- Saturday, January 16 1999 -
Kentucky - 63 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 6th by AP]
Mississippi - 57 (Head Coach: Roderick Barnes) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Mississippi 34, Kentucky 34
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Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 8 No. 26. (All Rights Reserved)
Rebuffing the Rebels:
In a game featuring poor shooting from both sides (38% from the floor for Kentucky, 40% for Mississippi) 6th ranked Kentucky defeated Ole Miss 63-57 in Oxford, Mississippi. ABC televised the game [JNB note - although not very well. I don't know whether it was in their national feed, or at the local Atlanta ABC affiliate, but while receiving the sound of the UK game, the picture was instead from the Rhode Island- Temple game!]
The ABC feed to Atlanta did not show the beginning of the game - instead it showed the video for Rhode Island-Temple, and audio for the Kentucky-Ole Miss contest. With Temple leading 9-8 over the Rams, ABC switched both feeds to the Kentucky game. The score was tied 12-12 after Carter shot FTs. Saul Smith next launched an airball 3, but after a couple of Rebel misses, Smith hit a 3 for a 15-12 edge. Both sides missed on their next 2 possessions, and finally Carter made a shot inside (he seemed to be rather too open, with UK defenders being screened off surprisingly efficiently). Smith was fouled on a 3, and he made all 3 FTs for an 18-14 UK lead. Following good ball movement, Carter got a dunk, then Evans made a nice inside move for a basket, then Bradley made 1 of 2 FT tries. But Carter hit a spectacular high bank shot for a reverse layup, and was fouled, completing an old-fashioned 3, and Rogers tied the game at 21-21 on a pair of FTs. Ole Miss started to press, which didn't seem to bother Kentucky particularly, but both teams had turnovers on bad passes in the halfcourt offense on their next possessions. UM got a 1 pt lead after Harrison made 1 of 2 FTs, but UK quickly went back up 23-22 after Evans made a tough basket inside. Harrison FTs put the Rebels back up, and Flanigan added to their lead with a good inside basket. On its next possession, Kentucky moved the ball well but nobody wanted to shoot. After passing up a couple of decent shots, Allison tried a contested 3 and missed. Flanigan drove for a basket and a 28-23 lead, which matched the largest lead of the game for the Rebels in the 1st half. Prince got a dunk, and Smith got a couple of FTs, which were countered by a Hicks leaner and a Harrison 15 footer for a 32-27 Ole Miss lead. Evans was fouled and made both FT tries. Hicks had a mammoth dunk, and Camara had a putback of a Padgett miss to make the score 34-31 at the half (both teams missed on their final possessions, Hicks with an unsuccessful dunk and Smith missed a 3). Scott Padgett attempted only 1 1st half shot, which he missed.
Kentucky came out a bit more fired up in the 2nd stanza, and after a pair of Flanigan FTs, Bradley hit a bank shot, Evans hit Smith for a layup, and Padgett finally got his 1st basket of the night on a layup (missing the following FT) to produce a 37-36 Kentucky lead. Harrison had a turnover, then Magloire was called for a foul. ABC didn't show it, but apparently Magloire tapped Rahim Lockhart of Ole Miss under the chin as he headed for the bench. UM hit both technical FTs but Harrison bricked a 3 afterwards. Camara was fouled and made 1 FT to tie the game at 38-38. Carter was fouled hard on a drive by Saul Smith, and Smith appeared to get mostly ball, but there might have been a little body or upper arm contact. The referees [JNB note - who seemed totally unconscious during the final minutes of the game, making numerous ridiculous calls or non-calls] somehow decided that it was an intentional foul. Carter made only 1 FT, then bricked his own 3. Bradley made a nice move inside to give Kentucky a 40-39 edge. Williams was fouled by Evans while attempting a dunk [JNB note - I'll give the refs the benefit of the doubt on this, but replays showed Evans hit an awful lot of ball], and made 2 FTs. Padgett made 1 FT, then Bradley got a wide open layup for a 43-41 UK margin. Hicks made a FT, and Carter dunked his missed 2nd FT try back for a 44-43 UM lead. Turner walked but was not called, then Padgett nailed a critical 3 for a 46-44 Kentucky edge. The Cats built a 49-44 lead on more Padgett FTs, and when Bradley had a nice 10 ft hook, the Cats had a 51-44 margin. Lockhart made a lob dunk, then Padgett had a layup, and Evans made a pair of FTs to give the Cats their largest lead of the game at 55-46. During a pileup on the floor just before the next TV timeout, Marcus Hicks appeared to hit Michael Bradley in the face deliberately, but the refs were oblivious to it. On UK's next possession, Padgett was pulled to the floor by Jason Smith while the latter was falling out of bounds, but again the refs missed it. Finally, the refs saw 1 which wasn't there, as Turner was hacked mightily on a drive yet was called for an offensive foul. Flanigan made a 3 off this, cutting the edge to 55-49. Hicks added a dunk on a fast break, and suddenly it was only 55-51 Kentucky. Coach Smith called a 20 s timeout to settle his troops, and when play resumed, his son Saul made a weird off-balance running shot for a 57-51 margin. Jason Smith got a pair of FTs for his 1st pts of the game, with a little over a minute left. Padgett missed a shot, yet UK stole the ball, and Prince was fouled very hard from behind on a breakout, but no intentional foul was called (this was much more intentional than the earlier Saul Smith foul). Tayshaun made both FTs for a 59-53 lead. After this, Jason Smith hit an 8 footer, Padgett made 2 FTs, Jason Smith had a nearly- uncontested layup, and Allison made a pair of FTs, to preserve a 63-57 Kentucky win.
Saul Smith's team high 17 pts was a career high for him in scoring. Smith's 5 baskets, 10 shots, and 5 FTs (from 5 attempts) were all also career highs for him. This was Kentucky's 14th consecutive SEC road win (the Cats last lost on the SEC road on Feb 4, 1997 at South Carolina), or the 15th if you don't count Freedom Hall (where Kentucky beat Alabama last year) as a home court.
Michael Bradley (#33) holds off MIssissippi's Johnnie Rogers
Ole Miss guard Keith Carter (#33) is defended by Desmond Allison