- Saturday, January 24 1998 -
Kentucky - 85 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 7th by AP]
Tennessee - 67 (Head Coach: Jerry Green) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 48, Tennessee 30
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Alabama 70 - 67|||||Vanderbilt 63 - 61|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 7 No. 21. (All Rights Reserved)
Winning Big Once Again:
After 2 relatively close contests, Kentucky breezed to an 85-67 win against the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville. UK was ranked #7 by AP for this contest. The game saw Tennessee hampered by a shortened lineup (due to injury) and foul-trouble, and Scott Padgett was ejected for picking up 2 technical fouls late in the game.
Kentucky controlled the tip, and after a Mohammed travel and a Black miss, Padgett had an easy layup for a 2-0 UK lead. Mohammed and Black exchanged FGs, and Sheppard hit a 3 to give the Cats an early 7-2 margin. But Victor closed the gap to 7-6 on 2 shots, after which Mohammed had a shot goaltended by Black. Edwards drove past the defense for an 11-6 UK lead. Wharton hit a 3, and the score was 11-9 Kentucky at the 1st TV timeout. FoxSportSouth went forward quite a bit in a game at this pt, but Tennessee at briefly held a 1 pt edge (for 9 seconds) at 17-16. During the run, Kentucky took 3 charges, blocked 2 shots, and made 3 of 4 3 pt shots. UT committed 4 straight possession turnovers and put only 2 shots close to the rim) as the Cats went on a 20-0 tear, gaining a 19 pt margin at 38-19. At this pt, Wharton hit a FT, then Lee was fouled on a 3 pt try and made all his attempts, to close it to 38-23 Kentucky. Padgett made a pair of FTs, Lee hit a 14 footer, and then Lee nailed a 3 to close to 40-28 UK. Turner hit a FT, and then had an assist to Padgett to make it 43-28. Sheppard hit a 3, and Turner nailed a high banking shot to make it 48-28, which would tie for Kentucky's largest lead of the night. Lee hit a pair of FTs, when fouled by Mohammed, and the 48-30 score remained at the end of the 1st half. Jeff Sheppard had 12 pts by halftime (on 4 3s), and Tennessee's C.J. Black had played only 7 minutes due to foul problems.
Victor and Black started the 2nd half each making 1 of 2 FT attempts, then Turner drove the lane, almost lost the ball, but hit a 10 ft shot. Wharton and Padgett traded 3s, then Black connected after a spin move and Harris hit a FT to make it 53-38 UK. Turner and Padgett each hit FGs, then Harris knocked down a 3. He next added 2 FTs, after which Sheppard hit Magloire for a dunk to make it Kentucky 59-43. By the next TV timeout, UK led 60-45. Following this, Jeff Sheppard played pt guard for a while, during which time Wharton hit 2 FT tosses, Magloire drove the lane for a bucket, then had a magnificent block of a Victor shot. Black hit 4 FTs, and Padgett dunked a Turner miss to make it 64-51 UK. Sheppard hit an absolutely gorgeous reverse layup, and Turner had a huge block of a Harris attempt. Sheppard knocked down a quick 3 and suddenly the lead grew to 69-51 UK. A Turner FG matched Kentucky's largest lead of the day at 71-51, but Black had a FT and Davis nailed a 3 to close it somewhat.
Turner hit Padgett for a dunk to make it 73-55, but on the way down Padgett appeared to taunt, or at least shout at, Wharton, and Scott was assessed a technical foul for this (he protested, to no avail). Wharton made 1 FT [JNB note - I'm assuming this - the TV coverage cut away at this pt, but it seems reasonable, considering the score which was shown next on screen]. Seconds later, after 2 UT misses and 1 UK miss, Padgett made a spin move to the hoop and was called for a walk by ref Doug Shows (the same official who had called Scott's earlier T). When Padgett was running back upcourt after this, he asked Shows, "Did I move my pivot foot or what?" Shows was (by Padgett's estimate) 30 ft away, and probably didn't hear exactly what Scott asked, but he may have interpreted it as being hostile, and called the 2nd T which brought automatic ejection. A video replay showed that Padgett in fact had kept his pivot foot stationary, and the walking call was bad [JNB note - this was not 1 of the better nights for the officials in general]. With the game well in hand, Padgett gave high 5s to UK fans as he walked through the tunnel to the UK dressing room. Coach Smith asked Shows for an explanation on the 2nd technical, but received no answer. After the call, UK AD C.M. Newton gestured from referee Shows to the SEC Supervisor of Officials, John Guthrie, who was in attendance, and after the game Newton spoke to Guthrie about the call. At this pt, the UK fans in the arena began a loud chant of "Go Big Blue!"
Black hit the technical FTs, then Wharton hit a 16 footer, Turner made 2 FTs, Black put back a Wharton miss, and Edwards hit Magloire for a nice layup to make it 77-62 UK. Davis hit a layup, then Mills made a layup on a fast break, Harris banked a shot, Turner made an easy 8 footer , and Turner hit 2 FTs to provide an 83-66 margin. Black hit a FT to finish UT scoring, and Anthony beat the buzzer with a dunk to produce the final scoring margin of 85-67 UK.
Sheppard says that Coach Smith asked him to look more for his shot, and not to line up exactly on the 3 pt line but rather to shoot the ball from farther away. Sheppard's response has been increased recent scoring. Padgett's ejection was the 1st of his career, and Turner's 11 assists were a career high.