- Friday, March 6 1998 -
SEC Tournament (at Atlanta, GA)
Kentucky - 82 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 7th by AP]
Alabama - 71 (Head Coach: David Hobbs) - [Unranked]
|Terrance "Doc" Martin||14||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||1||1||1||3|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 42, Alabama 40
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|South Carolina 69 - 57|||||Arkansas 99 - 74|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 7 No. 27. (All Rights Reserved)
Sweet Home Alabama, Part II:
Kentucky overcame a sluggish end of half to finally overcome Alabama 82-71 in Game 5 of the SEC Tournament at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. UK was #7 ranked by AP for this contest. It was the final coaching game for Dave Hobbs at Alabama (it was announced by Alabama athletic officials that Hobbs would not be retained beyond the present season). Kentucky's Jamaal Magloire was suspended for this single game for an unspecified violation of team rules. Coach Smith did not tell his team that Magloire would not play until halftime.
After getting the opening tip, Kentucky raced out to leads of 6-0 and 9-3, as all Cats appeared to be clicking on all cylinders. Following a UK steal and dunk, Alabama Coach David Hobbs was hit with a technical foul by Tom Lopes for protesting too strenuously that UK had fouled during their double-teaming steal. Lopes had earlier warned Hobbs to sit down, and Padgett hit both FTs to make it 11-3. Bama closed to 11-9 on the strength of a pair of Williams 3s, but Kentucky surged to a 16-9 advantage after Turner made an unguarded 17 footer. The Cats cruised to a 20-12 margin after Mills hit a 16 footer, and minutes later Padgett made 2 FTs for a 24-16 edge (London was hit in the face on the play and came out briefly). Mills made a long 3 for a 30-20 lead, then Bama began chipping back thanks to Jones and Alexander, who cut it to 34-30 with around 5 minutes left in the half. Sheppard hit a 14 footer to make it 38-32, and an Evans dunk following a steal made it 40-32. But Jones hit more FTs and Martin hit a 3, to make it 42-40 at halftime.
Alabama started the 2nd half strongly, and the Cats and Tide were tied 3 times in the opening minutes. Bama even got a 48-46 lead thanks to an Alexander turnaround shot, and a Williams putback of a Jones miss made it 50-49 shortly afterwards. But Turner was fouled on a drive and connected for 2 FTs to make it 51-50 UK. Alexander and Williams scored to give Alabama their largest lead of the game at 54-51, but Bradley had a putback and Sheppard added a dunk to make it 55-54. Bradley had another layup and the danger was past. The Tide managed 1 further tie, at 61-61, but Kentucky then reeled off 21 pts to Alabama's 10, with the Tide not getting closer than 6 pts in the final minutes, and the Cats moved on to their next matchup in the SEC Tournament against Arkansas as Kentucky prevailed 82-71.
Mike Bradley's 10 pts and 6 rebounds were his career highs at UK (and he set 4 other highs - 2 steals, 4 baskets, and 7 shots). Scott Padgett managed a double double, with 12 pts and 13 rebounds. Demetrius Alexander achieved a double double for Alabama, scoring 10 and grabbing 11 rebounds. Heshimu Evans was suffering from allergies, and wore a strip across his nose for the game (it didn't prevent him from plucking 10 rebounds for the game).