- Wednesday, December 10 1997 -
Kentucky - 81 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 4th by AP]
Canisius - 54 (Head Coach: Mike MacDonald) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 39, Canisius 25
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Indiana 75 - 72|||||Georgia Tech 85 - 71|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 7 No. 15. (All Rights Reserved)
Wildcats Gobble a Gaggle of Golden Griffins:
The Cats cruised to a relatively easy 81-54 victory over the Golden Griffins of Canisius at the Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo, NY. Kentucky was ranked #4 by AP for this contest. Jeff Sheppard matched his career high of 21 pts (scored against Indiana) in this game.
Canisius scored the 1st basket of the game, but that was the only time they led after Sheppard hit a 3 to make it 3-2 UK. The Cats started a bit shaky in their shooting, managing only 44.4% from the floor in the 1st half (with *many* of these being wide open shots which were quite simply blown). Thanks to another Sheppard 3, a Turner putback, and an Edwards layup, the Cats led 11-4. Facing the expected matchup zone, Edwards managed to slam home a Sheppard miss to reach a 13-7 at the 1st TV timeout. Canisius stayed within 4-6 pts of Kentucky early on, due mostly to blown opportunities for Kentucky in making wide open baskets. The lead grew to 8 when Magloire hit a hook shot (which looked rather like a Mohammed hook shot), and a patented Turner lob for an Edwards dunk made it 21-11 with 8 minutes remaining in the 1st, as Canisius called a timeout. Mohammed hit on a lob dunk, but Fenn of CU answered with a 3 to make it 23-18 Kentucky. Padgett hit a pair of FTs, then nailed a 15 footer, and Mohammed put back an Edwards miss for UK to go up 29-18, forcing another Canisius timeout. The 2 teams essentially traded baskets the rest of the way, although Kentucky had 1 more FT try than the Golden Griffins. Mohammed seemed to revert to earlier season form, making only 1 of 4 tries at the line in the 1st half. Sheppard had a steal and dunk which was rather reminiscent of the steal and dunk performed by Miles Simon of Arizona against him at Maui. Bradley managed to score UK's final pts of the 1st half, as the Cats led comfortably at 39-25 at intermission. Kentucky was a horrid 2-10 from the 3 pt line at the half, and a tepid 50% from the FT line, but they had only 3 turnovers compared to Canisius' 8.
Kentucky's offense performed much better in the 2nd half, as the Cats managed to complete 69.2% of their shots from the floor. Sheppard hit 2 3s early, and Turner added a layup to make it 49-31 UK. Sheppard became airborne (no doubt in an attempt to pass) and he decided to shoot (and made it) from 15 feet. Edwards scored a layup on an inbounds play, and the Cats were up 55-31. Fenn finally hit 2 FTs for CU, but the writing was on the wall as Mills hit Evans for a nice layup, Evans had a beautiful finger-roll shot which hung on the rim before falling in, and Anthony and Mills both made 3s to give Kentucky a 69-35 lead at the next TV timeout. A Canisius FT was answered by layups for Edwards and Sheppard, before Magloire goal tended a Canisius 3 attempt (which was eventually scored as 2 pts, not 3, for the Golden Griffins). The largest lead of the night for 77-41 for UK following a fine Smith drive and layup. Later Tribul hit 2 FTs for CU to close the margin to 32, and then the lead was slightly whittled away as McCarthy hit a 3, Tribul made another FT, and Masiello added 2 turnovers for the Cats on their way to a final margin of 81-54.
No players from Canisius scored in double figures. This last has not happened for UK since playing Morehead State on Dec 16, 1995. This is only the 2nd time in the 1990s that Canisius has played a game without producing a double-digit scorer.