- Saturday, March 12 1994 -
SEC Tournament (at Memphis, TN)
Kentucky - 90 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 10th by AP]
Arkansas - 78 (Head Coach: Nolan Richardson) - [Ranked 1st by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 47, Arkansas 40
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Mississippi State 95 - 76|||||Florida 73 - 60|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 3 No. 28. (All Rights Reserved)
Cats Punish a Pack of Pugnacious Piggies:
Arkansas, it seems, can win the regular season games against Kentucky (home or away), but Kentucky can win the SEC Tournament matchups between the two teams (whether at Rupp or "Barnhill East"). UK was victorious 90-78 against the #1 Razorbacks. The Cats used both 2-3 and 1-3-1 matchup zones to stymie the Piggies. The Cats were one of only 2 Top 10 teams to win on Upset Saturday (#4 North Carolina beat Wake, but #1 Arkansas, #2 Connecticut, #3 Missouri, #5 Duke, #7 Arizona, and #9 Michigan all went down to defeat).
Rodrick Rhodes was out from under suspension, but Jeff Brassow once again started in his place. Thurman started the scored with a rebound basket, but UK zipped up 6-2, all on inside layups or dunks by Prickett. The lead bounced back and forth until UK went up 16-14 on a Brassow 3. Another Brassow 3 got the Cats to 19-14, but Arkansas then went on an 8-0 run to lead 22-19, based largely on superior offensive rebounds by the Pigs (they had 9 offensive boards to Kentucky's 1 at one point). Ford closed the score to within 25-24, and both teams shot and missed 3s for a while. After a shooting foul on Delk, Arkansas substituted for all 5 players in the game.
Delk tied it, then he and Epps combined on 3 pointers to pull away 31-25, and UK never trailed again. The lead varied from 5 to 8 points as Arkansas demonstrated little outside shooting capability. Dillard then managed to hit a couple of 3s, but these were balanced by shots from Delk and McCarty. Both sides went cold until McCarty hit a 3. UK went up 47-36 on a 25 foot Ford 3, then Arkansas scored the last 4 points of the half to trail 47-40 at intermission.
Riddick got his 5th block to start the second half as Beck tried a 12 footer, and Ford hit a 23 foot shot to go up 50-40. UK held a 6-8 point lead over the next 5 minutes, with Riddick hitting yet another FT as he was fouled on a shot. A beautiful assist was missed on a Rhodes drive and pass to Prickett who passed to Riddick who missed a dunk. Arkansas closed to 56-51, 58-53, and finally 61-58, but UK continued its good 3 point shooting to prevent them from getting any closer. Martinez and Ford 3s soon had the Cats back up by 69-58, and Kentucky even managed a strong defensive stop as they forced an Arkansas shot clock violation. Kentucky's rebounding was much better in the second half too, forcing the Razorbacks to a single shot on most possessions. UK led 72-59, at which point Arkansas had missed 10 straight FGs until Williamson finally made one.
Arkansas got back to within 6 at 72-66, but UK managed to hit enough free throws to stay ahead by 6-8 points for a while. An old-fashioned Rhodes 3 point play made the lead 78-67, and UK began to burn clock on each possession. Thurman fouled Delk hard on a breakaway basket, but he showed class in asking Tony if he was OK afterwards. The FTs put the Wildcats up 84-72. UK managed one final comic sequence, when with about 2 minutes left in the game, Ford lost the ball to Dillard while inbounding (Dillard scored on a layup cut the lead to 10), and Martinez made a bad inbounding pass to Delk who lost it. Pitino called a timeout to settle his troops, but Williamson scored to cut the lead to 8. Rhodes made 2 FTs twice as Kentucky tried to run out the clock. In another bad call reminiscent of the Mississippi State game, Ford was clearly hammered right in front of an official, yet he was called for pushing off. Arkansas hit only 1 of its final 10 3 point attempts, and Jeff Sheppard scored Kentucky's last points in hitting 2 FTs, as the Cats prevailed 90-78.
Special points of interest - UK managed to win while Andre Riddick had more assists (2) than rebounds (1). He also hit his only free throw! Rhodes was perfect, hitting every field goal and free throw he attempted. The Piggie FG percentage (32.1%) was their lowest of the season. The Razorbacks had 0 dunks, and they had but 6 fast breaks in the first half, converting only twice.
Tony Delk (#00) shoots over Arkansas' Corliss Williamson (#34)