- Saturday, February 5 2000 -
South Carolina - 63 (Head Coach: Eddie Fogler) - [Unranked]
|Herbert Lee Davis||26||1||4||0||2||0||0||0||2||2||1||3||1||0||2||2|
Kentucky - 76 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 14th by AP]
|J. P. Blevins||13||2||3||2||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||6|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 35, South Carolina 35
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Tennessee 81 - 68|||||Florida 73 - 90|
Game Writeup - Written by and courtesy of Jeff Drummond; Kentucky Sports Report, (All Rights Reserved)
Magloire powers UK
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- When asked during the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference who he thought merited league MVP honors at the midpoint in the season, Eddie Fogler cast his vote for Jamaal Magloire.
So with South Carolina visiting Rupp Arena on Saturday afternoon, the Kentucky center made sure to make the Gamecock coach's praise stand up.
Magloire matched his career high of 23 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked four shots in leading the No. 14 Wildcats to a 76-63 victory. The 6-foot-10 senior from Toronto just missed a perfect linescore, going 6-for-7 from the field and 11-for-11 at the line.
It also marked the ninth double-double for Magloire in the last 15 games, a span which has seen Kentucky (17-5 overall, 7-1 SEC) win 13 times.
"I think Magloire was the difference in the game," Fogler said. "He gives them a presence inside that nobody else in this league has. It really makes it extremely difficult now that he's shooting his free throws so well."
"I think teams have been playing us more honest because we've been shooting the ball better from the outside and it's given me more room to work a little bit on the inside," Magloire said. "We've been building a good chemistry between the perimeter players and the post players.
"But I've alsways said I really don't care if I score as long as the team wins. I've always said I'm here for the team, and one of the reasons I came back is I think we have a chance to win the national championship."
With their team leader coming off a two-point, two-rebound performance in Tuesday's win over Tennessee, Kentucky looked to establish Magloire from the outset against South Carolina. He responded with 15 of the Cats' first 31 points, which was important in light of the Gamecocks' hot shooting (6 of their first 12) from the perimeter.
"I thought Jamaal carried us in the first half," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "We were going to him, doing some good things getting it inside, until he got in foul trouble."
When Magloire went to the bench with his second foul at the 5:15 mark, South Carolina responded with five straight points to take a 35-31 advantage. The Cats went more than five minutes without scoring before freshman guard Keith Bogans made a basket inside with 30 seconds left and threw down a runaway dunk at the buzzer to tie the game at the half.
"Early in the game, we weren't focused," Smith said. "I was worried about that coming into this game after that big win over Tennessee. We only had five deflections at halftime, so you could see we weren't giving the real energy and the real effort that we need to play with."
South Carolina remained close through the opening moments of the second half before Kentucky converted three consecutive steals into a 7-0 spurt to take a 45-39 lead. The Gamecocks cut the margin to 47-46 on five straight points by guard Jamel Bradley and an inside basket by center Marius Petravicius before the Cats responded with a flurry of outside shots.
Kentucky's J.P. Blevins hit back-to-back 3-pointers from the top of the key while Tayshaun Prince and Desmond Allison added treys of their own to extend the lead to 59-50 with 8:47 remaining.
The Gamecocks could get no closer than five the rest of the way, and Kentucky closed the game with a 13-5 run to overshadow a deceptively close game.
"I thought our first 35 minutes of play here was really good," said Fogler, whose team dropped to 9-13 overall and 1-8 in SEC play.
Magloire led four Kentucky players in double figures. Bogans followed up his 25-point effort against Tennessee with 21 against the Gamecocks. Allison and Prince added 11 and 10, respectively. The Cats, who played without an injured Jules Camara, shot 49 percent (26 of 53) from the field and were 16-for-18 at the line.
South Carolina was led by Bradley with 14 points. The sophomore guard was 4-for-11 from 3-point range on a day when the Gamecocks hit 11 of 32 from behind the arc. Freshman guard Chuck Eidson and Petravicius each added 13 points.
The visitors were outrebounded 33-28, but remained close throughout the game on the strength of 20 second-chance points.
Kentucky returns to action Tuesday in an SEC East showdown at Florida. Tipoff for the espn2 televised game is slated for 9 p.m.
Saul Smith drives for a layup against South Carolina's Herbert Lee Davis
Keith Bogans skies for a dunk
Bogans (#10) tries to control a loose ball