- Sunday, February 6 1994 -
(at East Rutherford, NJ)
Kentucky - 67 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 7th by AP]
Massachusetts - 64 (Head Coach: John Calipari) - [Ranked 11th by AP]
Halftime Score: Massachusetts 36, Kentucky 29
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Alabama 82 - 67|||||Arkansas 82 - 90|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 3 No. 23. (All Rights Reserved)
Cats Mash a Mob of Marvelous Minutemen:
Kentucky continues to "win ugly", but they were successful last Sunday in the Brendan Byrne Arena at the New Jersey Meadowlands, defeating UMASS!!! by 67-64.
Both teams sported 17-3 records coming into the game. Lou Roe started the scoring for the Minutemen, and he went on to have a terrific game with 28 points and 13 rebounds. UMASS!!! found out quickly that they could pass completely over the UK press to force a 1-on-1 situation down low. Kentucky appeared very tight at the start of the game, creating more than their usual share of turnovers and exhibiting poor ball-handling. Especially frustrating were the numerous rebounds all day which weren't quite controlled by the Wildcat players.
UMASS!!! built a 5-2 lead before Prickett had a shot goaltended to bring UK to within one. Lou Roe quickly discovered that no UK inside player could stop him. He made many key rebounds and steals to help the Minutemen. A pair of Delk shots brought UK into a 9-9 tie, then Rhodes put the Cats ahead by 2. Kentucky blocked 2 UMASS!!! shots on the next possession. Rhodes, playing in front of many of his hometown friends, looked out of control on occasion with silly fouls and less-than-desirable shots.
Kentucky built up a 6 point lead (their largest of the game) at 18-12 following a flurry of activity during which UK had 5 shots on basket in one possession. Roe and Padilla brought the Minutemen back to within 1, and then the lead varied from 1 to 5 points for the Cats. In one sequence, Dontae Bright deliberately hit Jared Prickett in the face while going for a rebound - the refs saw this one. UK built its biggest lead at 27-18, but then UMASS!!! went on an 18-2 run. Many times Kentucky basically had possession of rebounds from missed UMASS!!! shots, but the players didn't control the ball and UMASS!!! would steal them away (this was most common for McCarty and Riddick). A pair of nice Padilla 3s ended the half, with the Minutemen up by their largest lead, 36-29. At the half, Prickett and Delk led the Cats with 8 each, Lou Roe led UMASS!!! with 14. Roe had 7 rebounds, Prickett 11 (6 of them offensive!).
In many recent games, UK would experience an explosion to start the 2nd half, but in this one, the Cats steadily chipped into the 7 point Massachusetts lead with shots by Martinez and Delk. UK's press was a bit more intense, and did force a few more turnovers by the Minutemen. After a Prickett dunk and a critical Brassow 3, UK pulled to within 1, and (shades of the NCAAs 2 years ago in Philadelphia!), Coach Calipari got a technical foul for "demonstrating" against an official. Ford made his FTs to give the Cats a 44-43 lead. Coach Calipari was really got hot after he was assessed the T, and was rather lucky not to get a second technical. Immediately afterward, another Brassow 3 put the Cats up 47-43.
UMASS!!! battled back. Dontae Bright tied the game at 51-51, and Roe put the Minutemen up 53-51. Soon after Tony Delk hit a 3 to tie the game at 55-55. A crucial Brassow 3 put the Cats up 58-55, but FTs by Roe and a shot by Bright put Massachusetts up 60-59. UMASS!!! led until Prickett tied the game at 64-64 with 1.5 minutes left. Two Rhodes FTs and 1 of 2 Prickett FTs ended the scoring for UK, and that was the game, 67-64. UMASS!!!'s Dontae Bright had one last 3 point shot as time expired, but it didn't go in. UK held Lou Roe without a point in the game's final 3 minutes, and Kentucky scored the game's last 7 points. Riddick had a poor game, scoring only 2 points in the first half, and Martinez wasn't much better with only 4, but once again Prickett and Delk came to the rescue, assisted by clutch 3 point shooting by Jeff Brassow.
Coach Pitino was very complimentary towards John Calipari after the game. He mentioned that Calipari claimed that the game would be a home contest for Rick with his New York connections (it wasn't). And when he was asked about the upcoming Arkansas game, he smilingly asked "Who do we play next?"
Edgar Padilla shoots over Rodrick Rhodes