- Wednesday, February 8 1995 -
Kentucky - 68 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 5th by AP]
Tennessee - 48 (Head Coach: Kevin O'Neill) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 39, Tennessee 24
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Syracuse 77 - 71|||||Notre Dame 97 - 58|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 4 No. 31. (All Rights Reserved)
Wildcats Hammer Hamerless Vols:
UK blasted Tennessee 68-48 in Knoxville, with Delk hitting from the outside and Prickett hitting from the inside. UK raised its all-time record in Knoxville to 40-40 with the win, which also saw Tony Delk join the 1000 point club (he had 1014 career points after this game, and is the 42nd member of the "club"). Delk led UK with 19 points which matched Johnson's 19 for UT.
Unfortunately, the game was marred by the injury to Steve Hamer after only 1 minute of play in the 1st half. He appeared to twist his knee slightly after coming down with a rebound. Later it was determined that he has dislocated his kneecap, and might be available for later games, but he was finished for the night. UT led 2-0 when he left the game, but they only had one tall player remaining (6'9" Kevin Whitted), and Kentucky quickly exploited the size differential at almost every position.
It look UK some time to adjust, however. The Vols went up 4-3 on a Whitted drive, and a later Johnson basket put them up 6-3. It became apparent early that Tennessee planned to use as much of the shot clock as possible on each possession. Delk hit a pair of FTs to close to within 6-5, but Williams nailed a 3 to let UT go up 9-5. After a Prickett putback of a Rhodes 3 miss, Whitted hit on a 14 footer, and when Carnes hit a 3, Tennessee had their largest lead of the night at 14-7. McCarty promptly hit a 3, and a Pope putback and Prickett 10 footer tied the game at 14-14. UK went up 19-14 on shots by Pope, a McCarty FT, and a Prickett inside basket (Jared was often guarded by a man 6'0", so he had little trouble shooting). Kentucky's heavy press forced many UT turnovers. UT closed to within 21-18 on shots by Williams and Johnson, but another Wildcat surge pushed the lead to 29-19 aided by a Delk 3 and an Epps 3. Delk hit a long 3 during this surge to give him his 5th point and allow him to join teammate Rod Rhodes in Kentucky's "1000 Point Club".
The Cats moved out to take a halftime lead of 39-24 on an Epps 3, a Riddick inside basket, a Prickett FT, an Edwards bank shot, and a Delk double pump 12 footer. UT tried a 3 at the buzzer which just barely rimmed out. UK had shot nearly 56% from the floor in the 1st half, and had 7 steals to Tennessee's 1 (the Vols also had 11 1st half turnovers). Delk, Prickett, Williams, and Johnson all had 7 points at the half. Tennessee continued its tradition this season of not leading at halftime in any SEC game.
In the second half, UK had no trouble holding its lead, then enlarging it to around 20 points. With its size advantage, the Cats moved the ball both around the perimeter, and inside-outside very well. Delk had a 4 point play when fouled making a 3 to make the margin 47-29. The Vols crept to within 47-34 on shots by Johnson and Williams, but only the final margin was in doubt. Rhodes, Delk, and Prickett hit baskets to put the Cats up 56-36 with about 12 minutes remaining. Jared Prickett in fact had several nice bank shots and close-in baskets due to his size advantage on his man.
UK reached its largest margin of the night at 62-40 (later to be matched at 66-44 and 68-46) when Delk gave a nice assist to Sheppard for a 10 foot basket with 7 minutes left. Kentucky experienced a few turnovers (which eventually allowed the Cats to tie the Vols at 15 TOs each), but UK maintained a 20 or 22 point lead as Coach Pitino was satisfied not to blow O'Neill's group out of the water, and he called off the press with around 4 minutes left in the game. Delk and Johnson finished the scoring for both sides (with Johnson's 19 points his career high) to make the final score 68-48 Kentucky, as the Wildcats merely dribbled out the game's final 30 seconds. The two coaches shook hands with about 5 seconds left.
UK's 68 points was its lowest total for the season, and Tennessee's 48 represented their opponent's 2nd lowest total of the season (lowest was Boston University which managed only 41 points).