- 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