- Saturday, January 8 1994 -
Kentucky - 90 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 4th by AP]
Georgia - 94 (Head Coach: Hugh Durham) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 41, Georgia 38
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Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 3 No. 19. (All Rights Reserved)
Cats Dumped by a Den of Deadly Dawgs:
It took several factors combining to cause Kentucky to lose to Georgia in Athens - 1) poor Cat free throw shooting, 2) poor officiating, 3) poor Cat rebounding, and 4) an injury to Jeff Brassow. These factors caused the Cats to fall 94-90 in overtime to the dreaded Georgia Bulldawgs. [JNB note - I tried to buy a ticket at the door from scalpers for this game. Big mistake! Georgia fans, spurred on by Hugh Durham, bought up tickets just so Kentucky fans couldn't get them, and what looked to me like about a thousand UK fans, probably mostly from Atlanta, couldn't get in.]
Both schools held leads during the first half, but never by more than 6 points for Georgia and 7 for UK. Early in the half, Jeff Brassow was accidentally hit in the face by a Jared Prickett elbow during a rebound, and Jeff was knocked unconscious for a few minutes. Also in the first half, Travis Ford missed his first free throw of the season - his first of 3 misses for the night (Ford ended up with the same free throw percentage as Riddick - who'd have thought that?). His miss must have dis-inspired the other Cats, and the team ended up with a horrendous 12-30 record from the free throw line.
The officiating was unbelievable - most of the time the home team is slightly favored by the referees, but this was ridiculous. Numerous hacks against the Cats went uncalled, but breathing hard on the Dawgs was whistled immediately. Several obvious block/charge calls were blown, including one particularly bad call against Martinez. An obvious goaltending charge against Georgia was missed (on a Sheppard shot), and when the Wildcats stopped play, awaiting that call which never came, Georgia raced down for an easy bucket. The Cats lead 41-38 at the break despite all this.
The second half was even worse. All of UK's big men got into foul trouble, forcing bizarre lineups (particularly since senior Jeff Brassow was out of the game with a concussion). UK ended the game with 4 guards and a small forward on the floor. At one particularly bad moment, ref George Washington (who made most of the really atrocious calls that night) called a foul on Prickett for pushing *Jeff Sheppard* (no joke - the TV replay confirmed that Sheppard was the only player on the floor who made contact with Prickett). UK didn't help its own cause, however, with several airball 3 point shots and many unnecessary 3 point attempts on easy 2-1 or 3-2 fast breaks (which missed). Georgia led by between 2 and 5 points throughout the second half, but some ferocious 3 point shooting by the Cats allowed them to tie the game at 84 all by the end of regulation.
Kentucky held the lead for most of the overtime, but wilted at the end when it was reduced to a very short team. The score was tied at 90 with 30 seconds left, and Rhodes missed a 12 foot shot. Georgia's Steve Jones was fouled on the rebound. He hit his first free throw, but missed the second. Chris Harrison, however, stepped into the lane too soon, and Jones hit the retry. UK came down the court with the ball and with a chance to win on a 3 or tie with a 2, when Chris Harrison made a lame pass attempt to Rhodes, who was not really open. Jones grabbed the ball and raced to the other end for a dunk with 1 second left to seal the victory. Every UK player taller than 6'7" fouled out.
Pitino has seldom been more angry during his post-game radio show. He stated that he planned to shake up the starting lineup, and this was confirmed later on his weekly TV program. On the TV show, he claimed that he didn't mind losses as long as good effort was given, but UK made too many mental mistakes and was totally ineffective in rebounding and in blocking out, giving 25 offensive rebounds to Georgia. Rick said that he wasn't certain which changes would be made, but it would most likely be McCarty in for Rhodes and Martinez in at center replacing Riddick. He said he'd probably have considered starting Brassow in future games if it wasn't for his severe facial injury.
Pitino said this team was the worst he's ever had, in terms of the players not listening to the instructions of the coaching staff. He said that this will be a rebuilding year at UK, although he hated to admit it.
Jeff Brassow has recovered, but has broken a bone above his eye, and will have to wear a protective mask, mostly likely for the remainder of the season. This game was shown by UK on pay-per-view, and about 5000 orders were placed. SEC regulations state that no league games other than those under network contract can be shown live over commercial TV stations, hence the move to PPV. The game was shown for non-paying fans on a tape delayed basis. Costs to view the game ranged from $10 in Louisville to $26 in Lexington.
Rodrick Rhodes and Georgia's Shandon Anderson fight for the ball