- Thursday, November 19 1998 -
Mercer - 51 (Head Coach: Mark Slonaker) - [Unranked]
|John Pat Pickles||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
Kentucky - 82 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 4th by AP]
|J. P. Blevins||12||0||3||0||2||0||0||1||0||1||1||1||0||0||2||0|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 49, Mercer 19
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Eastern Kentucky 99 - 64|||||Wright State 97 - 75|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 8 No. 18. (All Rights Reserved)
UK continued in cruise mode in defeating the Mercer Bears 82-51 in Rupp Arena. Kentucky was #4 ranked by AP for the contest. Kentucky got the opening tip, and it was all downhill for Mercer after that.
Turner was unguarded in an initial triangle and 2 zone, so he nailed a 3 pt shot. Davis came back to hit a 12 footer, Turner made a layup, and when Davis hit a 3, it was tied at 5-5. Then the Cats went on a 21-2 run, with scoring mostly by Evans, followed by Camara, Turner, and Padgett (Turner continues to shoot long 2s when his foot touches the 3 pt line). Finally Lawyer got a layup to stem the drought, and it was 26-9 Kentucky. The 2 teams traded baskets on their next 4 possessions, then Allison had a putback, then Padgett made a pair of FTs in succession, and then Padgett got a pretty assist from Blevins for a layup. After a TV timeout, Camara put back a Blevins miss, and Bradley made an 8 ft hook, before Stallworth finally scored to make it 47-19. Tackett got a layup to end scoring for the half, with the margin 49-19.
Mercer's 2 leading scorers for the season were held scoreless in the 1st half by Kentucky's defense, and Wayne Turner had a creditable 1st half performance with 11 pts on 5-8 shooting from the field, and no turnovers. UK appeared to want to avoid running up the score further in the 2nd half, and played the Bears roughly even. Shots by Padgett and Bradley were answered by Davis, Brown, and Anderson, and it was 54-25 at the next TV timeout. Turner and Kirtz traded shots, then Bradley hit a single FT followed on the next possession by a layup after a brilliant Evans save of a ball going out of bounds, to make it 59-28. The lead reached a maximum of 38 when Allison hit a FT and then a high bank shot, but then Brown scored on the next several possessions, and McCray made a FT to make the score 71-40. Steve Masiello got into the game and promptly made an old-fashioned 3 pt play to the delight of the crowd (the fact that it was made while defended by 6'11" Chris Ott didn't hurt). Ott got a dunk, Camara put back a Masiello miss, Camara nailed a 15 footer, and the 2 sides traded baskets until a final monstrous Camara superdunk (from a no-look behind the back assist by Masiello) and subsequent FT (and a final McMillan putback basket) completed the scoring and made the final 82-51. Mercer was listed as the 304th out of 306 Division I teams last year in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI). No Bear obtained double figures in scoring.
Saul Smith (#11) saves the ball from going out of bounds
Heshimu Evans passes the ball away from Mercer's Evan Davis