- Sunday, March 14 1993 -
SEC Tournament Championship (at Lexington, KY)
Kentucky - 82 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 4th by AP]
Louisiana State - 65 (Head Coach: Dale Brown) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 36, Louisiana State 28
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Arkansas 92 - 81|||||Rider 96 - 52|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 2 No. 33. (All Rights Reserved)
Kentucky Wins for the 17th Time:
UK won its 17th SEC men's basketball tournament last Sunday by defeating LSU 82-65. These are Kentucky's first back-to-back titles since the tournament was re-established in 1979 (note that Alabama won 3 in a row, from 1989 through 1991, during Kentucky's "down years".)
Dale Brown asked not to be introduced after his players, which was something you don't see every day. The TV commentators said that it was probably due to the huge chorus of boos he always seems to get in Lexington. Riddick started in place of Rodney Dent, who actually did see a few minutes of playing time in the second half.
LSU slowed the game down right from the outset, to avoid letting UK jump out to the 14-0 and 17-0 leads they had against Tennessee and LSU. But UK wasn't lulled to sleep - they grabbed and held the lead, although a much smaller one than in their previous two games. The start of this game had to be Andre Riddick, who blocked 3 Hammink shots in the first minute of play, 2 of which were on the same possession (right in a row). Hammink was so surprised by this that he went only 2-20 from the field that day, and was a poor enough loser after the game to claim that Riddick's presence didn't really make any difference in the game. Riddick had a total of 9 blocks in this game, and most were spectacular.
The lead oscillated a bit in the middle of the first half, but UK always seemed to be in control - they were a little inefficient at converting steals into baskets, which allowed LSU to catch up a little. UK's 3 point shooting started poorly, which also didn't help (Brown was an exception - he did OK to start). Mashburn very nonchalantly tipped in a nice lob pass. Martinez continued his predilection for getting in early foul trouble, which would have been worrisome except that Riddick was playing so well. [JNB note - I don't know about those of you who saw the game on Jefferson-Pilot, but I thought the announcer Ed Murphy seemed awfully biased against the Cats. He was constantly criticizing foul calls made against their opponents, and tried to build them up despite their trailing UK by large margins. Murphy is certainly not one of my favorites in the booth!]
The Cats built an 8 point lead with 6.5 minutes left in the half. Ford had real problems with his 3s in the first half. UK was extremely quick in getting back defensively, despite the fact that they pressed for most of the game. Travis finally hit a 3 with about 2 minutes left in the half, and UK led 36-28 at the half.
UK started off the second half on a roll, and raced out to a 13 point lead which LSU cut to 10 on a 3 pointer. Ford began to light it up from the outside when Mashburn started to get triple-teamed. The Tigers missed their first 7 shots of the second half before connecting. With only 6 minutes left in the game, LSU hadn't made any 3 point shots (they made their first with 5 minutes left). Very unselfish play on the part of the Wildcats, plus some truly beautiful passing, enabled Kentucky to stretch out to a 21 point edge and they coasted the rest of the way. Mashburn left his final collegiate game in Rupp Arena to a thundering ovation after scoring 17 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Crowd favorite Todd Svoboda made it into the game, and he had at least one assist, one rebound, and one basket.
Riddick's 9 blocks tied a UK record set by Sam Bowie against California back in 1980. UK surpassed the SEC tournament record it had set just a couple of nights earlier by launching more than 33 three point shots (the previous record was 32) - Travis Ford hit on the 33rd UK attempt, and Kentucky went on to launch 44 3 pointers.
Andre Riddick secures the rebound