- Wednesday, February 3 1993 -
Mississippi State - 63 (Head Coach: Richard Williams) - [Unranked]
Kentucky - 87 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 2nd by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 42, Mississippi State 23
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Florida 71 - 48|||||Vanderbilt 82 - 67|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 2 No. 27. (All Rights Reserved)
Slowly but Surely:
Kentucky got off to a rather slow (and bored) start against Mississippi State last night, which allowed the Bulldogs to gain a 3 point lead early, but then a 23-2 run put the game out of reach. MSU closed to within 6 in the second half when Kentucky's sloppiness returned, but a final surge boosted the Wildcats to an 87-63 victory, to raise their record to 16-1.
UK started very slowly and uninspired, and the Rupp Arena crowd sounded "out of it" as well. Despite Pitino's pleading to "pretend that you are Long Beach State tonight, and pretend that Mississippi State is Kansas", UK didn't shake its lethargy until MSU went ahead by 3 points about midway through the first half. MSU started slowly as well, missing their first 7 shots until their 8th (a putback of a missed shot) finally went in. Pitino angrily called a time out after several UK turnovers in a row (unforced) and Kentucky trailing.
Whatever he said must've worked, because the Cats went on a 23-2 run, and never really looked back. Travis Ford got a 4 point play near the end of the first half when he was fouled on a 3 which went in. Ford had a very good first half, hitting four out of his five 3 point attempts, and scoring 14 points. UK's rebounding continued to be very good in this game - the Cats exhibited good block-out form, and dominated on the boards (MSU's smaller frontcourt probably added to this phenomenon).
UK slacked off a bit to start the second half, and allowed MSU to narrow the lead somewhat. At one point early on, Gimel Martinez was observed to have blood on his shirt, and the ref escorted him to the UK bench to change jerseys per the new NCAA regulations. Gimel simply slipped the jersey off on the court, producing a chorus of "ooohs and aaahs" from the female fans at Rupp (he took it pretty well). MSU cut the lead to 6 and had Cat fans concerned before UK put on another spurt to boost the final margin to over 20 points. Travis Ford cooled off considerably after halftime, missing all his 2nd half 3s, but he ended the game with a couple of nice drives to the baskets.
UK leads the MSU series 70-14 after this victory. The Bulldogs have still never won in Rupp Arena (they are 16-0 there now), and the record in Lexington games stands at 37-3 for the Cats (MSU's last win was in 1967).