- Friday, November 10 2000 -
Coaches vs. Cancer IKON Classic (at New York, NY)
Kentucky - 92 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Preseason Ranked 12th by AP]
|J. P. Blevins||7||0||2||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
UCLA - 97 (Head Coach: Steve Lavin) - [Preseason Rank 18th by AP]
Halftime Score: UCLA 42, Kentucky 41
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|St. Johns 61 - 62|||||Jacksonville State 91 - 48|
Game Writeup - Written by and courtesy of Jeff Drummond; Kentucky Sports Report, (All Rights Reserved)
Bruins top UK 97-92
Kentucky finds itself heading back to Lexington with the school's first 0-2 start since 1975 after dropping a pair of games in the Coaches vs. Cancer Ikon Classic. On Friday, the Cats dropped a 97-92 overtime decision to No. 19 UCLA...
NEW YORK --- The Kentucky Wildcats find themselves in uncharted waters following a 97-92 overtime loss to UCLA on Friday in the Coaches vs. Cancer Ikon Classic.
The NCAA's winningest program lost both games in its trip to New York, and has started a season at 0-2 for the first time since 1975 and only the second time since 1926.
The Cats, who were ranked No. 12 entering the early season tipoff tournament, blew a late lead against an underdog for the second night in a row. They also displayed the same free throw shooting woes which cost them mightily in the opening game against St. John's, hitting only 17 of 28 from the line.
That proved to be key in a game which featured nine ties and 20 lead changes as the No. 19 Bruins recovered from a shaky end to regulation and put the game away with an 11-0 run in OT. It marked the first time in eight tries a team has beaten Kentucky in overtime under Tubby Smith.
"We could have gotten really demoralized going into overtime, UCLA coach Steve Lavin said. "But we kept our composure, recovered from our problems, and got the victory.
"That was a great learning experience for our team. This can be one of those coming-of-ages games that can make or break a team. We didn't want to go back to Los Angeles 0-2."
Instead, it's Kentucky that bears the hardship.
"It's very disappointing," said Kentucky's Keith Bogans, who led the Cats with 25 points. "We just have to go back home and start working harder than we've been working. We've beaten ourselves the last two games. Even though it's two great teams we played, we just threw the games away.
"It's not major things we need to change, just minor things, a little extra effort here and there. That's not asking to much of our guys. I try to do it. If we try to do that as a team, we'll get it done."
"I don't think it pleased a lot of Duke fans last year, either," said Kentucky coach Tubby Smith, referring to the Blue Devils' 0-2 performance in the CvC Classic before reeling off 18 consecutive wins en route to the No. 1 ranking. "We'd like to think that we have that capability.
"I like this team a lot, and when we get back home, that's always a comforting thing for a young team. Then we can polish some of the rough edges that we have right now with the team."
Overtime started on a positive note for the Cats, who grabbed the early lead on a Tayshaun Prince free throw and went up 80-77 on Marvin Stone's post basket with 3:53 remaining.
But Kentucky then began a sequence of five consecutive scoreless trips down the floor, and the Bruins made them pay. T.J. Cummings started scored three of the first five points in the decisive run, which included a back-breaking 3-pointer by Ray Young as the shot clock was winding down. Young also hit three of four free throws to cap the run with UCLA ahead 88-80.
The Cats weren't finished, though, as they chipped away with the help of 3-pointers by Prince and Saul Smith with under 35 seconds left. The latter cut the deficit to 91-89 with 19.2 remaining.
After a free throw by Earl Watson made it 92-89 with 18 seconds left, Kentucky had an opportunity to tie the game, but Smith forced an ill-advised 3-pointer at the :11 mark which fell well short of the basket. UCLA sealed the victory with a runout basket by Cummings and late free throw.
Sophomore forward Jason Kapono, who hit five 3-pointers in the game before fouling out with 3:35 left in regulation, paced the Bruins with 21 points. Guards Watson and Young each followed with 20, and center Dan Gadzuric added 16 points and 14 rebounds.
"They showed a lot of grit and balance in their lineup," Tubby Smith said of the Bruins.
Bogans equaled his career scoring high with the help of 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point range. Prince followed a subpar performance in Thursday's 62-61 loss to St. John's with a 20-point, nine-rebound effort. Smith tallied 13 points and eight assists at the point, while sophomore forward Marquis Estill chipped in with eight points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots.
The Cats also rebounded from their poor 3-point shooting effort on Thursday (2-15), hitting 13 of 36 against the Bruins, and limited their turnovers to 13 in a faster-paced game.
"We had some things we can build on," the UK coach said. "Certainly we're not satisfied, but I thought we responded the right way after last night's devastating loss. I don't think I've lost a game quite like that, to lose a game with the good lead in such a short period of time. Those close losses really hurt, so it was good to see them come back and play so hard, so energized."
Kentucky returns to action on Thursday in an exhibition game at Rupp Arena against Athletes In Action. The Cats' next official game is Nov. 21 against Jacksonville State in Cincinnati's Firstar Center.