- Wednesday, November 17 1999 -
Preseason NIT (at Lexington, KY)
Pennsylvania - 50 (Head Coach: Fran Dunphy) - [Unranked]
Kentucky - 67 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 14th by AP]
|J. P. Blevins||13||2||4||2||3||0||0||0||2||2||0||0||0||0||0||6|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 32, Pennsylvania 28
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Michigan State 66 - 73|||||Utah 56 - 48|
Game Writeup - Written by and courtesy of Mike Brent; Kentucky Sports Report, (All Rights Reserved)
UK beats Penn
The young Kentucky Wildcats got their first real test of the season in a Preseason NIT matchup against the Pennsylvania Quakers and their star player, Michael Jordan. They passed, riding the broad shoulders of Jamaal Magliore and freshman Marvin Stone (and a little morale boosting from Final Four veteran Ashley Judd). Michael Jordan was no match for Judd and the Wildcats, as Kentucky used an 18-4 second half flurry to bury the Quakers 67-50.
Penn figured to be a difficult test for Coach Tubby Smith's young but talented team, and they played up to expectations early. After falling behind 15-4, the Quakers battled back to take a 26-23 lead. It lasted only one possession, as JP Blevins promptly banked in a three pointer. Penn wouldn't go away easily, using hot shooting guard Matt Langel to stay close. Another Blevins three at the halftime buzzer gave the Cats a slim 32-28 lead.
Things took a sharp dive for the worse for the Quakers in the second half. Smelling the kill, Tubby Smith called for the press. The Cat-quick youngsters swarmed the tiring Penn team, forcing turnovers and turning them into points. Saul Smith got things rolling with a pull up three pointer on the break. Tayshaun Prince nailed a trey of his own, and a Marvin Stone basket at 11:35 capped a 12-1 run that gave Kentucky a 50-37 advantage. The Cats never looked back, cruising to the final score of 67-50.
Tubby Smith played ten players, and the depth and balance shows in the box score. Six players scored 8 or more with super freshman Marvin Stone leading the way with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Senior Jamaal Magliore was riddled with foul trouble but still managed 11 points, 9 boards and 3 blocks.
As a team UK shot a dismal 40% for the game and committed 15 turnovers. Freshman Keith Bogans struggled to find his shot and UK had only 12 assists. Still, they convincingly beat a very good team. A very good shooting Penn team was held to 31% from the field and Michael Jordan managed only 5 points. The future looks very promising for the Cats, which no doubt makes Ashley very happy; and if Ashley's happy, I'm happy.
Friday the Cats play #15 Utah at 7:00 PM (ESPN) in Rupp Arena. If they win, they will advance to the semifinals November 24 at Madison Square Garden.
Todd Tackett (#12) looks to pass while defended by Penn's David Klatsky
Marvin Stone shoots over Penn's Geoff Owens