- Saturday, January 22 2000 -
Kentucky - 81 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 18th by AP]
|J. P. Blevins||14||1||2||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||3|
Vanderbilt - 73 (Head Coach: Kevin Stallings) - [Ranked 20th by AP]
|Rick Jones (*)||10||1||3||1||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||3|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 39, Vanderbilt 38
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Mississippi 74 - 69|||||Georgia 75 - 69|
Game Writeup - Written by and courtesy of Stephen John; Kentucky Sports Report, (All Rights Reserved)
Cats win in OT!!!
Jamaal Magloire and Desmond Allison had huge games, but it was Tayshaun Prince that came through in the clutch, as Kentucky beat Vanderbilt 81-73 in overtime in Nashville. It was Kentucky's 15th consecutive victory over Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt's strategy was to let Kentucky shoot from the outside, a strategy that failed them on this day. With Kentucky holding onto a slim two-point lead and the shot-clock running down, Tayshaun Prince hit a clutch double-pump three-point shot to break the backs of the scrappy Commodore ball club. Dan Langhi, the Vanderbilt superstar forward, called the shot, "Luck. I don't know. I couldn't believe it. We were getting wide-open looks and missing. He comes down and double-clutches one.'' Vandy guard Sam Howard added, "Every time they shot, even Allison after he hit his sixth, we were thinking miss. But especially that one (by Prince).''
Magloire had a career high 23 points to go with 15 rebounds and 4 blocked shots and Desmond Allison exploded for six three point shots, finishing with 23 points to pace Kentucky.
Coming into the game it was Vanderbilt that was known for its exceptional three point shooting, but it was Kentucky that burned the nets from downtown.
Desmond Allison, who had not hit a three-point shot since January 5, hit three of them in the first half against Vanderbilt. The Wildcats, largely behind Allison, went on a three-point tirade in the first half, hitting seven shots from behind the arc. "I was happy,'' UK Coach Tubby Smith said. "I was elated. Almost ecstatic to see Desmond make some shots.'' No one was more surprised to see Allison's hot hand than the Vanderbilt Commodores, "We watched film and he was 0-for-the-SEC,'' Vandy center Greg LaPointe said, "Today he hit some shots and came up huge. We had a game plan. We went by it. And we almost wanted him to shoot it from outside. He did and it seemed like he made about every one.''
But with all those three's Kentucky held only the slimmest of half-time margins, 39-38. Kentucky's Jules Camara tipped in a shot with 4 seconds remaining in the first half to give the Wildcats its halftime margin. J.P. Blevins, who was questionable before the game with a sore right ankle, did play.
Kentucky got the tip to open the game and Keith Bogans hit a three to start the game. Behind the long range shooting of Allison, Blevins, Saul Smith and Bogans and the inside play of Magloire and Prince, UK jumped out to an early 8-point lead at 21-13. But Vanderbilt would come back behind the hustle of Dan Langhi and LaPoint to go along with the long-range shooting of Howard. Vanderbilt took the lead at 27-26 with 7:51 remaining in the half and extended the lead to 31-28. But the Cats would not give in to the pressure. Tough defense by Magloire and Camara, along with shots by Blevins, Smith and Magloire helped UK head into the locker room with the slimmest of margins at the half. Magloire had 7 rebounds and Allison led the Cats with 12 points for the half. For the half UK shot 12-27 from the field but were 7-13 from long range.
A LaPointe tip to open the second half gave Vandy the lead for the briefest of periods but Kentucky went on a tear. Jamaal worked the defensive boards and low post for three free throws off fouls, Saul Smith and Desmond Allison drained three's and UK held a 50-42 lead with 15:55 remaining. Vandy scrapped to cut the lead to 54-49 as the defensive intensity from both teams picked up.
Camara picked up his fourth block of the game but then fouled Langhi on the follow. Langhi hit both FT's to pull Vandy within 5 points at 58-53 with just over 9 minutes remaining. Strong then hit a running lay-up off a steal and Vandy was within 3 points. Magloire stopped the bleeding with a shot hook and UK was once again up by five with 7:58 left. Allison then drained his 5th 3-pointer to extend UK's lead to 8 points once again. After a Langhi FT and LaPointe lay-up, Jules Camara hit a 20 footer and UK's lead was 7. UK then committed three straight turnovers and a James Strong lay-up cut UK's lead to just 3 points with just over three minutes to play.
The defensive intensity picked up once again. Vandy picked up a key steal but in a brilliant defensive play, Tayshaun Prince came from nowhere to block the lay-up. However, in a solid defensive play of their own, Saul Smith was unable to get off a shot before the time clock expired and Kentucky's lead remained at 3 with just under 2 minutes remaining. Then, Howard hit a long three to tie the game with 1:30 on the clock. Saul then dished a brilliant pass to Magloire down low for the stuff and a 2-point lead. Howard then missed an open three and UK had the ball with :40 remaining. Kentucky then made a mistake as Magloire committed an offensive foul off a missed Saul Smith running shot. Howard went to the line and calmly canned both free throws to ties the game with 12.7 seconds left in regulation. Bogans missed a good look at a three and the game went to overtime, knotted at 67.
Kentucky picked up the opening tip and Allison drained his 6th three pointer to give the Cats an opening three point lead. After a missed Vandy shot, Bogans was fouled shooting. He drained one shot and Kentucky led by four. Vandy cut the lead to two but Magloire put in a tip within seconds and UK was up by four again. After a Tayshaun Prince block UK failed to extend the lead and Saul's 3-pointer rimmed out. Kentucky played tough defense on Vandy's next possession as Allison and Magloire both had blocks but UK once again failed to extend the lead and Vandy hit a lay-up to cut the lead to two with 1:51 left. But on the next possession Magloire hit a lay-up and was fouled. Mags, who had been Mr. Automatic from the line, missed the free throw, however, and UK's lead was just four.
Williams hit a lay-up to pull Vandy to within two with under a minute to play. Then Tayshaun hit and unbelievable double-pump three pointer as the shot clock ran down and UK found itself up by 5 with 19.2 seconds remaining, the score at 78-73, Kentucky. Williams then missed a wide open three point shot and the game was all but over. Kentucky had beaten Vanderbilt for the 15th straight time by a final score of 81-73.
For the game, the Wildcats shot 47% from the field and were 12-27 from three point range (including Desmond Allison's 6-9 shooting from long range). The Wildcats dominated the boards, claiming a 42-31 advantage begind Magloire's 15 boards. Keith Bogans added 9 rebounds and led the team in assists with 5.
The Wildcats once again played great defense on Langhi, holding the superstar to just 15 points on 5-13 shooting, well under his average. Perhaps the biggest problem Vandy faced all game was Kentucky's solid three point defense. The SEC's leading three point shooting team was just five for 27 from long range. Langhi was held scoreless from beyond the arc. For the game, Vanderbilt shot just 38.6% from the field.
The game left the Vanderbilt players and coach a little bitter, "To see somebody be able to hit a double-clutch three," Howard said, "you wonder why you work so hard to get open."
"Sometimes you play the percentages," Stallings said, "and you're willing to give up certain things in order to take other things away. The game comes down to one or two plays. Kentucky made a lucky play. Sometimes the luck's with you."
Tubby Smith visits his old school next Wednesday as Kentucky visits Athen, Ga. to play the Georgia Bulldogs. The 9-9 Bulldogs have lost 5 of their last 7 games. You can get all the information you need on the Bulldogs on Wildcatchat's GAME PAGE.