- Friday, November 19 1999 -
Preseason NIT (at Lexington, KY)
Utah - 48 (Head Coach: Rick Majerus) - [Ranked 16th by AP]
Kentucky - 56 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 14th by AP]
|J. P. Blevins||7||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||0|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 31, Utah 26
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|Pennsylvania 67 - 50|||||Maryland 61 - 58|
Game Writeup - Written by and courtesy of Keith Bays; Kentucky Sports Report, (All Rights Reserved)
Cats nip Utes 56-48
Look out NY! Tubby's Tots defeat the Utes to earn a trip to the Madison Square Garden
The University of Kentucky's Tay Prince came up huge late in the second half to help lead the Wildcats to a 56-48 victory over the Utes. The game was tight, knotted at 44 when Kentucky came out of a timeout and went straight to Prince, who drove the lane and hit the left handed shot to give Kentucky a 46-44 lead. Utah then hit a deuce and tied the game at 46. UK freshman Marvin Stone was then fouled and went to the charity stripe, Marvin hit the first free throw and then missed on the second. During the scramble for the rebound Prince tracked down the ball and quickly called a timeout as he was going out of bounds on the sideline. This ultimately led to UK senior Jamaal Magloire going to the charity stripe, where he hit one of two. On the ensuing Utah possession Prince came out of nowhere to swat away a potential score tying shot by Tony Harvey.
With the score 48-46 Saul Smith stole the ball went the length of the court, hesitated and then sunk a turnaround eight footer on the baseline. Utah refused to give up, as a tip by Nate Althoff pulled the Utes to within at 50-48. Desmond Allison answered pushing the lead to 52-48. With 44.1 second the Cats forced Utah into a walk. The Utes then fouled Saul Smith to attempt to lengthen the game. Saul drilled the first, the second didn't go down, but Tay Prince once again came up huge and snagged the rebound and was fouled. Tay hit one of his two attempts to give the Cats a 54-48 lead. A hurried Alex Jensen pushed off and attempted a three point shot; it was at that time that Jamaal Magloire picked up his Sam Bowie tying block, which Tay Prince promptly plucked out of the air. Prince was quickly fouled, and with 17.8 seconds remaining stepped to the line and sealed the victory by draining a pair of charity tosses.
Tubby Smith's young Kentucky team jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead to begin the game on the strength of the shooting of Jules Camara. Unfortunately this success from outside may have been a taste of the old iron pyrite as the Utes came charging back to take a 16-12 lead at the under twelve timeout, as the young Cats took some ill advised shots form the perimeter.
When the Tubby's squad came back to the floor it was obvious that they had a different agenda as they began to attack the basket, slicing and dicing the Utah defense for high percentage attempts. This renewed offensive vigor, coupled with the tough Kentucky defense led the Cats on a 19-10 run to take a 31-26 lead at the half. Included in this run was an 11-0 run, and in addition the Utes had been down 31-21, before hitting two big shots to score the last five points of the half.
Kentucky forced nine Utah turnovers, while committing only four in the first half. The also shot 48% FG in the half and hit 4-6 FT's, shooting numbers they wouldn't approach in the second half.
Utah closed the gap and the game was very tight throughout the second half, setting up Prince's heroics.
Kentucky took very good care of the ball and finished with 7 turnovers, while forcing the Utes into 18 miscues.
Jamaal Magloire not only tied Sam Bowie for second place on the Kentucky career blocked shots list, but also led the Cats in the scoring column with 15 points.
Point guard Saul Smith had a solid line with 7 points, 3 assists, 4 steals, and just one turnover.