- Tuesday, February 1 2000 -
Tennessee - 68 (Head Coach: Jerry Green) - [Ranked 6th by AP]
Kentucky - 81 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 14th by AP]
|J. P. Blevins||6||0||1||0||1||2||2||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||2|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 36, Tennessee 31
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Miami 60 - 57|||||South Carolina 76 - 63|
Game Writeup - Written by and courtesy of Jeff Drummond; Kentucky Sports Report, (All Rights Reserved)
Cats whip Vols
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Keith Bogans wasn't on the floor for either of Kentucky's losses to Tennessee last year. Nonetheless, the lifelong fan and prized recruit of the Wildcats felt the sting of defeat all the way to his Maryland home.
"They beat us twice last year, and all I could do was watch it on television," Bogans said. "I knew this time I had to do something to help us win."
Did he ever.
Bogans exploded for a career-high 25 points Tuesday as No. 14 Kentucky rolled to an 81-68 victory over sixth-ranked Tennessee in a clash of Southeastern Conference powers. The freshman guard buried four 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes of play to energize the Rupp Arena crowd of 23,444 and spark the Cats to an important win.
Kentucky (16-5 overall, 6-1 SEC) took sole possession of first place in both the Eastern Division and overall league standings. Tennessee, which was seeking its best start since 1942, dropped to 18-3 overall and 6-2 in the SEC.
And for that they can largely thank Bogans, who was 8-for-17 from the field and established a new career high for treys made in a game. He also grabbed five rebounds, had two assists and two steals against the shellshocked Vols.
"(Bogans) was driving it to the hole, shooting the 3s, doing a little bit of everything," Tennessee coach Jerry Green said. "They did a great job in their offense getting the ball to him. I thought he played as good as I've seen on any film so far."
Bogans' effort also helped Kentucky overcome an off-night from team leader Jamaal Magloire. The senior center was 0-for-3 from the field and finished with just two points and two rebounds.
"They were triple-teaming (Magloire) inside and collapsing on him every time," Bogans said. "They were playing off me. That was a mistake. I just took advantage of it."
"To win the game with Jamaal getting only two points and two rebounds is a real testament to how hard our kids were playing, especially the ones off the bench," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "I think what you saw with Keith was a case of (Tennessee) trying to take away our strength, which is the inside game. Anytime you see someone scoring like that, it's not just the player scoring, it's the team scoring."
Bogans, the former McDonald's All-American from storied DeMatha Catholic, has been steadily improving ever since Smith inserted him into the starting lineup prior to the Louisville game on Dec. 18. Not coincidentally, the move sparked a run which has seen Kentucky win 12 of its last 13.
"When I got here, I just wanted to wait my turn. My role was the sixth man coming off the bench at first," Bogans said. "But when coach put me in the starting lineup, I had to prove a point. I didn't want to go back to the bench."
Tennessee led briefly in the contest, taking a 13-9 edge on Tony Harris' 3-pointer with 13:40 left in the first half. But foul trouble mounted for the Vols, who saw center C.J. Black and Harris each pick up an early second foul.
After Black's second foul at the 12:48 mark, Kentucky went on an 11-0 run to seize control of the game. The spurt consisted of three treys by Bogans and a jumper by Jules Camara to send the crowd into a frenzy. Camara added two free throws just before halftime to give the Cats a 36-31 advantage going into the locker room.
Tennessee whittled the margin down to three on two occasions, and as low as four (58-54) on a Harris 3-pointer with 9:40 to play, but each time Kentucky had an answer.
Two inside baskets by Tayshaun Prince and a pair of free throws by both Saul Smith and Desmond Allison extended the Cats' lead to 66-56 at the 7:34 mark.
Kentucky held on for the victory despite making only one field goal --- a Prince 3-pointer --- in the final 7:42. The Cats, however, sank 14 of 20 free throws to seal the win.
In addition to Bogans, Kentucky placed Prince (17) and Smith (12) in double figures. Smith also chipped in with six rebounds and five assists from the point. Allison and Camara each contributed nine points. The Vols were led by sophomore forward Vincent Yarbrough with 17 points. Harris followed with 16, while Isiah Victor added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Kentucky shot 44 percent (23 of 52) from the field, including a 10-for-21 effort from long range. The Vols managed just 40 percent (24 of 59) against the stingy Cats, who also held a 40-31 rebounding edge.
"I thought the key was rebounding," Smith said, "and we handled their pressure well."
Kentucky returns to action Saturday at home against South Carolina. The Gamecocks (9-11, 1-6) play host to Florida (15-4, 4-2) on Wednesday.