- Tuesday, November 17 1998 -
Eastern Kentucky - 64 (Head Coach: Scott Perry) - [Preseason Unranked by AP]
Kentucky - 99 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Preseason Ranked 4th by AP]
|J. P. Blevins||8||1||3||1||2||0||0||0||1||1||1||0||1||0||2||3|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 58, Eastern Kentucky 35
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Utah 78 - 69|||||Mercer 82 - 51|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 8 No. 18. (All Rights Reserved)
Colonels Convincingly Clobbered:
Defending NCAA champion Kentucky defeated Eastern Kentucky 99-64 in Rupp Arena on Nov 17. UK was ranked #4 by AP during the contest.
This was the season opener for both teams, with EKU dressing only 10 players and UK only 11 due to suspensions. Scott Padgett managed a double-double in scoring and rebounding, as did freshman Jules Camara (10 pts, 11 rebounds). Eastern took an initial 7-4 lead in the opening 4 minutes, but Kentucky surged ahead 20-13 after 8 minutes. After a pair of Stukes FTs, it was 22-15, but that was as close as the Colonels could get all the rest of the way. A Padgett layup, a long Turner 2 (he keeps stepping on the line), a Padgett putback, and a Camara layup let UK surge ahead 33-16. An Evans layup, a Camara lob dunk from Evans, a Turner drive the length of the court, and a turner 12 footer overcame a Robinson 3, and the Cats led 41-19. Turner, regrettably, still appeared very casual in his approach to the game, and was picked off a couple of times, being replaced by Saul Smith as the Wildcats led 44-25 at the next TV timeout. Bradley was blocked, but the ball came right to Padgett who laid it in. After 2 Stukes FTs, EKU's defense forced a held ball and they were awarded possession by the new rules. Acuff missed, and Padgett hit a 3 on the next Cat possession for a 51-30 lead. UK outscored Eastern 7-5 the rest of the way, with Blevins hitting a late 3, and Tackett just beating the buzzer, with the Wildcats taking a 58-35 edge into the locker room (Tackett's late score meant that all 5 freshmen, who played together at times during the game, scored within the 1st half).
Kentucky had a 14-2 scoring surge to begin the 2nd half, and through the early minutes EKU only stayed in the game due to good 3 pt shooting (by Allison and Fitzgerald). The lead was 79-45 Kentucky at the time of the next TV timeout. Turner hit another long 2 (with his foot on the line), and UK's blitzing speed was apparent when Turner streaked down court after a Cat rebound, and dunked the ball to make it 83-46. Kentucky earlier in the game had forced a 5 second call during inbounding, and at this pt, EKU returned the favor, enraging Coach Smith. Evans got an assist on a Padgett layup, and Smith got an assist on an Evans dunk to make it 89-48 (the crowd began yelling "Mu" at this pt). On a 4 on 2 fast break, EKU bobbled the ball and did not score. Robinson had a 3 and Mattox hit a 12 footer, and Acuff got a 3 to narrow the Cat lead a bit. But Tackett made 1 of 2 FTs, Allison hit a pair of FTs, and Steve Masiello hit a 3, and Acuff ended the scoring with a putback shot to make the final score 99-64.
Michael Bradley's 13 pts were a career high for him. In addition, his 6 baskets, 11 shots, 5 FT attempts, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals, were all career highs for him. Padgett's 10 FGs were a career high for him. The 35 pt victory margin for Kentucky was the largest in the 6 game series.
Whitney Robinson (#11) goes up while defended by Michael Bradley and Scott Padgett
Jules Camara dunks in front of EKU's Keanan Weir
Eastern's Darick Mattox loses the ball to Michael Bradley and Desmond Allison(#32)