- Wednesday, February 21 2001 -
Louisiana State - 61 (Head Coach: John Brady) - [Unranked]
|Collis Temple III||32||5||12||2||7||0||1||1||7||8||3||3||0||0||2||12|
Kentucky - 84 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 13th by AP]
|J. P. Blevins||14||2||5||1||3||2||3||0||3||3||0||0||0||0||0||7|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 38, Louisiana State 34
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Vanderbilt 79 - 74|||||Arkansas 78 - 82|
Game Writeup - Written by and courtesy of Stephen John; Kentucky Sports Report, (All Rights Reserved)
Cats rip LSU
For nearly twenty-four minutes, the LSU Tigers played head to head basketball with the Kentucky Wildcats. But, with the Cats holding a modest two-point lead at the 16:30 mark of the second half, Keith Bogans caught fire, scoring 15 of Kentucky's next 27 points, as the Wildcats went on a 27-9 run to blow the game wide open. Kentucky extended the lead to 27 before emptying the bench at the 3:04 mark. The Cats won by a final score of 84-61. Keith Bogans led the way for the Wildcats with 23 points, all coming in the second half. Tayshaun Prince, who had been terrorizing SEC opponents the last 7 games, finished with another solid effort, 14 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Freshman Cliff Hawkins chipped in with 5 points, 2 steals and 7 big assists. Ronald Dupree had 10 points and 12 rebounds for LSU.
Kentucky needs to win one more game to win the SEC regular season championship.
"Keith was the difference for us tonight," Coach Tubby Smith said, "I told him at the half that he really needed to step up and he did. He knocked down some good shots and he also really did the job on the defensive end."
Bogans, held scoreless in the first half, was named Player of the Game, "The Coach, he got on me," Bogans said, "He told me that I was playing like a dog out there in the first half. But I didn't get down on myself. That just hurts my game. When he got on me I just got pumped up and came out and gave it everything in the second half."
The Kentucky Wildcats entered this contest heavily favored at home over the struggling LSU Tigers, who had dropped their last seven games. But in the first half, it appeared that no one told the Tigers they had no chance in this game. "This is the SEC," Bogans said, "you can't let yourself get over confident against anyone. LSU was not just planning to come in here and let us walk all over them. We had to keep our defensive pressure up and make them run the clock down and take tough shots."
Jason Parker got the opening tip and the Cats opened the game with a pair of threes, springing out to a quick 6-0 lead. Jason Parker would make his presence felt early with two quick buckets, the latter an old-fashioned three-point play. The Cats, coming into the game as big favorites, could never stretch the lead beyond eight in the first half, however. And with Kentucky up 27-20 at the 6:09 mark, the Tigers went on an 8-0 run over the next 1:26 to take the lead away from the Wildcats. The go ahead point came on a three pointer by Collis Temple III.
LSU would not hold the lead for long as the SEC Player of the Week, Tayshaun Prince, drained a three pointer to put the Cats up by two. But Coach Brady's Tigers would keep it close the rest of the way and Kentucky would go to the lockers with a modest 38-34 lead.Ê
LSU came out ready to play in the second half. Brian Beshara, who would finish with 13 points, opened the half with a three point, shot pulling the Tigers to within a single point. But Keith Bogans would answer with his first points of the game, also a three pointer. Two free throws by Ronald Dupree at the 16:26 mark would draw the Tigers to within two points, but that's when the bottom fell out for the game, but undermanned Tigers.
Keith Bogans nailed two more three pointers, extending UK lead to match its largest of the game to that point, eight points. Marvin Stone would score and Bogans would add two more buckets, one of which was another three pointer. The rout was on.Ê
"You really gotta hand it to our guys," Coach Tubby Smith said, "Tayshaun once again had a good game. Cliff Hawkins' passing was excellent. I was proud of our defensive effort. We hung in there when they were knocking down some good shots. But we kept the pressure on and didn't lose our composure."
J.P. Blevins chipped in tonight with 7 points, 4 of them coming in the key run in the second half. "What I really love about J.P. Blevins," Wildcats sportscaster as former player Sam Bowie said, "is that Blevins was pouting when he was not in the regular rotation. He just kept working hard and you knew he was going to get better."
The Wildcats shot 55% from the field tonight (62% in the 2nd half) and continued their good three point shooting, finishing 13-26 from beyond the arc. The Cats were outrebounded 38-31. The Tigers beat the Cats to the offensive glass 17 times, "Hey, when you give up 17 rebounds it shows you just aren't doing the job boxing out," said Coach Smith.
Before the game, former Los Angeles Dodgers coach Tommy Lasorda, spoke to Tubby Smith's Wildcats team, "Coach Lasorda told the kids that when you play for the name on the back of the jersey you can win trophies and plaques, but when you play for the name on the front of the jersey, you win championships."
Kentucky's next game is on the road against Arkansas in Fayetteville, "And we are ready," an excited Tubby Smith said, "I am telling you right now we are excited and playing with a lot of confidence."