- Thursday, November 9 2000 -
Coaches vs. Cancer IKON Classic (at New York, NY)
Kentucky - 61 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Preseason Ranked 12th by AP]
|J. P. Blevins||20||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||1||1||1||0||0||2||0|
St. Johns - 62 (Head Coach: Mike Jarvis) - [Preseason Unranked by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 31, St. Johns 28
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Syracuse 50 - 52|||||UCLA 92 - 97 OT|
Game Writeup - Written by and courtesy of Jeff Drummond; Kentucky Sports Report, (All Rights Reserved)
St. John's upsets UK
NEW YORK -- Nearly eight months removed from its disappointing season-ending loss to Syracuse, the same things that sent Kentucky packing from last year's NCAA Tournament picked up where they left off in the Wildcats' season opener against St. John's.
Poor shooting and a tidal wave of turnovers proved to be Kentucky's downfall as the unranked Red Storm came from behind for a 62-61 upset of the No. 12 Cats in the second game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Ikon Classic at Madison Square Garden.
"It was an ugly game," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "We didn't play well, we didn't shoot well..."
"All we gotta do is shoot free throws and take care of the basketball (to win), and that's not something we did." Kentucky shot just 42 percent from the field --- including a ghastly 2-for-15 from long range --- missed 15 of 32 free throws and committed a whopping 25 turnovers, yet held a four-point lead with only 14 seconds remaining before St. John's capped its improbable comeback. After Tayshaun Prince and Marvin Stone combined to hit just one of four free throws in the final :22.6, the Red Storm got a rebound slam from Anthony Glover to cut the lead to 61-59 with :08.2 remaining. The Cats tried to inbound the ball to Prince, but the junior forward bobbled it and watched as the ball glanced out of bounds. Replays showed that St. John's Willie Shaw deflected the ball, but Red Storm were awarded possession.
And they would make Kentucky pay.
Following a timeout, St. John's ran a play from under its own basket that freed up Glover for the eventual game-winning play. Freshman point guard Omar Cook recorded his fifth and final assist of the night when he found Glover on the backdoor play behind UK center Jason Parker. Glover laid the ball in on the right side of the basket while drawing a foul. He added the free throw to give the Red Storm a one-point advantage with :05 left.
Kentucky, which was playing without senior point guard Saul Smith, who had fouled out with 2:52 remaining, called on freshman point guard Cliff Hawkins to attempt a final drive to the basket. But Hawkins, who had played only sparingly up until that point, lost control of the ball when he got near the 3-point arc at the buzzer.
St. John's viewed the upset as an opportunity to make a name for themselves. "We weren't ranked where we should be (in the preseason polls)," Glover said. "But people should see now that this is a pretty good team."
It was a devastating loss for the Cats, who led for all but 4:28 of the game, including a seven-point margin with just under five minutes remaining. "Well, we had poor execution in late-game situations," Tubby Smith said. "...We had opportunities to finalize the game. If Tayshaun catches the inbounds pass, the game's probably over. So they get the ball back, and we want to switch (defenses), and Jason loses his man, gives up a layup on the weak side. "Just anything that could go wrong went wrong in those situations. I really saw a breakdown of leadership. We've got to have somebody to pull them together because it looked like we were scared to death."
Kentucky got very little from its expected leaders all night. Smith made only one of four shots from the field and finished with more fouls and turnovers (8) than points (5). In addition to his costly turnover, Prince went 2-for-9 from the field and grabbed only three rebounds in 33 minutes of action. After a fast start, Keith Bogans managed only three free throws in the game's final 16:50.
"The two guys I expect to step up and do the job didn't," Smith said of Prince and Bogans. "I'm just really disappointed in our performance all the way around. I thought Saul's bad fouls put us in this situation."
The Red Storm was led by Glover, who scored a game-high 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field. Cook added 18 points, including 5-for-11 shooting from 3-point range.
Kentucky was led by sophomore forward Marquis Estill, who scored 15 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked three shots in his collegiate debut. Bogans and Marvin Stone each added 14 for the Cats.
The win propels St. John's to the championship game of the mini-tournament. The Red Storm will face No. 7 Kansas at 9 p.m. in Friday's finals. The Jayhawks advanced with a thrilling 99-98 victory over No. 19 UCLA.
Kentucky, meanwhile, will square off against the Bruins at 6:30 p.m. in the consolation game. The game will feature the NCAA's most decorated programs with 11-time champion UCLA and the seven-time champion Cats.