- Saturday, December 5 1998 -
Miami - 65 (Head Coach: Leonard Hamilton) - [Unranked]
|Joao Paulo Coelho||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
Kentucky - 74 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 8th by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 31, Miami (FL) 31
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Kansas 63 - 45|||||Indiana 70 - 61 OT|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 8 No. 21. (All Rights Reserved)
Half a Game is Better Than None:
CBS televised only half of the UK-Miami (Fl) game in Rupp Arena on Dec 5, owing to the delay in the Army-Navy football game preceding it. The 8th ranked Wildcats prevailed 74-65 after a tough battle (the game was not as close as the final margin indicates). Michael Bradley had a career high 19 pts.
[JNB note - because of the delaying accident at the Army-Navy football game, my only information about 1st half scoring came from CNN tickers and post-game reports. The game was tied 2-2, then Miami surged ahead 12-8 with about 14 minutes left. The Cats trailed 18-8 with around 12 minutes left in the 1st half, for the largest Hurricane lead of the day. The Hurricane led 21-13 with 9 minutes remaining, but a 13-6 UK rally spurred by Ryan Hogan cut the lead to 25-24 Miami with less than 4 minutes left. Kentucky's 1st lead of the game came with 2 minutes remaining in the half, as Bradley hit a turnaround shot for a 30-29 Wildcat edge. Bradley made 1 of 2 FTs afterwards, and Bland banked a shot to tie the game at 31-31 with 42 seconds left. Michael Bradley scored 7 1st half pts. The Cats had struggled with 35% 1st half FG shooting, compared to 58% for Miami. Miami had made 10 of their initial 13 shots from the floor, before cooling off slightly. UK had made only 2 of 14 1st half 3 pt shots. The team was presented with their NCAA championship rings at a ceremony at halftime.]
The Wildcats fell behind 33-31 to start the 2nd half as Hemsley nailed an 8 footer, but Evans scored on a drive (missing his subsequent FT when fouled) to tie it. James and Bradley traded baskets, then Evans got an assist to Turner for a layup to give Kentucky a 37-35 lead, and UK never trailed again. The Hurricane blew a 3-on-2 fast break, then Turner walked with the ball, then following a Turner miss, Bradley missed and missed 2 tips before batting the ball in for a 39-35 UK lead. Allison's 8 footer a few seconds later caused Miami to call a 20 second timeout. James hit 2 FTs after this, to make it 41-37 at the next TV timeout. Following good ball movement by the Cats, Smith hit a 3, James hit 2 FTs, Turner had a driving layup, and James hit 2 more FTs to make it 46-41. Minutes later Miami narrowed the margin to 47-44 following a Simmons 3, then Allison got a basket on an assist by Padgett. After James missed a 3, UK started a fast break but an official stopped play because Hemsley fell to the floor and didn't move. He got up a few seconds later, causing the Rupp Arena crowd to boo (presumably because they thought he faked an injury to stop a fast break). The Cats had trouble with the tenacious Miami defense, and on several occasions they took bad shots because the shot clock came close to expiring. Smith shot a poor 3 attempt because of this, and was blocked. Hemsley nailed a 3 at the other end, and after making an old-fashioned 3 on the next possession, Hemsley tied the game at 49-49. On the Cats' next possession, however, as time expired, Padgett hit a 3. Bland made 1 FT after being fouled by Bradley, then Padgett hit a long 3 to make it 55-50. Bland scored inside, then Bradley got a layup to make it 57-52 and the Rupp crowd went wild. After several wild scrambles on the next possession, Prince passed to Bradley for an inside dunk, and it was 59-52 Kentucky. Miami missed everything on its next possession, then Turner hit Bradley underneath for a layup, and it was 61-52. The Cats had outscored the Hurricane 12-3 over a 5 minute stretch. James got an easy layup, then Padgett turned the ball over, and James scored again on a great drive to close the gap to 61-56 UK. But Bradley got a layup, James hit 1 FT, Turner made 1 FT, and following a Magloire block of a James shot, Padgett got another 3 for a 67-57 edge with about 2 minutes to go, to seal the game. Still, Bland made it exciting by hitting an unguarded 3, and Byars-Dawson also added a 3 to close to 67-63 with 42 seconds left in the contest. Evans had a putback of a Prince miss, and made his followup FT for a 70-63 margin. Byars-Dawson got a layup, and Turner made 1 FT to make it 71-65. After a Miami miss, Turner hit 2 FTs, and following a Miami airball, Padgett concluded the scoring for the day by making 1 FT, for a final 74-65 Wildcat victory.
Miami Coach Leonard Hamilton was a former Joe Hall assistant at UK, and he was Kentucky's 1st black assistant coach. This game marked his 1st return to Rupp Arena to play Kentucky since his stints as head coach at Oklahoma State and Miami (Fl). Scott Padgett had been 0-18 from 3 pt range until he connected with roughly 10 minutes left in this game.