- Sunday, January 29 1995 -
Kentucky - 92 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 5th by AP]
Arkansas - 94 (Head Coach: Nolan Richardson) - [Ranked 9th by AP]
Halftime Score: Arkansas 49, Kentucky 47
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|Tennessee 69 - 50|||||South Carolina 90 - 72|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 4 No. 29. (All Rights Reserved)
Porkers Pack a Powerful Punch in Pummeling Cats:
It was yet another "close but no cigar" game for the Cats as they fell to the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena 94-92 in a well played, close contest. Billy Packer made the stunning prediction that UK and Arkansas probably would be meeting in the NCAA title game early in the telecast.
Kentucky started the scoring with a Sheppard 3, but the lead changed hands several times until a McCarty 12 footer put the Cats up 11-10. They build a 16-11 lead on the strength of a Delk FT, a Riddick basket from a Delk assist, and a Sheppard steal in backcourt and dunk. Following the dunk, Jeff hung on the rim momentarily (as permitted by the rules), to avoid coming down on Dwight Stewart who was directly underneath but Jeff was assessed a technical foul anyway. Thurman hit the technical FTs, and Arkansas rallied to tie the game at 16-16.
The Tony Delk Show began as the Cats surged to 24-16 on a Delk steal and layup, a highly arching Delk 3 from the corner, and a very long Delk 3. UK would later go up 27-21 and 31-23 as the two teams traded 3 pointers (including a Walker 3 which was off target but which hit the glass and banked in). Sheppard had another steal and dunk (this time releasing the rim immediately) to make this lead, Kentucky's largest of the 1st half. The Hogs hung tough, however, and stayed in the game on a nice Robinson cut, a basket by Williamson and some Williamson FTs. They closed to within 33-31 when Anthony Epps missed a 3, but Delk resumed his hot shooting with another highly arching 3 and a later 3 (to put the Cats up 39-31 with about 5 minutes remaining in the half). Dillard hit a bank shot, Beck hit a free throw, and Stewart hit a 3 despite decent defense by Pope (these were sandwiched around an Epps 3 and Sheppard FTs) and the Piggies came to within 42-39. Thurman hit a 3 to pull within 2, Rhodes hit 1 FTs (for his 1st points of the game) and Williamson raced past the defense for a layup at about the 1 minute mark to make the score 46-44. Beck FTs tied the game, Pope hit 1 of 2 FTs, then UK got the ball and tried to run out the clock. Sheppard tried an ill-advised 1 on 1 move against Beck and put up an airball with about 2.4 seconds left. Garrett got the ball, passed midcourt, and threw up a prayer which hit nothing but net as the Razorbacks went up 49-47 at the half. In the 1st half, UK had hit on 9 of 16 3 pointers.
UK quickly tied the game in the 2nd half with a McCarty layup, but the Hogs took a 55-51 lead on a Williamson basket and FT off a Sheppard foul, and a Thurman 3. Arkansas went up 57-51 after a nice drive by Williamson, who could not be stopped by Riddick alone (although Andre did get several blocks of shots). Sheppard picked up a charging foul despite being airborne and having Williamson move underneath him while he was in the air (as a counter- balance to this, UK clearly touched a ball as it was going out of bounds but it was given to Kentucky by the refs anyway). The Cats later pulled to within 59-58 on an 8 footer and a 3 by Rhodes (between which Williamson made a nice assist to a cutting Stewart when Corliss was double-teamed).
In a bizarre sequence, Arkansas shot as the shot clock was winding down and missed everything. Williamson caught the ball under the basket and threw it up (hitting the rim from underneath) while the shot clock froze at 1 second [JNB note - and stayed there for 5 seconds, by my count.] Riddick clearly fouled Williamson, but the refs were confused about the time remaining (if any), and after some discussion they awarded the ball to Arkansas with a full 35 seconds. Williamson hit a layup off an inbounds play to put the Pigs up 61-58. Arkansas went up 66-60 on another Williamson layup and foul and a driving shot by Robinson. Epps hit another critical 3, as did Sheppard, and the score was knotted at 66-66. The litany continued as Williamson made yet another layup and got a Riddick foul, followed by another layup. Then Garrett got a layup and FT, and the lead was 76-68 Arkansas. Delk hit some FTs, and hit a pair of 3s to make it 78-76.
The score was again tied at 80-80 when Delk hit a long 2 with 6.5 minutes left. UK even gained the lead at 82-80 after a McCarty 10 footer at the 5 minute mark. The Razorbacks countered with a Beck basket and FT, and a Thurman 3, but UK wouldn't quit either, getting a pair of Pope FTs, a Pope inside basket, and a Sheppard 14 footer. Williamson missed 2 critical FTs at the 3 minute mark, and UK tried to take the lead but instead Delk missed a 3 and Rhodes fouled Thurman with 1.5 minutes left (Scott hit his FTs). The Cats tied the game at 90-90 on a Rhodes 10 footer, but McDaniel hit 1 FT to put the Pigs up 91-90 with 50 seconds remaining. Rhodes missed a shot but McCarty followed with a tip-in to make the score 92-91 UK with 25 seconds left. Thurman made a 19 footer (and appeared to clear out Sheppard with his left arm as he did so, but no call was made), and Arkansas led 93-92 with 11 seconds left. Sheppard dribbled near Pitino but no time out was called, and UK was clearly playing for the last shot. Instead of passing off, Sheppard tried to go 1 on 3 and had his shot blocked with 0.8 seconds left. McDaniel was fouled by Sheppard on the rebound, and he hit 1 of 2 FTs to make the final margin 94-92 Arkansas.
Darnell Robinson corrals Tony Delk as he attempts a circus shot