- Sunday, February 27 1994 -
Georgia - 59 (Head Coach: Hugh Durham) - [Unranked]
Kentucky - 80 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 7th by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 30, Georgia 30
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Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 3 No. 26. (All Rights Reserved)
Cats Destroy A Den of Delirious Doggies:
UK avenged one of its 5 losses with an 80-59 defeat of Georgia in Rupp Arena last Sunday. The margin of victory was generated entirely in the second half - Georgia and UK were tied at 30-30 at the half.
Claxton blocked Riddick's first shot, but Tony Delk hit a 10 footer to put UK up 2-0. Bulldog guard Cleveland Jackson was goaltended by Rhodes but no call was made and UK got the ball. Georgia started off 0-4 from the floor, with UK not much better at 1-6. Jackson picked up 3 quick fouls in the first 3 minutes and sat for the rest of the half.
Georgia's Davis hit a 3, and a dunk and FTs by Charles Claxton put the Dogs up 6-2 early. Three point shots by Delk and Martinez (who banked his!) and a Prickett basket were sandwiched around an over-the-press pass and basket by Anderson, to give the Cats a 10-8 lead. Georgia went on a surge (aided by Kentucky turnovers and cold shooting) to go up 18-12 on an old fashioned 3 by Anderson, a 3 by Davis, Anderson FTs, and a nice twisting move by Brown under the basket. Prickett stemmed the flow by hitting 2 FTs, and Kentucky made an 8-0 run over 1.5 minutes (on two 3s by Harrison) to go up 20-18 with 7.5 minutes left. Claxton banked a shot to tie the game, then Georgia went on a mini-run to go up 23-20 on FTs by Davis.
Travis Ford started to lead a fast break down the court following a Georgia miss, but he pulled a hamstring (and walked with the ball). Ford was in obvious pain, and was helped to the bench as worried UK fans looked on. He went to the dressing room a few minutes later, and said he wanted to get back in the game, but the Kentucky coaching staff was taking no chances and he didn't play the rest of the way. Epps took his place at the helm. Georgia went up by as much as 27-20 before Kentucky pulled to within 30-28 on McCarty and Prickett FTs and a McCarty basket. Martinez closed out the half with 2 more FTs to tie the game 30-30 at intermission (Brown took a final shot for Georgia but didn't make it). There had been 5 ties and 7 lead changes in the first half. Both teams had suffered from sluggish shooting, with the Cats hitting on 33% and Georgia 31% of their field goals. Kentucky was 4-11 from 3 point range, the Dogs 3-5. UK had a 24-22 rebounding edge. The UK starters had only scored 14 points.
Epps replaced Ford in the starting lineup for the second half. The half began with a a Georgia turnover on Claxton, then Riddick allowed himself to be tied up with a jump ball called. Delk missed a shot, then Georgia had another turnover. Kentucky's defensive pressure was increased, and it bothered the Bulldogs. With the score still tied, UK began a terrific rally which began at this point, as follows:
1. Riddick was fouled by Claxton, and hit 1 of 2 FTs.
2. Davis turned the ball over, Delk missed a shot, McCarty tipped the ball in. 33-30 UK.
3. Epps stole the ball, Rhodes laid it in. 35-30 UK.
4. Delk stole the ball, Rhodes traveled with it. Georgia had a 3-on-1 fastbreak, but turned the ball over. Rhodes got a dunk, UK led 37-30.
5. Anderson lost the ball to McCarty, Delk dunked, UK 39-30.
6. Epps stole the ball on a Davis pass, Riddick scored, 41-30 UK.
7. Jones threw the ball away, Rhodes made a basket and was fouled by Claxton. He hit his FT, UK led 44-30.
8. Claxton missed 2 shots inside, then Strong missed, but Riddick fouled Claxton on the rebound. Claxton missed his FTs, and Prickett hit a 12 footer on UK's possession. Cats 46-30.
9. Georgia lost the ball again, Rhodes was fouled by Jones and hit his FTs, and UK was up 48-30 with about 15 minutes left in the game. Georgia experienced turnovers on their 1st 9 possessions in the second half.
The Dogs were obviously discombobulated by UK's pressure and finally got on the board in the second half with a Claxton basket and foul on Delk for an old-fashioned 3. The Dogs then mounted a bit of a comeback as Davis got a layup after Delk missed a 3. Epps turned the ball over and Robinson scored, then Riddick lost the ball (on a poor lob pass by Rhodes) and Davis hit a 3 to cut to within 48-40. Harrison got a critical steal and got the ball to Delk who scored to pull out to 50-40. Claxton dunked and Strong hit one of 2 FTs to close to 50-43, before Harrison hit another long 3 to ease the Cats to a 53-43 margin with 11.5 minutes remaining. Epps stole the ball for a breakaway basket. Neither side could connect for a while, until McCarty fouled Brown who hit both FTs. Delk was fouled by Bell, and he hit his FTs. Kentucky managed to cause more Georgia turnovers (they finished with 29 for the game, 20 in the second half) at this point, but UK often didn't always score points off them. A questionable foul by McCarty against Anderson allowed Georgia to connect on 2 more FTs, but Anderson returned the favor to Walter and McCarty also made his FTs. Delk scored after this on a steal to put the Cats up 61-47.
Anderson made 2 more FTs after a McCarty foul, when Brown was holding Rhodes. After Rhodes had stepped to the line and was given the ball, the officials (who aren't supposed to stop play at that point) stopped to verify that Rhodes was indeed the recipient of the foul (to a loud chorus of boos by Rupp Arena fans). Rhodes missed his FT, but yet another Bulldog turnover gave the ball back to the Cats. Epps was fouled by Brown and made 1 of 2 FTs. An Anderson layup made the score 62-51 UK. First Martinez, then Anderson shot airball 3 point attempts, before Delk was fouled and made 2 more FTs.
After an Epps steal, Prickett rebounded a missed shot and made a move for the basket. He was absolutely hammered when Brown fell on top of him in attempting to block his shot, and the crowd erupted when the nearest ref called Jared for walking as he fell to the floor. A careful examination of the videotape showed that the ref was right - Prickett walked just before he was knocked down. The official was a little slow making the call (making everyone think that he missed the obvious hard contact on the part of Brown), but he got it right in the end, despite the crowd displeasure.
Georgia couldn't convert after this, and a Delk 3 put UK up 67-51. A pair of Brown FTs with 4 minutes left brought the Dogs to within 14. A Georgia 3-on-1 fast break was broken up by Tony Delk, and Jones airballed another 3 attempt. A Robinson layup and a Rhodes dunk were exchanged, after which a Rhodes steal was made which ended with a foul against Harrison, who sank both his FTs to set a new scoring record for Chris (12 points). Another Rhodes steal of the inbounds pass and subsequent layup up UK up 73-55, and was followed by a single Martinez FT and a Prickett dunk to make it 76-55. Jones hit an 8 foot shot, then Anderson fouled Rhodes who was burning up the clock. The game ended with Rhodes hitting his FTs, Delk making a steal and layup, and Jones hitting 2 FTs from an Epps foul, for a final score of 80-59.
Pitino said in his weekly TV show that he was very proud of the defensive pressure the team was able to exert in the second half, and noted that he counted 33 second half deflections, 11 of them from Rodrick Rhodes. Georgia's Shandon Anderson called Kentucky's press "20 minutes of hell."
Tony Delk soars for a lay-in
Chris Harrison defends against Carlos Strong
Anthony Epps looks for an open man