- Saturday, December 12 1998 -
Maryland - 91 (Head Coach: Gary Williams) - [Ranked 2nd by AP]
Kentucky - 103 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 5th by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 54, Maryland 41
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|Indiana 70 - 61 OT|||||Georgia Tech 80 - 39|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 8 No. 22. (All Rights Reserved)
Taming Terrific Terrapins:
#5 ranked Kentucky demolished #2 ranked Maryland 103-91 in Rupp Arena, marking the 1st time in 19 years that such a highly ranked squad played against the Cats in Lexington. The game was televised by ESPN. The victory by the Wildcats over Maryland marked the 11th consecutive win by UK over a ranked opponent (and Maryland lost for the 6th consecutive time to a ranked team on the road).
Bradley scored the 1st pt of the game on a FT, but Maryland had quick 2-1 and 4-3 leads on shots inside by Ekezie. A Prince 3 put the Cats up 6-4 however, and they stayed up for most of the 1st half. Several times UK had steals or solid rebounds, only to turn the ball over when the players began to run without 1st controlling the ball, and this accounted for UK's unusually high number of silly turnovers. Bradley made a layup off an Evans assist, but Morris answered with a dunk. Turner made a FT, but Francis nailed a 15 footer. Evans had a 3 for a 12-8 margin, and Profit and Padgett traded shots. Maryland went ahead following a Magloire goaltend , a Francis jam, and a Profit layup as he ran past the UK defense for a 16-14 edge. Their largest lead came moments later when Morris fed Profit for a dunk and an 18-14 score. Then Evans made another 3, Dixon was fouled by Smith on a 3 (making all 3 FTs), Magloire had a putback, and Evans made an old-fashioned 3 for a 22-21 UK edge. The game was tied 24-24 after a Camara 17 footer and a Stokes 3. The 2 teams traded 1 pt leads for the next several minutes. With the score 31-30 Maryland, Padgett hit a critical 3, Ekezie hit inside, and Padgett made another 3 for a 36-33 lead. Smith was fouled and made 2 FTs for a 38-33 edge. Just before the next TV timeout, Evans made 2 FTs, and Francis hit 2 of 3 FTs when he was fouled attempting a 3. Evans hit a 3, and Padgett fed Prince for a dunk to make it 47-37 with a little over 2 minutes remaining in the half. Ekezie had a dunk and a 12 footer to finish Maryland scoring, and Turner hit a 16 footer, Bradley made 2 FTs, and Padgett hit a 3 right at the buzzer for a 54-41 Wildcat edge at halftime. Maryland had never trailed at the half this season. UK, not normally a good shooting team from the floor, had made 56% of their FGs by the half (Maryland's best opponent so far this season had made only 42% of their FGs in any 1st half), with UM making only 39% of theirs. Evans had already scored 18 pts by the break, and Padgett had 11.
Turner was called for a 5 second count to start the 2nd half. Ekezie made 1 FT and Francis had a dunk. Turner and Morris traded shots, then Magloire made a hook, and Francis had a putback for a 58-48 lead. Prince made a left-handed hook, Morris made a spin move under the basket for a bucket, and Turner blew past the Maryland defense for a 62-50 margin by the 1st TV timeout. Padgett nailed a 3, and Prince had a putback for a 67-50 lead, Kentucky's largest of the day. Morris made 2 shots in a row before Padgett scored inside. A Maryland lob pass missed, but UK couldn't convert, and Ekezie made 1 of 2 FTs. Morris scored a layup on a 3-on-1 break before the next TV timeout, which saw a 69-57 edge. Francis narrowed the gap to 69-59 on a 14 footer. Then Evans had a layup and Turner made 2 FTs. Minutes later, Turner hit Magloire for a layup and a 77-62 lead. Morris made an old-fashioned 3, Padgett banked a 10 footer, Francis hit a 14 footer which arched high, and Dixon got a layup to cut it to 79-69. Maryland's defensive pressure picked up, and UK was more prone to have trouble with it. Ekezie had a dunk to cut it to 79-71. Evans stopped their momentum, however, with a big 3, and Padgett later added a FT for an 85-72 edge. Morris nailed a 17 footer, and Saul Smith missed at the FT line. Francis hit a long 3, and suddenly it was a game at 85-77. Evans added 2 FTs which were answered by 2 by Francis. With 2 minutes remaining, Turner got a crucial steal, and fed Evans who was fouled as he drove to the hoop. He made both FTs to keep it at 89-79. Morris answered with 2 of his own (thereby reaching a career high in scoring), and Turner had a pair as well. Finally with less than 1.5 minutes left, Francis hit a 15 footer and called timeout with a 91-83 deficit for UM. The Cats took more than 5 seconds to inbound the ball, but they called a timeout which was granted. On the ensuing inbounds, Turner was fouled, hitting 1 of 2 FTs. Francis hit a difficult 3 with 1 minute left, and suddenly it was 92-86 and the crowd became nervous. Francis fouled out against Turner, who only made 1 of 2, for a 93-86 Wildcat edge. Morris hit a 3 with 51 seconds left, but Padgett made both his FTs when fouled. Dixon was fouled by Prince, and Dixon made 2 FTs to cut it to 95-91. Evans was fouled on the inbounds pass, and he made both FTs. Kentucky blocked the next Maryland shot, and Padgett made 2 FTs to ice the game 99-91 with 22 seconds remaining. After this, Turner was fouled and hit 2, and Evans fed Turner for a buzzer beating layup to make the final score 103-91 Kentucky. ESPN commentator Dick Vitale said the entire UK team deserved the MVP award for their unselfish play.
The 31 pts by Heshimu Evans are his career high, and Scott Padgett's double-double in pts and rebounds is his 2nd of the season. His 25 pts were a career high, and his 13 rebounds were 1 shy of his career high. Magloire's 6 blocked shots match his career high. The 103 pts scored by the Cats represent the most pts scored by a Tubby Smith-coached Kentucky team, and is the 1st time such a team has scored 100 or more pts. UK's 9 3 pt shots matched a season high, and they held Maryland to 10% lower FG shooting than their season average. Maryland had been allowing their opponents to score only 55.6 ppg - Kentucky had 54 by halftime.
Maryland's Steve Francis (#23) shoots over Jamaal Magloire and Scott Padgett (#34)
Tayshaun Prince skies for a shot
Wayne Turner starts the break