- Sunday, March 13 1994 -
SEC Tournament Championship (at Memphis, TN)
Kentucky - 73 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 10th by AP]
Florida - 60 (Head Coach: Lon Kruger) - [Ranked 17th by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 33, Florida 27
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Arkansas 90 - 78|||||Tennessee State 83 - 70|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 3 No. 28. (All Rights Reserved)
Kentucky Wins Its 18th SEC Tournament Championship:
Florida led 3-0 and 3-2 against Kentucky, but that was all as the Cats won their 3rd straight SEC Tournament.
UK went up 4-3 following a Delk 19 footer (UK made an awful lot of long-but-not-3-point-shots in this game), and led most of the rest of the way. Florida managed to sneak back on top briefly at 12-11, from a Hill basket off a DeClerq steal, but UK managed leads of 2-5 points early on. With UK leading 19-16, Anderson was fouled by Martinez. He hit one free throw, but on the second, both DeClerq and Epps entered the lane early at exactly the same time, so a jump ball was declared and Florida had the possession arrow in its favor. A Riddick layup and Rhodes 3 sandwiched a Dyrkolbotn layup, to put the Cats up 24-20 with 8 minutes in the half. Minutes later, Delk hit a 3 which was launched at least 26 feet from the basket, to increase the margin to 27-22. Kentucky's tenacious zone defense kept the Gators from getting easy outside shots, and passing lanes inside were closely watched. Layups by Prickett and a slam by Riddick let the Cats go up 31-22.
Prickett hit a cutting Brassow inside with the ball, but Jeff was so far under the basket a decent shot seemed impossible. He somehow managed to bounce the ball high off the glass as he was careening out of bounds for a pretty layup, and the Cats were up 33-22. Florida's band came to the Gators assistance - UK wound the shot clock down exceedingly, whereupon the band started to count the time off, a few seconds prematurely. Brassow appeared to hear this and he launched an early (airball) 3 point attempt. The band did the same thing shortly afterwards to McCarty, whose shot was better but who still missed the basket. Florida crept up to 33-27 at the half on shots by Dyrkolbotn and DeClerq. UK had shot 50% from the floor while holding the Gators to only 39%. Kentucky had a 17-14 rebounding edge over the Gators in the first half, as well.
Hill started the second half scoring with a layup to trim the lead to 33-29 UK. Kentucky missed on its next possession, and then a second unusual play occurred in the game. Hill made a hook attempt, and the ball was about halfway into the basket, when Thompson reached in from below (by accident, it appeared) and knocked it back out. The basket was allowed by officials (after some discussion by TV commentators about how far down in the basket a ball must go to be considered a score). [JNB note - I'm not sure the argument about whether a ball must clear the rim or the net is relevant. According to my NCAA rule book, it is a violation to touch the ball when it is on the hoop or inside the basket.]
A Cross 15 footer tied the score at 35-35, but a Ford 3 ended UK's 7 minute field goal drought. Hill hit an 18 foot shot, but two successive Rhodes 3 pointers (one of which bounced off the rim, and went high in the air before falling back through) pushed the lead back to 44-37 with 15 minutes left. UK continued on this run (which would eventually be 12-2) as Rhodes made an old-fashioned 3 point play and Ford hit a 3 to go up 50-37 before Florida scored on a Cross 12 footer. Yet another Cat flurry (consisting of a Martinez layup and a 12 footer, and a Rhodes 3) gave Kentucky a 57-39 lead with 10 minutes left. UK then had another drought, and a DeClerq old-fashioned 3, Hill FTs, Brown 3, Hill layup, and Cross FTs carved this back to 57-50 with 6 minutes left. Prickett stemmed the tide by hitting 2 FTs after a Brown foul. Delk got a steal and layup to go up 61-50 with 5 minutes left, and Kentucky started burning some clock on each possession.
Florida staged one last rally as Ford fouled Cross on a 3 point shot (he made 2 FTs), Rhodes made a silly behind the back pass which was a turnover, and Brown sank a 10 footer to cut the Wildcat lead to 61-54. Delk hit an important 3 with 2 minutes left, Hill made a layup, then Jeff Brassow hit a critical 3 as the shot clock expired, with 1:20 left in the game. Prickett, Brassow, and Ford FTs kept the win intact by putting UK up 73-58, then Anderson had a final putback basket to close the scoring, making the final 73-60.
Andre Riddick dunks