- Sunday, February 5 1995 -
Syracuse - 71 (Head Coach: Jim Boeheim) - [Ranked 10th by AP]
Kentucky - 77 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 6th by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 29, Syracuse 24
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|South Carolina 90 - 72|||||Tennessee 68 - 48|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 4 No. 30. (All Rights Reserved)
Ugly Ugly Ugly Ugly:
It wasn't pretty, but UK notched its 1st win of the season against a top 10 team as the 6th ranked Wildcats beat the 10th ranked Orangemen of Syracuse 77-71 in Rupp Arena. This win also marks Pitino's 1st victory (against 6 setbacks) against a Boeheim coached team. Lawrence led all scorers with 23 points (many of them late in the game), with Delk leading UK scorers with 16.
Tony wasn't expected to play in this one, but he started (perhaps he should not have, considering how poorly he performed early on) and played more minutes than any other Wildcat. The 1st 3 possessions in the game were a UK turnover, an SU turnover, and a UK turnover. Riddick began the scoring with a hook, and Delk had a fast break layup basket before the Orangemen got a 3. The Big East refs let a lot of play go by as Syracuse fouled while making a steal, but nothing was called (SU then tied the game on a FT, and even took the lead briefly at 6-4 on a Reafsynder basket).
The Cats surged ahead at 14-10 during which Tony Delk demonstrated that he was still hurting, missing a couple of easy baskets and committing uncharacteristic turnovers. Riddick did particularly well inside early on. UK forced consecutive shot clock violations on Syracuse with tenacious defense. A Riddick putback made the score 18-12 with 8 minutes left in the half, and a Sheppard 3 made it 21-14. Kentucky pushed out to 25-16 on shots by Sheppard and Pope with Syracuse shortly after committing its 14th turnover. But the Orangemen clawed back on shots by Jackson, Moten, and a Sims FT, to make it 29-24 at the half. This was the 1st contest of the season in which Syracuse trailed at halftime.
Riddick and Sheppard missed shots to begin the 2nd half, while SU committed another turnover. Syracuse closed to 29-27, then the margin bounced between 1 and 4 points for some time. The score was tied at 35-35 on some Wallace FTs, then Syracuse hit a 3 in which Rhodes was severely pushed off (but no foul called) to put SU up 38-35. The lead bounced between the schools for a few minutes, with UK trailing by as much as 42-39 with 13.5 minutes left in the game. Pope completed an old-fashioned 3 to tie it at 42-42, when Epps next hit a 3, and Anthony then made a steal during which Delk was fouled. Tony missed both FTs, however. Syracuse was later pressed into a 5 second call while inbounding the ball, but UK could take no advantage of it as they too committed a turnover.
The Wildcats climbed back up to 50-42 after Pope hit a 3, but Syracuse kept it close by coming back to trail 53-52. Moten then began to come alive, hitting 3s despite good defense. His 2nd tied the game at 60-60. Delk finally hit a 3 to put Kentucky up 67-62, and McCarty dunked a putback basket to put the Cats up 69-62 with 1.5 minutes remaining. Free throws were the hallmark of the final minutes, as Rhodes, McCarty, and Rhodes again made the score 75-66. Delk hit a final dunk for Kentucky, and Moten hit a 3 at the buzzer to make the final score 77-71.