- Sunday, January 1 1995 -
Kentucky - 86 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 5th by AP]
Louisville - 88 (Head Coach: Denny Crum) - [Unranked]
|Jason Osborne (*)||32||3||7||1||4||5||6||6||3||2||2||3||6||12|
|Tick Rogers (*)||31||2||9||0||1||7||8||3||3||2||2||1||3||11|
|B.J. Flynn (*)||17||3||9||0||0||3||4||5||0||2||1||0||4||9|
|Beau Zach Smith||8||2||3||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||1||0||0||4|
Halftime Score: Louisville 40, Kentucky 36
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Marshall 116 - 75|||||Auburn 98 - 64|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 4 No. 26. (All Rights Reserved)
Where's the Brains?:
UK looked like a team playing a season opener, rather than its 8th game, as it went down to defeat at the hands of the Louisville Cardinals by an 88-86 margin at Freedom Hall on New Year's Day. UofL set a team blocking record with 17 (versus 3 for the Cats), and allowed Samaki Walker a triple double with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 blocked shots. [JNB note - according to the CBS announcers, Billy Packer and Jim Nantz, this was a home attendance record for Louisville too, but their broadcast was so poor that I must admit I have my doubts about this claim. If so, it was a Freedom Hall record for UofL only - Kentucky has had over 20,000 in FH on multiple occasions.] CBS mentioned that Crum had never lost 5 in a row to any opponent, and this non-losing streak stood him in good stead for this game.
UofL jumped out to a 6-1 lead on shots by Samaki Walker and Tick Rogers. Kentucky received good shot chances, but didn't finish. McCarty pulled the Cats to within 6-4, but UofL surged ahead by 14-7 when the Cats could only manage an old-fashioned 3 point play by McCarty but the Cards had an Osborne 3, a Walker FT, a Rogers fadeaway in traffic, and a Johnson follow-up of an Osborne miss. During this run, Delk had 2 shots blocked on a single possession, and the Cats quickly learned that weak inside shots (or close-in shots by guards) were typically rejected. Also during one unusual possession, Osborne had the ball while sitting on the floor, and he appeared to hand the ball off to Johnson, but the officials thought he had been tied up by a UK player, so they called a jump ball and gave possession to UK (Rodrick Rhodes threw the ball away, and appeared to be having a terrible day).
Later Louisville led 21-11 as they got balanced scoring from Wheat with a 3, a layup by Walker over the Kentucky press, and a nice inside move by Smith for 2. [JNB note - CBS, in showing a replay of Smith's basket, forgot to show UofL stealing UK's inbounds pass.] Delk hit a long 3, Antoine Walker hit on a slicing layup, and Sheppard drove for a basket and hit a pair of FTs to close to within 21-20. The Cats' defense also forced a 10 second violation on UofL, but for the most part the Cards solved Kentucky's press and exploited it for easy layups. UofL pulled out to a 26-20 lead, but the Cats came right back and the score was tied at 28-28. Pope had several open 3 point opportunities, but he hesitated just long enough to allow the defense to come up to him. Layups by Flynn, a dunk by Simms, and some scattered FTs ended the 1st half scoring for the Cards while Kentucky had a 15 footer from Sheppard and some Sheppard FTs to make the halftime score 40-36. UK was only 2-10 from 3 point range (after hitting so well against Marshall), and had hit under 33.0% from the floor for the half (UofL hit on just under 39%). The Cats had an 8 rebound edge, but had made 12 turnovers, and what was worse, Rhodes had not scored.
Delk hit a 3 to start the 2nd half, and UK went ahead when Rhodes hit his first shot (a 3). The Cats later added a pair of McCarty FTs to lead 44-40, but UofL scored the next 7 points to go up 47-44 on a Johnson 12 footer, an easy Johnson layup over the press, and a long Kiser 3. UK again went up 51-49 after Prickett was fouled and completed some FTs, and a long Sheppard 3 gave UK its biggest lead of the game at 54-49, but UofL tied the game at 55-55 on shots by Osborne and Wheat. The Cards went up for good at 58-56 on a long Wheat 3. Wheat added another long 3 (under pressure too), and a Simms dunk allowed the Cards to lead by 63-56. The two teams traded baskets for a while before UK closed to 67-65 on Sheppard FTs. The Cards then led 71-66, but UK kept it close until Louisville went up 78-72 on a nice Flynn drive to the basket past 4 defenders. A Sheppard 3 and a Pope putback closed to 80-77, but the Cards hung tough and remained ahead even when Kentucky came to within 82-81 with 38 seconds left.
Rogers then hit FTs after being fouled by Sheppard. Samaki Walker banked in a FT to go up 85-81, and Wheat added a FT with 20 seconds left in the game, but a McCarty 3 with 11.6 seconds remaining cut the lead to 86-84. Wheat was fouled on the inbounds play, and he hit both FTs to preserve the win. Kentucky got a meaningless last second basket after a Sheppard miss and a couple of missed tips, and the Cardinals proved victorious.