- Saturday, March 7 1998 -
SEC Tournament (at Atlanta, GA)
Kentucky - 99 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 7th by AP]
Arkansas - 74 (Head Coach: Nolan Richardson) - [Ranked 16th by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 58, Arkansas 33
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Alabama 82 - 71|||||South Carolina 86 - 56|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 7 No. 27. (All Rights Reserved)
Wee Wee Wee, All the Way Home:
A supercharged Kentucky annihilated the Arkansas Razorbacks in Game 9 of the SEC Tournament at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta by a 99-74 score. UK was #7 ranked by AP, Arkansas was #16 in this game. Kentucky's Jeff Sheppard suffered a severe left ankle sprain in the 1st half (Sheppard later admitted it was the 1st basketball-related injury of his life). [JNB note - "Wee Wee Wee, All the Way Home" was the slogan my UK section of the Georgia Dome started chanting to the Arkansas fans as the game ended]
Kentucky connected on its first several shots (making 8 of their 1st 9, in fact), and was 12 of 16 in the 1st half. The Cats had no problem breaking Arkansas' pressure, and led 18-7 by the 1st TV timeout. After the timeout it grew to 24-7. The margin blossomed from there as UK finished shooting 62.9% from the floor in the opening period, compared to around 29% for the Hogs. The Razorbacks might have been somewhat fatigued from their 102-96 win over Tennessee the evening before this game. UK then led 31-13, and 41-14. The Cats were ahead comfortably 58-33 at the half. Jeff Sheppard from nearby Peachtree City, Georgia, hit on 5 of 9 shooting from the floor and had 15 pts in the 1st half. He finished with 17 pts and 5 rebounds, and early in the 2nd half sprained an ankle, which prevented him from returning to the game.
Wayne Turner was assessed a technical foul with 4:51 remaining in the game. He and Arkansas guard Tarik Wallace were scrambling for the ball and both fell on the floor. Turner claimed that Wallace hit him with a knee in his back, and Turner retaliated (and was caught) for hitting Wallace with an elbow. Words were exchanged when both players got up, and Turner pushed Wallace back, thereby earning the technical. When Pat Bradley of the Hogs hit both FTs, UK led 88-65. Arkansas never got closer than 20 pts behind Kentucky in the 2nd half.
UK's 52-30 rebound edge was the 3rd highest total for an SEC Tournament game. Nazr Mohammed finished with a double double, scoring 12 and picking up 10 rebounds. Kentucky shot an amazing (for it) 86.4% from the FT line in this game. Allen Edwards missed the game while at home for his mother's burial in Holly Hill, South Carolina (where she was raised).
Jeff Sheppard has scored 992 pts in his UK career, after this game. This was the 3rd worst loss by Nolan Richardson in his Arkansas career.
Heshimu Evans defends
Jeff Sheppard can only watch as his sprained ankle is tended to