- Tuesday, January 5 1999 -
Kentucky - 68 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 6th by AP]
South Carolina - 61 (Head Coach: Eddie Fogler) - [Unranked]
|Herbert Lee Davis||12||0||6||0||3||0||0||3||0||3||0||2||0||0||0||0|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 39, South Carolina 20
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Florida 93 - 58|||||Vanderbilt 73 - 57|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 8 No. 25. (All Rights Reserved)
Making It Harder Than You Have To:
6th ranked Kentucky made it difficult, but after a superb 1st half, the Cats held on for a 68-61 victory over South Carolina in Columbia, in an ESPN televised game.
UK again opened with its big lineup, got the opening tip, and cruised to an early 12-0 lead (leading 8-0 at the initial TV timeout) on several shots by Turner, a Magloire hook, and a Bradley dunk. McKie finally made a 3, but then UK was up 16-3 after a pair of Bradley FTs and 18-3 after a Bradley layup. Gallman had a putback, and Grant made an open 3 to make it 20-8 a few minutes later, but Padgett answered with a 3, and Magloire dunked as he was largely unchallenged inside. When Hogan hit his initial shot (a 3) UK led 30-16, and Magloire followed with a nice hook (he had several of these for the night). Bradley added a layup off a Turner assist, and Padgett hit another 3 for a 37-18 margin. South Carolina's Bradley hit a 12 footer, to finish Gamecock scoring for the half. Turner made a 14 footer, and the score stood at 39-20 at intermission. Almost all in attendance probably thought the game was over. USC in the 1st half made only 6 baskets (in 26 attempts), a season low, and the Cats' offensive performance and defensive stops looked nearly unbeatable.
The 2nd half was another matter, however. UK might have become complacent after achieving a large margin. Lucas began the scoring for USC, making 2 consecutive 3s, and suddenly the gap had been narrowed to 39-26. Evans finally got on the boards with a dunk, and the teams traded equal scoring for a few possessions. McKie connected on a 3, however, to cut the margin to 45-35, and when Lucas blew past the Wildcat defense it was 45-37. At this pt, USC had experienced a 17-6 scoring run, and UK called a timeout to discuss matters. Afterwards, Padgett got the ball down low, and was mugged by 2 USC players, but no foul was called as the ball was swatted out of bounds. Turner made an 18 footer after the subsequent TV timeout, to make it 47-37. Another McKie 3 cut it to 47-40, and the lead bounced from 7-10 pts over the next few minutes. When Lucas made a layup following a couple of hard USC screens, Turner appeared to have been hit pretty hard, and officials actually stopped play to verify that he was OK (the crowd booed the refs, perhaps thinking that Kentucky was obtaining an advantage). Padgett made a 14 footer, which hit the rim and bounced straight up very high, but settled through the net to give the Cats a 54-44 lead. When Scott had a putback of his own miss seconds later, the Cats were up 56-45 and may have thought they were out of danger, and following an Evans layup and Bradley dunk, they were up 60-45. But this providence may have caused them to become complacent again - USC scored 7 straight to narrow the gap to 60-52. Bradley got a dunk, and Gallman made only 1 FT for a 62-53 Cat edge. But McKie was fouled by Smith on a 3, and he made all his FTs. Magloire made a layup, and Evans added 1 FT, but McKie drove for a layup to cut the margin to 67-58 with about 43 seconds left. After a Gamecock 20 second timeout, neither Padgett nor Magloire could make initial FTs when fouled, and McKie made a 3 to cut it to 67-61. When Lucas fouled Evans, however, Heshimu made 1 FT, but Padgett missed 2, and USC didn't score again as the Wildcats eked out a final 68-61 victory.
USC senior guard B.J. McKie's 31 pts were his season high in scoring.
Scott Padgett (#34) works against South Carolina's Antonio Grant (#35)