- Friday, March 10 1995 -
SEC Tournament (at Atlanta, GA)
Kentucky - 93 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 3rd by AP]
Auburn - 81 (Head Coach: Cliff Ellis) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 50, Auburn 38
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Louisiana State 127 - 80|||||Florida 86 - 72|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 4 No. 35. (All Rights Reserved)
Kentucky Tames a Team of Trepidacious Tigers:
It wasn't pretty near the end, but UK held on to beat Auburn in its opening game in the SEC Tournament by a score of 93-81. The Cats led by as many at 18 late in the 2nd half, but had to hang on as the Tigers exhibited a tenacious press and made many steals which cut the lead to 7 in the final minutes of the game before the Cats finally won by 11.
Auburn got the opening tip and made the 1st basket, and went up 4-0 until Sheppard hit a 3 for Kentucky's initial points. The Tigers were up 6-3 until a McCarty 3 tied the score at 6-6. UK surged to a 17-11 lead on a Sheppard fingerroll, Pope FTs, and a Pope putback of a Rhodes miss, but Auburn went up 19-17 after shots by Burke and a pair of Norris 3s. The Wildcats quickly moved back on top to stay with an old fashioned McCarty 3, an Epps 3, and a McCarty turnaround banker (to make the score 25-21).
Later Auburn closed to 2 at 29-27 when Costner made a layup and was fouled (and missed the FT). A nice Rhodes-to-Pope assist and a Rhodes 14 footer were canceled by a pair of Chris Davis FTs and a pair of Burke FTs to make the score 33-31. UK had a mini-run, scoring the next 9 points to go up 40-31, then Harrison, Norris, and Walker exchanged 3s. A Prickett layup and a Pope putback made the lead 47-34, and the Cats closed with a Pope 3 to make the final 50-38 as Flanigan ended the half with a putback shot. The Cats had a 14-3 run after the score reached 19-17, and Mark Pope had 14 1st half points.
Auburn closed to 8 in the second half at 50-42 as Burke made a basket, but the Cats oscillated between leads of 8-12 points for much of the early 2nd half. Sheppard had a dunk attempt block (how many is that for the year now?), and Rhodes went through a very dry spell where nothing would drop, but at least UK had many offensive rebounds to retain possession. After a Pope dunk off a Rhodes assist, a Sheppard 3, a McCarty drive, a Delk 3, and a Walker dunk, the Cats led 65-49. Later Jeff Sheppard finally got his dunk on an assist from Walker, and the UK defense began to force more and more Auburn turnovers. A Flanigan dunk, a Donald 3, and a pair of Norris FTs closed the gap to 73-62 with less than 9 minutes remaining.
McCarty put back a long Rhodes miss, Epps hit a pair of FTs, and Pope knocked down a 3 to go up 83-65. But Auburn hung tough, and went on an 13-2 run to close to 85-78 on shots and FTs by Norris and Davis. Delk finally broke the scoring drought with a 12 foot leaner, and Sheppard hit a pair of FTs to ice the win. Final McCarty and Sheppard dunks closed out scoring for the Cats as they cruised to a 93-81 victory. Norris went over to shake Pitino's hand (Martyn had been highly interested in playing for UK early in life) as he came out of the game.
Walter McCarty (#40) shoots over Auburn's Pat Burke (#31)