Georgia - 70 (Head Coach: Hugh Durham) - [Unranked]
Kentucky - 86 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 2nd by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 42, Georgia 33
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|South Carolina 87 - 66|||||Tennessee 77 - 78|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 2 No. 30. (All Rights Reserved)
Cats Bite Dogs!:
The Wildcats showed a few streaks of brilliance, interlaced with moments of coasting in their 86-70 over Georgia last Saturday afternoon in Rupp Arena.
Jamal Mashburn had his second highest point production of the season, scoring 30 points in 34 minutes of play. He also collected 14 rebounds and 3 assists, and except for continued problems at the free throw line and a handful of turnovers, he performed stupendously. In the first half when Kentucky seemed to be foundering, Mashburn almost single-handedly brought them back and shot them ahead of Hugh Durham's Dawgs. Mash has been averaging 27.3 ppg in the last 3 contests, 24.5 ppg and 8.2 rebounds per game for the season.
Georgia had won 4 of its last 5 games, but their string stopped here. While the Bulldogs started off hot (and UK started sluggishly) and took a 9 point lead very early (at 11-2), Kentucky steadily came back (on the strength of Mashburn's shooting, mainly) to pull ahead, and from there on they never looked back. The Cats went on a 23-4 spurt over a 9 minute stretch in the middle of the first half. UK briefly held a 14 point lead in the first half, but the Dawgs managed to whittle it down to 9 at the half. Mashburn already had 18 points and 9 rebounds by the half.
Prickett started his second game in a row, but he was largely ineffective and was rapidly replaced. Rodrick Rhodes didn't exactly have a terrific game either, but he did at least make some free throws and got a couple of assists. The Bulldogs center Charles Claxton got off to a good early start against Dent, but he cooled quickly (some say he tires easily because of his size). Dent played reasonably well, although he missed a thunderous dunk which must've been terrifically embarrassing!
Pitino allowed unusual mixes of players to work together, and sometimes the chemistry was lacking. Braddy, Harrison, Brassow, Riddick, and Martinez were together a bit, and this group didn't seem particularly synchronous. But Rick must be looking to keep his charges happy regarding playing time, and he needs to give Harrison some experience [JNB note - Harrison, who I had earlier written off as almost hopeless, may be able to handle the point position after all. In the last couple of games, he has actually looked reasonably good, although he's obviously no Travis Ford! :-)]
The defense looked good at times - Kentucky got a couple of 5 second calls, a 10 second call, and got a few inbounding steals. Within the first 5 minutes of the second half, UK had built a 21 point lead and threatened to break things open, but again Rick fiddled with the lineup, and the 2nd (and 3rd) stringers couldn't maintain such a lead. Kentucky had one glaring defensive lapse where a Bulldog player right next to the basket was unguarded on an inbounds play, and of course he made the easy shot (such sights are rare at Rupp, however).
This game had a couple of flurries of activity, too. On one possession, Georgia missed 5 shots (including a Claxton dunk attempt) before finally making their 6th shot. Another time, they got 4 offensive rebounds in a row on one possession before UK grabbed the ball and went down court. There were also a couple of pretty no-look assists, one by Mashburn to a wide-open Ford under the basket, and one by Delk to an almost-as-wide-open Jeff Brassow, who played one of his better games since his knee surgery. Towards the end of the game, Mashburn pump-faked a shot from at least 35 feet out (maybe more), to the gasping delight of the crowd. He later said he just wanted to see how the fans would react to such a move.
Jamal Mashburn (#24) shoots
Mashburn (#24) dunks over Georgia's Shaun Golden