- Tuesday, January 4 1994 -
Vanderbilt - 82 (Head Coach: Jan Van Breda Kolff) - [Ranked 22nd by AP]
Kentucky - 107 (Head Coach: Rick Pitino) - [Ranked 4th by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 52, Vanderbilt 42
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Robert Morris 92 - 67|||||Notre Dame 84 - 59|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 3 No. 18. (All Rights Reserved)
The Cats certainly won the battle, but they may have lost the war in their Pyrrhic victory over Vanderbilt (107-82 was the final score). Senior center Rodney Dent went down with damage to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament, and tore his lateral meniscus, and is expected to be out for the remainder of the season. UK used to consider itself pretty deep at center, but now with Riddick as the starter and Martinez as a rather shaky backup, both Prickett and McCarty may spend some time in the post.
Vanderbilt has not won in Lexington for 20 years [JNB note - last winning there when I was a freshman, and the current Commodore coach was a player!]. The two teams started off reasonably closely, but UK moved to an 11-7 lead off a Martinez 3 pointer (his 5th of the year), and UK never looked back. UK's defense was certainly much tougher in this contest than it had been in Hawaii or in other recent games - several blocks and intimidations produced turnovers early, and the Wildcats did not allow many uncontested shots or drives to the basket.
Rodney Dent was hurt when he got tangled up with a couple of players (Milburn and Martinez) who were falling. Coach Pitino came out on the court and really chewed out the officials for calling a foul on the play (on Martinez, I believe). Andre Riddick took over at that point, and displayed a very fine, soft touch everywhere (even several feet from the basket), except at the free throw line, where he continues to struggle [JNB note - and this will hurt UK at the center spot.]
Jeff Sheppard was stellar in this game, handling Vandy star Billy McCaffrey solidly on defense, and hitting several 3s as well as driving layups. Jeff Brassow continued his hustling ways from the bench and helped the Cats with good cutting moves, 3 pointers, and excellent passing. He had 7 first half points. Gimel Martinez had a reasonable game offensively, but he spent rather too much time handling the ball out front, and occasionally had his pocket picked. He continued his fouling ways, although again several of these calls were questionable.
Prickett at one point set an illegal screen, and was called for it. Pitino just about exploded, throwing off his jacket and yelling and showing Prickett from the bench how he was supposed to stand to set the pick. Billy McCaffrey, the "foulee", missed his free throw, and on the next play, Milburn fouled Travis Ford who in hitting both his free throws passed Jim Master's old record at Kentucky (of 40). UK had a 10 point lead by this time. The Cats built a 14 point lead before Vandy trimmed it to 52-42 at the half. McCaffrey had been held to 9 points on 3-8 shooting in the first half. Travis Ford had 6 assists and 11 points at the break.
Tony Delk opened the second half with yet another fine long range 3 pointer, one of many he popped that evening. Rodrick Rhodes started cutting and slashing to the basket (although he did manage a 3 or two) which helped. Both Travis Ford and Jeff Sheppard made several drives to the basket and scored with surprisingly little opposition. Slowly but surely, UK surged to a 20 point lead, then 25, then more! Rhodes, who had only 2 points in the first half, started 7 for 7 from the field in the second half. Vanderbilt's center, Jerry Lawson, had a decent game, missing only 1 field goal, but he had his share of rejections and deflections which rendered his performance nearly inconsequential to the final result.
Toward the end of the game, Frank Seckar was called for fouling Travis Ford, who stepped to the line to hit additional free throws. Travis finished with his record at 47 straight, only one shy of the SEC record of 48 set by Phil Cox of Mississippi State. UK led by as much as 32 points before settling down to a 25 point victory.