- Tuesday, November 21 2000 -
(at Cincinnati, OH)
Kentucky - 91 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 22nd by AP]
|J. P. Blevins||15||1||2||0||1||2||2||0||2||2||1||1||1||0||2||4|
Jacksonville State - 48 (Head Coach: Mike LaPlante) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 42, Jacksonville State 17
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|UCLA 92 - 97 OT|||||Penn State 68 - 73|
Game Writeup - Written by and courtesy of Jeff Drummond; Kentucky Sports Report, (All Rights Reserved)
Daniels powers UK
CINCINNATI -- As far as homecomings go, it's safe to say this was one Erik Daniels will never forget.
Daniels, who was the Queen City's high school player of the year as a high school senior, scored a game-high 19 points in leading No. 22 Kentucky to a 91-48 rout of Jacksonville State here Tuesday at the Firstar Center.
The 6-foot-7 freshman forward, a product of Cincinnati's Princeton High School, was 3-for-3 from the field and sank 12 of 14 free throws en route to his memorable performance. He also contributed three rebounds, two assists and a steal in only 22 minutes of action to help the Wildcats pick up their first victory of the season.
"Erik Daniels, certainly, he was great tonight," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "He had an outstanding game, a complete game.
"You couldn't be happier for him... When you come home like that, all the kids in the neighborhood are going to be wearing No. 14 saying 'I'm Erik Daniels.'"
Daniels led five players in double figures for the Wildcats. Keith Bogans and Tayshaun Prince each added 14 points, followed by Jason Parker (13) and Marvin Stone (10). They also got a strong floor game from senior point guard Saul Smith, who had seven points, six assists, five steals and no turnovers. "I thought he set the tempo on both ends of the floor," the UK coach said of his son. "That's what we expect out of him."
Kentucky (1-2) benefited from its best shooting night in recent memory, hitting 61 percent (31 of 51) from the field, and also displayed improved touch at the foul line (25 of 38 -- 66 percent) thanks in large part to Daniels' effort.
"We finally shot over 60 percent," Smith said. "I don't think we've done that in a while. It was impressive. We were making the extra pass, finding the open people. We got shots at the rim or where we were driving to the basket. We got a number of opportunities to get transition baskets and layups. That's so critical for shooting a high percentage."
It proved to be too much for and already outmatched Jacksonville State (0-3) to handle.
The Gamecocks hung within four points of Kentucky through the game's first six minutes, but quickly wilted under the Cats' aggressive half-court defense. A driving scoop shot by Cliff Hawkins touched off a 15-4 run which staked UK to a 30-15 advantage with 5:07 left in the first half.
After an inside basket by Gamecock center Brant Harriman, Kentucky closed the half on a 12-0 run, including six points by Prince.
That run turned into a 26-0 run as the Cats blitzed Jacksonville State with a 14-0 spurt to begin the second half. Two steals by Smith and one by Bogans sparked the UK onslaught.
From there, it turned into a showcase for some of the Cats' younger players, most notably Daniels. His 3-pointer from the top of the key stretched UK's lead to 61-23 with 12:40 remaining. A free throw with under six minutes left pushed the lead to 50 (79-29).
Jacksonville State closed the game on a 19-12 run as the Kentucky coach emptied his bench and allowed all of his players significant playing time. Cory Sears and Matt Heisenbuttel each hit one free throw down the stretch to record the first points of their UK careers.
Kentucky held the Gamecocks to 31 percent shooting from the field (15 of 55) and forced 33 turnovers. Jacksonville State was led by freshman guard Scott Wilson with 17 points. Harriman added eight.
"It was one of those feel-good games we needed coming off those two losses (in New York City)," Smith said. "We really needed that." The Cats return to action on Saturday at Rupp Arena against Penn State. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m.
Marvin Stone shoots over Jacksonville State's Brant Harriman