- Wednesday, February 4 1998 -
Kentucky - 63 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 8th by AP]
Louisiana State - 61 (Head Coach: John Brady) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Louisiana State 29, Kentucky 23
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|Florida 78 - 86|||||Villanova 79 - 63|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 7 No. 23. (All Rights Reserved)
A Win Which Feels Like A Loss:
#8 ranked Kentucky (AP) used yet another of its 9 lives in hanging on to defeat LSU in Baton Rouge in a FoxSportSouth televised contest, 63-61. Tom Hammond, former Lexington television sports commentator, was scheduled to call this game, but the recent heavy snows in Kentucky kept him grounded. Tim Brando, who lives in Louisiana, was called upon at the last minute to assist.
Both sides started off shaky, each missing their 1st 2 shots, but Carter finally rammed home a dunk. Padgett missed a 3, but Washington didn't, and it was 5-0 LSU. Edwards and Anderson traded shots (UK didn't earn its 1st points of the night until over 2.5 minutes had gone by), Mohammed made 1 of 2 from the line, Padgett hit a nice lob dunk, and Washington nailed a FT pair to make it 7-5 at the first TV timeout. Tubby made his usual full substitution, but Mills missed his 3 while Carter didn't, and after Magloire made a very flagrant walk, Carter hit a FT pair to put the Tigers up 14-7. Mills missed yet another 3, but Anthony had a putback, then good UK defense forced a turnover, and Anderson hit a 3 to close to within 14-12. The Cats briefly tied the game at 14-14 on Magloire FTs, but Tucker connected on a runner before the next TV timeout, and LSU led 16-14. LSU went on an 8-3 run to go up 24-17 with 5 minutes left in the half (thanks to a Potts 3, a Caston FT, an Anderson 3, and a Collins FT) to make it 24-17 LSU. Padgett hooked a shot in, Magloire missed from pt blank range, Caston had an easy layup, Smith had a nice assist to Bradley inside, Smith himself drove the lane for a layup, and Carter made an old-fashioned 3 to conclude scoring for the 1st half, as the Tigers led 29-23 as they entered the locker room. The 23 pts for Kentucky was their season low at the half, and Myron Anthony was their high scorer with only 5 pts. UK had made only 1 3 pt shot compared to 4 for LSU.
Sheppard and Turner both had layups to start the 2nd half, causing LSU to call a quick 20 s timeout for damage control. UK exhibited a much more aggressive press after intermission, chosen perhaps because LSU had only 8 scholarship players available and could tire easily. Carter made 1 FT, then Turner hit a 12 footer. With time expiring on the shot luck, Anderson had a lucky bank shot to make it 32-29 LSU. Padgett's putback of a Sheppard miss was countered by 2 FTs by Carter, and it was LSU 34-31 at the next TV timeout. Kentucky staged a decent rally at this pt, with a Sheppard dunk, Mills hitting 1 of 2 FT attempts (it was his 1st miss of the season), an opens Edwards 3 (when his man fell down) and a Mills 3, sandwiched around a Washington post move, to make it 42-36 Kentucky. Kentucky's relentless pressure forced LSU to use most of the shot clock on every possession, and increased the Tiger turnover rate significantly. Anderson, despite being closely guarded, hit a 3, Cedric Carter had a putback, and suddenly it was 42-41 UK, but Sheppard nailed a long 3 to pad the margin. Carter had a dunk, then Turner hit 1 FT, Turner had a long 2 (with a foot on the line), Anderson had 2 FTs, and it was 47-46 UK. The next possession was very ugly, with Padgett missing a 3, Edwards missing a 3, Mills missing a 3, several tip attempts, and then LSU gained possession. Anderson again hit a guarded 3 to make it 49-47 LSU. But Padgett made an old-fashioned 3 and Turner added a regular 3 to put the Cats up 53-49 at the next TV timeout with around 7 minutes left in the game. Edwards had a nice drive, Washington hit a high archer, Sheppard made 2 FTs, and then added a dunk to put Kentucky up 59-51 and the issue seemed settled with around 5 minutes remaining. But a Caston FT, a Carter 3, and an Anderson FT closed LSU to within 59-56 before Padgett added 2 FT tosses with 3 minutes left to make it 61-56. Turner added a nice driving shot, and at 63-56, the issue again seemed settled. But Kentucky continued to foul instead of play good defense, and the Cats' own offense stagnated while their turnover rate increased due to an LSU press. Tucker hit 2 FTs, Carter nailed a 3, and suddenly it was 63-61 UK. Kentucky called a 20 second timeout to rally the troops, and for about 7 seconds of those 20, Tubby just stared and glared at his players, saying nothing [JNB note - I timed it, not quite believing that I was seeing such poor time management]. With the shot clock running down, Edwards missed a bad shot, and LSU came down with plenty of time for a good shot. Anderson missed, then Carter missed a 3 which would have won the game, and Padgett grabbed the rebound and held it as time ran out and Kentucky eked out a 63-61 victory.
For the 3rd consecutive game, Kentucky did not beat its opponent on the boards - UK and LSU each had 30 rebounds. With this win, Kentucky obtained a 20 or more win season for the 43rd time in its history. The Cats have now had 8 consecutive 20+ win seasons. This is the 1st time UK has beaten the Tigers 3 straight times in Baton Rouge since the 1975-77 seasons.
LSU's Rogers Washington (#35) loses the ball while double-teamed between Wayne Turner (left) and Nazr Mohammed