- Saturday, March 15 2008 -
Rescheduled from 3/14 due to tornado; SEC Tournament (at Atlanta, GA)
Kentucky - 56 (Head Coach: Billy Gillispie) - [Unranked]
|A. J. Stewart||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||2||2||0||0||0||1||0|
Georgia - 60 (Head Coach: Dennis Felton) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 25, Georgia 22
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Florida 75 - 70|||||Marquette 66 - 74|
Game Writeup - Written by Matt May; Courtesy of The Cats Pause, (All Rights Reserved)
Last-second baskets KO's UK from SEC Tourney
ATLANTA - It wasn't a tornado but a twister that did Kentucky in at the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Zac Swansey's twisting, fall away three-pointer with 1.2 seconds gave Georgia a 60-56 overtime victory that came a day after a tornado damaged the Georgia Dome and postponed the game. The contest was played before 1,458 fans at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Georgia Tech's campus.
UK took a 56-54 lead with 8.8 seconds remaining on Ramel Bradley's jumper that bounced five times on the rim before falling through the net, seemingly giving UK the win. Georgia called timeout and inbounded to Swansey, who dribbled up the right side of the court, spun away from Ramon Harris and then hit the game-winner over him Harris' arm.
"I think the only time you do that is in a gym shooting by yourself," Swansey said. "You work on stuff like that. Not really a typical game shot. But I came back and I guess you could say it helped me a little bit.
"If Billy (Humphrey) wasn't open I was going to find a way for me to get a shot. It's eight seconds which is an eternity, especially at the end of the game like that. Once Bill wasn't open I looked for my shot and if I wasn't there I was going to try to get in the lane and get a shot for someone else."
Harris, who turned in eight points and 10 rebounds, got stuck between not fouling Swansey but also getting a hand in his face.
"I thought it was a good contest," Harris said.
Tipping off 14 hours after it was originally scheduled the Cats and Bulldogs looked like two teams working on little sleep and under completely absurd conditions. The teams struggled from the field, combined for 30 turnovers and generally looked out of sync in front of the sparse crowd.
"It was chaotic," Bradley said of the past 14 hours. "I mean, we were waiting in the arena last night for a long time, and then we didn't know when we were going to play, so we waited up until about maybe 1:30, 2:00 last night, and then we found out we were going to play today at 12 so it was a lot of chaos and really hectic."
Georgia forced overtime when Dave Bliss - who is public enemy No. 1 for UK fans - made two free throws with 59.4 seconds. The Cats then had three shots at the basket but Bradley missed all three attempts, including a wild drive that slammed off the backboard, a missed tip and then a 15-foot jumper from the wing after running the clock inside five seconds.
The offense got only worse in the opening minutes of overtime when Derrick Jasper missed a three-pointer a foot wide of the rim. Bradley then forced another drive and Jasper missed a reverse lay-in. Georgia wasn't able to capitalize though and UK tied the game at 52 on two Joe Crawford free throws with 2:30 remaining.
The waiting clearly affected UK at the outset. The Cats began the game by making just one of their first nine shots from the field, most of the misses coming by a wide margin. Georgia appeared to be much more in sync in jumping out to a 16-4 lead and out-hustling the Cats to nearly every loose ball.
"We can't make excuses," Harris said.
The Cats haven't all season but you could certainly understand if they did in this instance. Tornados and twisters will do that to a man.
Mark Coury and Georgia's Sundiata Gaines grapple for the ball
Ramel Bradley knifes between UGa's Dave Bliss and Albert Jackson
Two lucky fans watch the proceedings in a largely empty arena (due to the game being moved and the SEC barring non-privileged fans from attending)