Wednesday, January 13, 1999

TENNESSEE 47, KENTUCKY 46


Wildcats back down from rebounding battle

BY NEIL SCHMIDT
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEXINGTON, Ky. — Tennessee has its national football champions and its top-ranked women's basketball team. Maybe the men's basketball players were getting jealous.

        The Volunteers, who had largely been a disappointment after earning a No. 9 preseason ranking, hit four huge three-pointers down the stretch to shock sixth-ranked Kentucky 47-46 Tuesday night at Rupp Arena.

        UK had season lows in shooting percentage, bench production and — arguably — heart. Knowing it was in for a physical battle, UK backed down and was outrebounded for the first time all season.

        “It's the same as with our last two losses: When teams push us, we back off,” UK coach Tubby Smith said. “We get stagnant. We don't move without the ball. It's getting to be psychological.”

        Tennessee (11-4, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) ended an 11- game UK winning streak in the series and claimed its first win in Lexington in 20 years — since before many of the current UT players were born. “I was shooting basketballs in my mama's stomach,” UT sophomore guard Tony Harris said.

        UK (14-4, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) missed four potential game-winning shots. Trailing 47-46, UK fed senior forward Scott Padgett for a three-point try with 32 seconds left. When it missed, UK fouled UT's C.J. Black, and Black missed the front end of an ensuing one-and-one.

        With 30 seconds for its final possession, UK worked the ball to slumping senior Heshimu Evans, and Evans missed a three-pointer from the left corner with 10 seconds left. The ball went out of bounds to UK.

        After a time out, UK senior point guard Wayne Turner drove the left baseline and put up a six-foot jumper that skipped over the rim. Sophomore Michael Bradley rebounded and tried a putback with one second left, but Black tipped it and it fell harmlessly short.

        “The play broke down, and I knew time was running out, so I had to go to the basket,” Turner said. “I wish I could have used two hands or (shot) off the backboard.”

        UT shot a season-worst .304 but won the game with four big shots. With the game tied 35-35, Aaron Green sank a three-pointer to give UT the lead. When a Turner layup and two Evans free throws gave UK a 39-38 lead with 4:40 left, UT's Tony Harris gave his team the lead with a 22-foot three-pointer. UT led 41-39 with four minutes left.

        After two Turner free throws, Wharton answered with a three-pointer. Then UK sophomore center Jamaal Magloire banked in a 19-footer with the shot clock expiring, and Padgett sank a three-pointer with 1:48 left for a 46-44 lead.

        UT played for a three-pointer, and Wharton missed one. But when UT's Vincent Yarbrough rebounded, Harris fed Wharton for another three, and he hit the game-winner.

        “The worst part is we didn't rebound in clutch situations,” Smith said. “We just seemed to be a half-step off all night.”

        The Wildcats insist their confidence isn't shaken.

        “We're concerned anytime we lose in the SEC,” Padgett said. “But we know we're a good team, a team capable of running the table ... We've got to get back in the gym and turn it up a notch. It doesn't get any easier from here.”

UK NOTEBOOK


TENNESSEE (47)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Black           32   2-9   2-3   3-8  0  3    7
Yarbrough       33   2-8   0-0  7-12  0  1    4
Tor Harris      16   0-1   0-0   1-5  0  4    0
Ton Harris      31  3-11   3-3   1-1  2  2   11
Wharton         33  5-14   0-1   0-2  1  1   14
Green           16   1-5   0-0   0-0  0  1    3
Victor          14   3-5   0-0   3-8  0  2    6
Hathaway        19   1-2   0-2   2-5  1  2    2
Lee              6   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 17-56   5-9 17-41  4 17   47
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.304, FT-.556. 3-Point Goals:
8-24, .333 (Black 1-1, Yarbrough 0-3, Ton Harris
2-6, Wharton 4-9, Green 1-4, Lee 0-1). Team
rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 5 (Ton Harris, Black,
Green, Victor, Hathaway). Turnovers: 17 (Black 3,
Ton Harris 3, Hathaway 2, Tor Harris 2, Victor 2,
Yarbrough 2, Green, Lee). Steals: 4 (Black 2,
Green, Ton Harris).


KENTUCKY (46)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Padgett         36   2-9   2-2   1-5  3  2    7
Bradley         26   3-7   1-2   5-8  0  3    7
Magloire        34   4-7   2-4   1-3  1  2   10
Evans           24   1-9   2-2   2-7  0  1    4
Turner          32  5-14   3-4   1-3  0  1   13
Camara          11   1-1   0-0   0-1  0  0    2
Hogan            8   0-2   0-0   0-0  0  2    0
Smith           14   1-4   0-0   0-2  1  0    3
Prince           7   0-1   0-0   1-2  0  0    0
Allison          8   0-1   0-0   1-2  0  1    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 17-55 10-14 12-33  5 12   46
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.309, FT-.714. 3-Point Goals:
2-17, .118 (Padgett 1-4, Evans 0-5, Turner 0-1,
Hogan 0-2, Smith 1-4, Prince 0-1). Team rebounds:
3. Blocked shots: 4 (Magloire 3, Smith).
Turnovers: 12 (Evans 3, Turner 3, Bradley 2,
Hogan, Magloire, Padgett, Prince). Steals: 3
(Camara, Padgett, Smith).
__________________________________
Tennessee          25   22  -   47
Kentucky           21   25  -   46
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 23,909. Officials:
John Clougherty, Jim Burr, Michael Kitts.


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