- Wednesday, February 17 1993 -
South Carolina - 66 (Head Coach: Steve Newton) - [Unranked]
Kentucky - 87 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 2nd by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 38, South Carolina 24
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Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 2 No. 29. (All Rights Reserved)
Cats Munch on the Gamecocks:
Kentucky beat a surprisingly stubborn South Carolina by 87-66 last Wednesday in Rupp. UK led the entire way, although the margin, which swelled to 16 to start the second half, was reduced to 8-12 points until a Big Blue surge at the end of the game produced the final margin (which was achieved on a last second Tony Delk 3 pointer). USC, which had won 4 or their last 5 games, refused to quit.
UK played pretty well for most of the game, but it had an inordinate amount of turnovers (mostly unforced), particularly in the first half, which had Pitino fuming. But the big stars of this game were the new-and-improved Rodrick Rhodes (finally over his flu) and the hot-shooting Tony Delk. Rodrick started off very poorly with some lousy passes which were picked off, and some defensive lapses, but he got his act in gear and heated up to score 11 first half points (with no misses), and finally finished with 15. He may have been responding to some criticism from Pitino earlier in the week, but Rick was proud to announce before the game that Rhodes had experienced on of the best practices he had ever seen just prior to the USC game, so perhaps Rodrick is "back." Junior Braddy saw some action in the first half, and started similarly with very poor passing and defensive execution, but he too picked it up offensively. Chris Harrison saw a fair amount of time (for him) in the first half as well, in relief of Ford, and he looked good, running the team effectively and playing smart.
Prickett started aggressively as well, and continued his pattern of tipping in missed shots (TV commentator Joe B. Hall even wondered out loud "do you suppose he misses those easy shots just so he can tap them in later?"). Jared had several nice assists, and moved extremely well without the ball. Andre Riddick was called for a foul on an apparent clean block, and appeared to be irritated by it. He scored on 2 straight possessions immediately afterwards, one on a terrific dunk. Andre took a very hard shot to the nose in the second half (accidental), and was slow to leave the court, but he didn't appear to be seriously injured. Martinez played but did little except foul, and poor Jeff Brassow launched several 3 pointers but was lucky to draw iron.
Tony Delk seemed to justify Pitino's decision to return him to the 2 guard spot (Rick admitted on his TV show that he made a mistake in trying to convert Tony to a point guard, and that UK could really use his offense). Delk's shots were really dropping (all his points came in the second half), and he was the only truly consistent 3 point shooter all night. Neither Rhodes nor Delk had missed a shot taken until 7 minutes were remaining in the game, whereupon Delk needed a shot and 2 follow-up tips (on the same possession) to make a basket.
UK got good bench scoring - Wildcat non-starters scored 45 points, to 15 by Gamecock non-starters. Also, Kentucky worked the boards really well, outrebounding the (admittedly smaller) Carolinians by *21*. Kentucky had been outrebounded in the Columbia game by 11. UK managed a steady 45% FG shooting percentage in both halves of the game. USC started cold with 39% for the first half, but it warmed up to 54% in the second half.
Something to note about this game - neither Kentucky's main inside threat (Mashburn) nor outside threat (Ford) had a particularly good game (although neither played badly. Ford had plenty of assists to compensate for his non-existent 3 point shooting).], yet UK managed to win comfortably.
[JNB note - I was amused at Joe B, who throughout the game referred to Timberlake as "Amino". Only in Kentucky... :-)]
Rodney Dent (#4) and Travis Ford (#5) defend the goal against South Carolina's Carey Rich (#3)
Jamal Mashburn snares the rebound
South Carolina's Edmond Wilson (#30) secures the rebound in front of Jeff Brassow (#14)