- Sunday, March 7 1993 -
Kentucky - 85 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 5th by AP]
Florida - 77 (Head Coach: Lon Kruger) - [Unranked]
|Stacey Poole (*)||31||8||15||0||0||2||5||1||4||1||4||18|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 45, Florida 37
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Mississippi 98 - 66|||||Tennessee 101 - 40|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 2 No. 32. (All Rights Reserved)
Kentucky held on to defeat the Florida Gators in the O'Connell Center by 85-77 in a game televised nationally by ABC. This game saw the 3rd largest crowd in Florida basketball history.
Florida gained the early lead, but it was not significant, and UK pulled out to an 18-13 lead following a couple of three point shots. Jared Prickett continued to play well, making several nice drives and taps (this guy just LOVES to tap missed shots). Kentucky did not miss a three point shot for the first 10 minutes of the game, and they didn't miss many in the rest of the half. Mashburn was continually triple teamed, but he managed to draw fouls most of the time, and he hit moderately well on his FTs (9-12), although he managed only 16 points for the game.
The lead grew to 13 in the first half, with Florida playing well (especially Stacey Poole, who hit despite terrific defense against him) but Kentucky simply playing better. UK's only serious negative in the first half was a tendency to try to force some passes inside to Mashburn or Dent - several were sloppy and were easily picked off. Gimel Martinez was trying hard to perform well in front of a home-state crowd, but his only contributions early were to pick up fouls. One of these was a blown blocking call [JNB note - IMHO] of Martinez against Craig Brown. Gimel was about as set as you can be. But the big guy did manage to draw a charge against Poole.
Amusing incident of the game - Timberlake played a bit in the first half, and the ABC announcer (Roger Twibell?!) pronounced his first name "Ah-minu" with the accent on the first syllable. Poor Aminu did little except foul and fall down on Mashburn once, knocking a rebound out of his hands and back over to Florida. Timberlake did manage to go to the free throw line for the first time this season, where he promptly missed (he ended up missing 3 free throws for the game).
Dale Brown had a good first half, hitting some 3s and rebounding well for such a "small" guy. Poole ended the first half (where he scored 13 points) by hitting a tough shot (a 3 pointer?!) with 1 second left, with 2 Kentuckians right in his face.
In the second half, the lead varied from 8-10 points for quite a while, until UK had a run which stretched its lead to 15. Riddick had a couple of dunks which rated a 10, one on a particularly nice assist by Mashburn. Despite appearing to try hard, poor Rodrick Rhodes made nothing but bad passes all day, and he did not score a point. Although he chased after a couple of loose balls, he didn't really appear to be working very hard, so he will likely remain on the bench until he shows sparks of the old Rhodes of December and January. Rodrick had a superclean block of a Brian Thompson shot called as a foul - when it rains it pours.
With persistence (and some UK relaxation), the Gators narrowed the lead to 10 before a runout allowed Riddick to get yet another basket while being fouled (he missed the FT afterwards, however). Florida refused to quit, though, and the lead was trimmed to 9 with about 4 minutes left in the game. Very sloppy ball-handling (and a couple of uncalled hard bumps by Gator players against Travis Ford) resulting in turnovers allowed Florida to cut the gap to 5 at the 4:30 mark, before Prickett scored on a missed shot which was put in on the 3rd tip.
Some clutch rebounding and free throw shooting by Prickett at the 1:53 mark preserved the Kentucky lead and he nearly had a critical steal which would've immediately ended Florida's threat. The Gators pressed hard at the end but could hardly bit anything. A timely Dale Brown 3 pointer put the final nails in the coffin.