- Saturday, February 28 1998 -
Kentucky - 69 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 7th by AP]
South Carolina - 57 (Head Coach: Eddie Fogler) - [Ranked 14th by AP]
|Herbert Lee Davis||7||1||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||2|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 34, South Carolina 29
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Auburn 83 - 58|||||Alabama 82 - 71|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 7 No. 26. (All Rights Reserved)
Returning the Favor:
In 1 of the best all-around performances of its 1997-98 season, Kentucky defeated South Carolina 69-57 in Columbia, spoiling the Seniors' Day of the Gamecocks as they had spoiled Kentucky's last year. UK was ranked #7 AP for this game, with the Gamecocks being ranked #14. The Cats never trailed in this game.
UK missed 3 times and USC missed twice before Jeff Sheppard began all scoring by hitting a 3. Watson fell to the floor and severely gashed his head, and he went back to the locker room to receive 4 stitches. Stack hit a 14 footer, then after 4 consecutive misses combined for both sides, Evans put back his own miss and UK led 5-2. Grant answered with a layup, McKie made 1 of 2 FT attempts, Evans raced past the defense for a dunk, and Turner made a 3 to give UK a 10-5 lead at the 1st TV timeout. UK had a steal, then Sheppard hit a 3 for a 13-5 edge, but McKie answered with a 13 footer. Mohammed was doubled teamed down low, but rather than panic he hit Padgett beautifully cutting towards the basket for an easy layup. Gallman hit a turnaround jumper, Evans made 1 of 2 FTs, and Watson reentered the game. Nix and Mills missed 3s, but Nix drove the lane for an open layup and it was 16-11 Kentucky. Sheppard hit yet another 3 when UK had only 2 seconds to beat the shot clock, Stack hit a 14 footer, Smith lobbed nicely for a Sheppard dunk, and Sheppard got another dunk following a Wildcat steal for a 23-13 scoring edge. McKie hit a 3 as Sheppard fouled him, but he could not complete the 4 pt play. McKie hit another 3, then Mohammed made yet another nice pass to an open Padgett for a layup, and UK led 25-19. Nix and Evans traded dunks, Watson made a reverse layup while Sheppard was getting another 3, and McKie was fouled on what turned out to be a long 2 (his foot just touched the line), and McKie could not complete the old-fashioned 3. Watson made 1 of 2 FT tries, and when Stack later added 2 more FTs, suddenly it was 30-29 Kentucky. Mohammed had still another great inside pass to Padgett inside who was fouled, and made both then Padgett hit a 17 footer seconds before the expiration of the 1st half. Heshimu Evans nabbed 8 1st half rebounds, and Coach Smith ran off the court pounding his right fist in the air several times).
Evans started scoring in the 2nd half, and shortly after, CBS lost its feed of the game (at least in Atlanta) and switched to Arizona-Stanford for a few minutes. When they came back, USC had just closed to 36-35 on a Watson layup. Sheppard missed a 3, but Evans had a putback, then Smith was fouled on a drive and made both FTs. This was followed by a Sheppard bank shot, and it was 42-35. Stack had a dunk, then later Grant made 1 of 2 FT attempts, and both sides missed on their next several possessions. A USC player grabbed the rim on a miss but no foul was called, and Kentucky overpasses to a breaking Mills and threw the ball out of bounds. Finally Padgett fouled Grant, who hit both shots and closed to 42-40 UK. Sheppard hit a clutch 3, Grant fell down so Evans had an easy layup, Evans had a nice layup off a Mohammed block, then later Evans hit a 3 and suddenly it was 52-40 UK. After a Gamecock timeout, Nix bricked a 3, and Turner hit a long 2 (his foot just touched the line) to make it 54-40. Williams made an old fashioned 3 to break the dry spell for USC, and McKie hit Davis for a dunk which closed the score to 54-45 Kentucky and the next TV timeout. Turner hit a layup, Stack made 1 FT toss, Grant hit a bank shot, and Turner double-dribbled which led to a McKie drive, and the score was 56-50. McKie hit a FT, but then Padgett hit a much-needed 15 footer. UK ran the shot clock low, then Padgett nailed a 3, and it was 61-51. McKie made a critical desperation 3, but Watson fouled Evans who made both shots. Watson hit a difficult long 3, and it was 66-57. Watson then fouled out against Padgett who made 1 of 2 FT tosses. Finally, Stack was blocked, and Evans made a reverse dunk to finish the scoring at 69-57 Kentucky.
Mohammed was held scoreless for the 1st time in 39 games. Nazr told reporters he did not care, even about his mere 3 pts against Auburn, because UK won comfortably in both contests.
UK has now won 13 consecutive true road games, going back 2 seasons [JNB note - unlike other sports personnel, I am not counting the win over Canisius as a road win. That game was not played on the Golden Griffin's actual home court]