- Tuesday, February 11 2003 -
Georgia - 67 (Head Coach: Jim Harrick) - [Ranked 20th by AP]
Kentucky - 87 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 3rd by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 42, Georgia 30
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|Mississippi 80 - 62|||||Louisiana State 68 - 57|
Game Writeup - Written by Matt May; Courtesy of The Cats Pause, (All Rights Reserved)
UK follows script, drops Georgia
Kentucky basketball is becoming all too familiar these days.
UK followed a familiar script, romping to a 31-point second half lead on Georgia before settling for an 87-67 victory at Rupp Arena.
The Cats had six players score double figures for the first time since Feb. 17, 1999, ironically also against the Bulldogs. It was also the first time UK has had two players register a double-double since March 10, 2001 against Arkansas, as both Marquis Estill and Chuck Hayes accomplished that goal.
Although UK (19-3, 9-0 SEC) opened up a 42-30 halftime edge, much smaller than the had been used to in recent weeks, the Cats began the second half on an 11-0 run to put the Dawgs away and likely end UGA's SEC East title hopes. The win also got a measure of payback in for the Cats, who extended their winning streak to 13 games.
"This was a very complete game for us as far as what we accomplished against a very good team," UK Coach Tubby Smith said. "Our kids really came ready to play."
Georgia stayed close in the first half thanks to Jarvis Hayes' 13 points, but he scored just four more the rest of the way and leading scorer Ezra Williams had just five for the night.
Still, Georgia Coach Jim Harrick said it was UK's offense, which featured 11 threes, including unlikely suspect Cliff Hawkins' three treys for beating his Bulldogs.
"Their defense is very good, but their offense is outstanding," Harrick said. "When their team is playing that way and six guys score in double figures, they are very hard to guard.
"Even Cliff Hawkins was shooting threes...good Lord."
Estill led UK with 16 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, while Hayes added 11 points and 10 rebounds. Gerald Fitch (14), Erik Daniels (12), Keith Bogans (12) and Hawkins (11) rounded out the six players in double digits.
"The past few games in the second half, we had let off," Hayes said. "Tonight, we stepped right in like there was no halftime and gave them no chance to breath."
That defense has given UK a stranglehold on the SEC.
Cliff Hawkins stares down Georgia's Ezra Williams
Gerald Fitch finds himself on bottom in a battle for the ball with UGa's Steve Thomas