- Friday, March 11 1994 -
SEC Tournament (at Memphis, TN)
Kentucky - 95 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 10th by AP]
Mississippi State - 76 (Head Coach: Richard Williams) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 42, Mississippi State 31
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|South Carolina 74 - 75|||||Arkansas 90 - 78|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 3 No. 28. (All Rights Reserved)
Wildcats Bash a Bunch of Bodacious Bulldogs:
With starter Rodrick Rhodes benched for breaking a team rule [JNB note - I'd heard on the WHAS broadcast prior to the game that it was for violating curfew, but I haven't seen that stated anywhere else. Pitino said it was something more than curfew violation.], Kentucky nevertheless managed to achieve a 95-76 romp over the Mississippi State Bulldogs. "It's not a drug- or alcohol-related thing," Pitino said in a TV interview before the game, "It's just a violation of a team rule, but it was calculated and I'm disappointed with it. This was a little more bothersome [than the Ford/ Prickett/Martinez free throw shooting incident at Vanderbilt] because it's a selfish act."
Ford started off with a layup to put the Cats up 2-0, and on the first MSU possession, Andre Riddick jumped *clear over* David Domingue (fouling him in the process, of course). Mississippi State jumped out to a 5-2 lead on a 3 by Grant and an inside basket by Dampier. Jared Prickett picked up 2 quick fouls in the opening minutes of the game and sat for the remainder of the half. UK tied it at 5-5, then the two teams alternated in the lead the score was tied again at 10-10 on a Wilson 3. During one early possession, Travis Ford was pushed on a rebound by Grant but no call was made, and as Ford dribbled the ball down court, he stared solidly at Rutledge as if to say "no foul, eh?" Tony Delk was fouled on a 3, and hit his FT for a 17-13 UK lead. An additional 2 pointer by Delk and a Martinez 3 pushed this to 22-15, before Ole Miss cut it to 22-20 on a 3 by Grant and an 18 footer by Honore. Grant was called for a highly questionable offensive goaltend, when the ball was clearly off the cylinder.
UK pushed back out in front to 30-22 on a Brassow 3, Delk layup off a steal, and a Martinez 3. Riddick picked up his 3rd foul shortly after, as did Prickett. Travis Ford on one possession was heavily jostled by two MSU players, and fell to the floor, where he was called for traveling to the displeasure of the UK contingent present. Dampier swung his elbows flagrantly around Tony Delk (who was fortunately too short to be hit) when grabbing a rebound, yet no call was made. Leads of 33-27 and 36-29 were achieved on additional Brassow 3s. UK scored the final 6 points of the half, starting with a Brassow steal and dunked the ball to put the Cats up 39-31. UK for a period played with 4 guards in the game (Brassow, Epps, Delk, and Sheppard) due to the foul trouble of the big men. Final shots by Delk and Martinez made the halftime score 42-31 UK.
Brassow began the second half with a 3, but MSU cut the lead to 10 on baskets by Domingue and Grant. On one flurry, Prickett missed a 3, Ford rebounded, Delk missed a 3, then Brassow hit a followup basket and was fouled by Wilson. He hit the FT to go up 50-37 Kentucky. Martinez and Ford ran the old pick-and-roll for a 53-37 lead with 17:00 left. Dampier hit Prickett in the chest and knocked him to the floor with no call on one possession. After this, Dampier said something, Martinez apparently answered back, and the two players were assessed technical fouls (although nothing was called for the flagrant foul of Prickett). Ford missed one of two FTs for the T, and Wilson missed both of his for MSU.
Andre Riddick was fouled on a shot by Wilson, and he hit both FTs beautifully to the delighted cheers of the crowd. Kentucky led by 58-39. The lead bounced from 16-20 points for several minutes, with UK achieving its largest margin of the day at 66-44 with 11 minutes remaining. At 73-52, MSU staged a rally on a Grant 3, Dampier inside basket, Price layup, and Honore 3 to cut it to 73-62 before Delk hit 2 FTs for the Cats. Tony Delk, who had been having an excellent game (and reached a career high 29 points), was told by Pitino from the bench to play "Team ball" on a couple of occasions. Delk promptly hit a long 3 pointer, and Brassow added some FTs to ease the margin back to 80-64. Riddick later made 1 of 2 FTs before fouling out with 3 minutes to go.
MSU staged a final rally on a pair of 3s and a dunk off a steal from Martinez by Grant, to make it 83-75. One Harrison FT and an Honore layup later, it was closed to 84-77 before Ford hit a couple of FTs to nail the coffin shut. Desperation shots and multiple turnovers then plagued the Bulldogs in their attempt to catch up. Towards the end of the game, when the issue had already been decided, Dampier laid his shoulder into Ford during a screening attempt, and was called for an intentional foul (Ford made his FTs). Harrison hit the game's final FTs to provide the winning margin at 95-76.
This loss put Mississipi State back on the NCAA bubble, and they did not make it into the tournament.