- Wednesday, December 3 1997 -
Great Eight (at Chicago, IL)
Kentucky - 89 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 7th by AP]
Purdue - 75 (Head Coach: Gene Keady) - [Ranked 6th by AP]
|Brad Miller (*)||33||4||9||0||1||2||3||14||3||3||2||4||4||10|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 42, Purdue 37
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Clemson 76 - 61|||||Indiana 75 - 72|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 7 No. 14. (All Rights Reserved)
7th ranked Kentucky defeated 5th ranked Purdue 89-75 in the Great 8 in Chicago, Illinois. Kentucky is now 2-1 in Great 8 play, having beaten Purdue twice in 2 years and losing once to UMASS!!! Purdue Coach Gene Keady would have become the Boilermaker's all-time winningest coach, had he won this game (he had to wait until later in the week to beat Louisville to achieve this).
Purdue got the opening tip and an early lead, although Kentucky's Edwards scored the game's 1st basket. The Boilermakers went up 5-2, then Kentucky tied the score at 5-5. Purdue raced ahead 11-5 on shots by Foster and Cornell (both hitting 3s). Following an old-fashioned 3 pt play, they even led 16-7. But this Kentucky team didn't panic, and they slowly crawled back thanks to a Mohammed bank shot, a Turner FT, and 3s by Edwards and Padgett to tie the score at 16-16. UK briefly went ahead 22-20 on FTs by Mills, but Purdue went back out on top by 25-23 following some Eldridge FTs. ESPN announcer Dick Vitale amusingly started to discuss UK equipment manager Bill Keightley, but Vitale pronounced the name Knightly on several occasions (including several minutes later, by which time he should have been corrected by his support staff). For the next several minutes a 1 pt lead went back and forth between the teams, but the Boilermakers took their last lead 35-34 after a Miller layup (Miller struggled to get free all night, with excellent denial defense by Padgett, and whenever he received the ball down low, he was immediately triple-teamed by UK). A pair of Mohammed FT tosses put Kentucky up 36-35, and the Cats led the rest of the way. A Padgett 3, a long Austin 2, and a buzzer-beating Anthony 3 concluded scoring in the 1st half, with the Wildcats up by a 42-37 margin.
An Eldridge 3 to open the 2nd half closed the margin to 42-40 UK, but a Sheppard 3 and driving layup, a Magloire layup, a Turner layup, and a Mohammed layup added up to a 53-40 edge for the Cats before Purdue stemmed the bleeding with a 3 pointer. The Boilermakers closed to 53-47, due largely to Kentucky's unwillingness to protect the ball after rebounds or steals. When Evans hit a 3, the worst seemed to be over. Although McQuay did manage a 3, the Cats had another spurt as Evans hit 2 FTs, Magloire tipped a shot in, Smith hit a 3, and Mohammed tipped a shot in, to give UK a 65-50 margin. Purdue cut that lead to 66-57 and 68-59, but could never get any closer. Magloire, Turner, and Sheppard combined to make it 74-59, and after Miller walked twice but wasn't called, he hit an inside shot to make it 74-62 after his FT. The lead bounced between 13 and 15 pts for UK for some time, reaching 17 when Turner scored on an easy inbounding play. Mohammed had a putback, then Ryan Hogan hit a 3 on a break to make it 88-67, Kentucky's largest lead of the evening. Within only a few minutes left, Kentucky relaxed a bit on defense, and Austin hit 2 consecutive 3s to inspire his team (and make it 88-75), but a Hogan FT and better ball control towards the end preserved the 89-75 victory.
Kentucky managed marvelous 3 pt shooting in this game, hitting on 50% of their shots outside the line.