- Saturday, January 10 1998 -
Kentucky - 77 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 6th by AP]
Mississippi State - 71 (Head Coach: Richard Williams) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 41, Mississippi State 34
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|Georgia 90 - 79|||||South Carolina 91 - 70|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 7 No. 19. (All Rights Reserved)
Beating the Other Dogs:
Kentucky started out like a house afire, but in the end had to hang on against a revitalized Mississippi State as the Wildcats defeated the Bulldogs 77-71 in Starkville. UK was ranked #6 in the nation by AP for this game, which was televised by Jefferson Pilot. This was Mississippi State's 1st home game since December 6, 1997.
The Cats blitzed out to a 6-0 lead, which soon after became 11-3, and hot shooting by Turner, Padgett, and Edwards extended this to a 22-7 margin. UK led by 25-9 at the 2nd TV timeout following an Edwards 3, and the Cats were hitting on a torrid 69.2% of their shots from the floor early. This became a 28-13 edge after Padgett hit a long 2 and Turner hit 1 of 2 FT attempts. But then White connected on a 3, Webster hit on a drive, and Hughes made a 3 to suddenly close to within 28-21, and the crowd got back into the game. Mohammed hit a hook, and Sheppard hit Edwards for a lob layup inside to make it 32-21 Kentucky. UK led from between 10 and 12 pts for the next few minutes, standing at 39-27 at the next TV timeout. White hit a very long 3, Washington blew past his defenders for a layup, and the lead dwindled to 39-34. Magloire finished the 1st half scoring with 2 FTs, and the Cats held a 41-34 halftime lead. Kentucky had hit on an unexpectedly high 8 of 10 FT tosses, but its early hot shooting had been stemmed, to the point where UK made 15 of 31 FG attempts compared to 14 of 31 for MSU. Padgett had 11 pts by halftime, with Edwards and Turner scoring 10 apiece.
UK began the 2nd half with a possession consisting of 4 FG attempts (a Turner missed 3, a Padgett missed putback, a Mohammed miss, and an Edwards missed 3). White hit another very long 3, and it was 41-37 Kentucky with the crowd going wild. Sheppard made a 3 pointer the old-fashioned way, Washington hit a Mohammed-like hook, then Mohammed had a putback basket to make it 46-39 Kentucky. Separate Washington FTs (the Cats found him hard to stop all day) closed the gap to 46-43 UK by the time of the 1st TV timeout of the 2nd half. The lead bounced between 3 and 5 until a pair of Webster FTs closed the margin to 48-47 Kentucky, and a followup Washington FT actually tied the score at 48-48. Once challenged, the Wildcats responded bravely, with Smith hitting a quick 3 (rather like he did at Georgia), Padgett hitting a 3, Washington making 1 of 2 FT attempts, and Magloire hitting a 12 footer to make it 56-49. A couple of quick Moore buckets made it 58-55, then Evans and Webster traded 3s. Evans made a tough basket inside, but then White hit a wide open 3 to close to 65-63. Padgett nailed an 18 footer with around 4 minutes left in the game, but then Webster hit a 3 despite being well guarded to bring the score to 67-66 UK. Evans and Padgett made single FTs in separate possessions, and the lead grew to 71-66. Evans later added an 18 footer, then Edwards got a steal and easy layup (his 1st pts of the 2nd half!), and the margin had blossomed to 75-66 with less than a minute remaining. MSU eventually closed to within 77-71 as time expired, giving the Cats their 3rd consecutive SEC victory.
MSU's Trey Moore (#5) runs ahead of the Kentucky defenders Wayne Turner (#5), Jeff Sheppard (#15) and Heshimu Evans (#14)
Tyrone Washington (#42) for MSU tries to dunk over Nazr Mohammed (#13)
Washington shoots the free throw while Jamal Magloire(#42) and Scott Padgett (#34) anchor the defense