- Saturday, January 2 1999 -
Florida - 58 (Head Coach: Billy Donovan) - [Unranked]
Kentucky - 93 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 7th by AP]
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Halftime Score: Kentucky 55, Florida 27
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Tennessee State 97 - 47|||||South Carolina 68 - 61|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 8 No. 24. (All Rights Reserved)
The Best Team in the Country? Ask Billy Donovan!:
7th ranked Kentucky annihilated the Florida Gators 93-58 in Rupp Arena, in a game televised by Jefferson-Pilot. It was the worst defeat for Florida since the Cats pulverized them 102-48 in Rupp on Jan 21, 1981. In doing so, UK avenged a rare Rupp Arena loss to the Gators last season.
Evans hit a 3 after the Cats got the opening tip, and UK blew out to a 14-4 lead on shots by Bradley and a Padgett 3. It was Kentucky's day - at 1 pt, Bradley was wide open for a layup underneath. The ball slipped out of his hands as he went up for the shot, and it went straight up about 6 feet in the air, and came down squarely through the hoop. The Cats were up 16-7 by the 1st TV timeout. The Wildcats had hit on 6 of their 1st 7 FGs. Florida tried to stay close, with 3s by Wright and Dupay, but answering 3s by Evans and Padgett, and a Prince steal and dunk, made it 25-15, and from there the lead grew and grew. Magloire and Camara combined to make it 29-15, then Hogan hit a driving shot (with his play looking better and better offensively). Nnaji managed an 8 ft roll-in, but Hogan double-clutched and still hit a 3. Camara added a FT which was countered by a Wright FT, and then Hogan nailed another 3 for a 38-18 margin. The lead grew to 26 minutes later after a long Prince 3 and a Camara dunk off a terrific Turner assist, to make the score 50-24. An Allison steal and dunk made it 52-24. By halftime it was 55-27.
The 2nd half was more of the same. Kentucky led 58-32 at the next TV timeout. After a Padgett jump hook it was 62-34, and following a Camara steal and dunk the score was 67-37 UK. Minutes later Magloire dunked the ball for a 75-43 edge. The Cats' largest lead of the night occurred at 86-47. With its bench cleared, Kentucky cruised to an 89-54 edge after a Turner 3, and a final Allison basket off a Masiello assist provided the final score of 93-58.
Kentucky's 11 3 pt shots and 56.1% FG shooting were both season highs for the team. Florida had led the SEC in FG %age shooting, with 50.7% before the game, but they hit on only 38.2% against the Wildcats. Padgett's 4 3 pt shots equaled his career high. Florida's 58 pts scored, 8 assists, and 11 FTs were all season lows for the Gators. Wright's 18 pts were his career high in scoring.
Mike Miller and Heshimu Evans (#14) chase a loose ball...