- Tuesday, January 16 2001 -
Tennessee - 74 (Head Coach: Jerry Green) - [Ranked 4th by AP]
Kentucky - 84 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Unranked]
|J. P. Blevins||7||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 46, Tennessee 38
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Notre Dame 82 - 71|||||Mississippi 55 - 65|
Game Writeup - Written by and courtesy of Jeff Drummond; Kentucky Sports Report, (All Rights Reserved)
UK shoots down Vols
LEXINGTON, Ky. --- Broadway Bogans promised. Keith Bogans delivered.
Kentucky's sophomore guard guaranteed a victory for his unranked Wildcats on Tuesday against No. 4 Tennessee, and in true Joe Namath fashion responded with 21 points and nine rebounds in an 84-74 win at Rupp Arena.
Bogans scored nine of his points in a 16-2 run by Kentucky which saw a four-point lead swell to 67-49 with 11:39 to play. The Volunteers continually fought back behind strong perimeter shooting, but could get no closer than seven the rest of the way.
Kentucky (10-5, 3-0 SEC) took over first place in the Eastern Division and remains the last team unbeaten in league play. Tennessee, off to its best start and highest ranking in school history, dropped to 16-2 overall and 3-1 in the SEC.
The Cats dominated Tennessee in almost every statistical category, shooting 46 percent (30 of 65) from the field and owning a 45-35 rebounding advantage. It marked the first time in the last five outings UK has won the battle of the boards.
"I thought the key to the basketball game was rebounding the ball because up until tonight we hadn't been doing a good job of that," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "Keith getting nine, that says a lot. That's got to be a career high for him.
"It was a gutsy effort all the way around."
Indeed, it matched a career high for Bogans, who pulled down five off the offensive glass. Kentucky also got seven rebounds from freshman guard Gerald Fitch and six from junior forward Tayshaun Prince.
Fitch and Prince were also among three other players in double figures for the Cats with 16 and 10 points, respectively. Freshman center Jason Parker also had 10 points before fouling out. Prince was playing for the first time in his college career with his father in attendance, one of 23,621 in a raucous Rupp Arena. Thomas Prince drove from Compton, Calif., to see his son post another in a line of strong performances during Kentucky's seven-game winning streak.
Kentucky held Tennessee to 39 percent (26 of 67) shooting from the field, forced 22 turnovers and blocked six shots. The Volunteers avoided a blowout by hitting 12 of 28 from 3-point range.
Vincent Yarbrough did his best to keep Tennessee in the game, matching Bogans for game-high honors with 21 points. But the junior forward scored only four points in the second half, all coming on a play in which he was fouled on a 3-pointer. That marked his lone field goal attempt during the final 16:44 of play.
"Vincent Yarbrough was awesome in the first half," Smith said. "I thought we did a better job the second half of limiting his touches."
The Vols were within eight points with 3:48 to play, but had four crucial turnovers down the stretch each time they had a chance to pull within five. Tennessee's last chance came and went as Tony Harris fouled out after committing a turnover with UT trailing by seven at the 1:02 mark.
Harris finished with 13 points for the Vols. Ron Slay followed with nine off the bench. Isiah Victor, who had been averaging 19.3 points in SEC play, was held scoreless in the first half and finished with eight.
Early on, it appeared Kentucky would blow out the Vols. Prince and Saul Smith each hit 3-pointers in the game's opening moments as the Cats raced to a 15-5 advantage. The lead swelled to 36-20 on a Marquis Estill three-point play with 6:16 left in the half. Estill sparked UK with all of his seven points in the first half.
"I could tell we were fired up and ready to play," Smith said. "I thought that was a big key."
But Tennessee would not go quietly, rallying within 46-38 at the half on 3-pointers by Slay, Yarbrough and Harris in the final three minutes of action.
The Vols got within 51-47 before Kentucky's game-breaking run at the 15:37 mark of the second half.
"I thought it was a great college game," Smith said. "The atmosphere in here was incredible... maybe the best I've seen it. It reminded me of the Maryland game (in 1998-99)."
Kentucky returns to action Saturday at Ole Miss.
Marquis Estill (#50) explodes to the rim
Tayshaun Prince (#21) drives past Isiah Victor
Tony Harris runs into Cliff Hawkins