- Friday, November 27 1998 -
Puerto Rico Shootout (at Bayamone, Puerto Rico)
Kentucky - 56 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 4th by AP]
Pittsburgh - 68 (Head Coach: Ralph Willard) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Pittsburgh 31, Kentucky 25
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Colorado 64 - 52|||||UCLA 66 - 62|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 8 No. 20. (All Rights Reserved)
It's the Pitts:
An extremely lethargic, slow, and uninspired Wildcat team fell to the Pitt Panthers in the 2nd round of the Puerto Rico Shooting by a 68-56 score. Kentucky had been 4th ranked by AP for the game. This loss broke Kentucky's streak of 16 consecutive wins on neutral courts, and an overall 17 game winning streak, both dating back to last season.
The Panthers got the opening tap, but missed their 1st shot, and Bradley got a layup to start the scoring. UK built a lead of 6-2 after 2 more early Bradley shots, but Pitt came back and tied the game with a shot by Hawkins and a Cosby FT. Pitt got their 1st lead at 8-6 following a Hawkins layup, and later extended this to 14-10 on a Holmes 3. But a Smith 3 and a Turner layup made it 15-14 UK. The lead changed hands several times, with the Cats up 19-18 at the initial TV timeout. A spectacular pass from Bradley to Allison for a layup made it 21-18, but Primus tied it on a 3. The Cats had their last lead of the day after a Bradley dunk made it 23-21, but then Primus nailed a 3, and Cummings had a nice drive for a 26-23 Pitt edge. The lead grew to 31-25 after a Cummings drive and a Lockhart 3, and that was the score at halftime. Kentucky was a pitiful 1-10 from 3 pt range in the 1st half, with Pitt making 6 of their 12 attempts.
In the 2nd half, the margin bounced from 1 to 3 pts for Pitt, with several defensive breakdowns for the Wildcats. Kentucky occasionally tied the score (at 46-46 after a Bradley baby hook, for 1), but each time the Panthers answered the challenge. Following a 3 by Lockhart and a Cummings layup, it was 55-48 Pitt. Padgett and Greer traded layups, with Padgett missing a FT attempt. Cummings got a layup as the Panthers went up 59-50 with about 5 minutes left in the contest. Hogan was inserted into the game for 3 pt shooting, and promptly went up for a shot, changed his mind, and passed the ball out of bounds. On the next Pitt possession, Cummings scored as the ball was inbounded to make it 61-50. Turner made 1 FT, Greer made 2, Evans hit a 3 when the game had been decided, and Hawkins and Taylor made some FTs, and several Wildcats missed 3 pt shots in the game's waning seconds, with Pitt prevailing 68-56.
The Cats shot a miserable 2-22 from 3 pt range, with 1 of those coming late in the game after the result had already been determined. UK also scored a pathetic 4-12 from the FT line (even Scott Padgett, a career 81.4% FT shooter, made only 1-4 in the game). Michael Bradley's 16 pts were a career high, and he was perfect from the floor going 8-8.