Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kentucky 5 - 5 Tennessee (15:48 left in 1st half)

Clearly UK's problems go beyond any poor luck due to live-blogging, so I'm going to quit being so superstitious. UK continues to run its half-court offense as if it were drowning in oatmeal.


  1. Kentucky 16 - 12 Tennessee (11:26 left in 1st half)

    Kentucky is trying to speed things up, but they keep charging and throwing the ball away. Meanwhile, Scotty Hopson -- who was too hurt to play on Saturday against Alabama -- already has 8 points for the Vols.

    It looks as though UK is on pace to get its usual 30 points for the first half, but it's too early to tell how many the Vols will have. Usually, the other team goes on a 8-1 run at some point.

    By the way, for those of you who thought the SEC was actually good, Georgia got pounded today at home by -- wait for it -- Xavier.

  2. Kentucky 24 - 13 Tennessee (8:45 left in 1st half)

    This game is so much easier when you can shoot. After going 7-12 from three-point range in Gainesville, the Cats are 4-4 so far in this game. UT calls a timeout.

  3. Kentucky 27 - 13 Tennessee (7:43 left in 1st half)

    With Kentucky up 14, and Rupp Arena going absolutely nuts, and UT going nowhere on offense, a UT player runs over Liggins in the lane. Charge? Of course not. It's a foul on Liggins. BOOO! BOOO! say the UK patrons.

    UK is now 5-6 from 3-point range. Lamb has two, and Knight, Liggins, and Miller have one each.

  4. Kentucky 33 - 18 Tennessee (4:28 left in 1st half)

    UK was up 33-14, but UT has now scored two layups in a row, so Cal called timeout.

  5. Kentucky 33 - 18 Tennessee (3:14 left in 1st half)

    Liggins has 9 points
    Lamb - 8
    Jones - 6
    Harrellson - 4
    Miller - 3
    Knight - 3

    Jon Hood has a missed three-pointer and a foul.

  6. Kentucky 35 - 25 Tennessee (1:00 left in 1st half)

    Well, the Vols have made an 11-2 run. Fortunately, UK was up 19 when that run began. But UK has had about 5 silly possessions in a row.

  7. Kentucky 35 - 28 Tennessee (Halftime)

    So the Vols end the half on a 14-2 run. I thought for awhile that UK might be on pace to finally get more than 70 points, but they scored only 2 points in the last five minutes of the half.

  8. UK also really cooled off toward the end of the half. The Cats are now 5-9 from three-point range. The Vols are 4-8.

    UK played at a very good pace for the most of the first half, forcing UT to go quite a bit faster than it likes. It will be interesting to see if they continue pressing the pace in the second half.

    It should also be pointed out that Knight and Hopson both missed a great deal of the first half with foul trouble. It will be interesting to see what sort of difference they make.

    The final score of that Georgia-Xavier game, by the way, was 57-65. Just a dreadful performance by Georgia. But Xavier no doubt realized that the Dawgs can't actually shoot the ball.

  9. Kentucky 43 - 30 Tennessee (17:17 left in 2d half)

    After UT cut UK's lead to 35-30, the Cats went on a very strange 8-0 run. Liggins made a FT, but missed the second one, but UK got the rebound. Then Harrellson made a FT, but missed the second one. Then Miller made two FTs. Then Harrellson shot a 3, which missed (of course), but Knight got the rebound and scored on a 3-ft jump shot. Then Liggins stole a pass and got a dunk. Then UT called time.

  10. Kentucky 46 - 30 Tennessee (16:31 left in 2d half)

    Knight hit a three, and then it looked at though the Cats had UT tied up, but the Vols called another TO.

  11. Kentucky 50 - 33 Tennessee (15:13 left in 2d half)

    Knight sets up Harrellson for a layup to give UK an 18-point lead. Hopson responds with a 3. But then Harrellson gets another layup -- AND HE'S FOULED! He'll be going for the old-fashioned three-point play when we return.

    Meanwhile, Number3Son is telling me about a new story he has made up that involves Mickey Mouse and a WHOLE LOT of villains.

  12. Kentucky 52 - 37 Tennessee (11:42 left in 2d half)

    UK has stopped scoring again. Lamb just missed a point-blank layup, right after Miller had a three-pointer go in and out and Jones dribbled the ball out of bounds. We will have to wait and see if this continues, or if UK is able to right the ship.

    Meanwhie, Mickey is still in trouble. I'm not sure his adventure will be resolved before Number3Son's bedtime.

  13. Kentucky 52 - 42 Tennessee (10:37 left in 2d half)

    Kentucky's struggles continue. The Vols are all over the place now, getting putbacks and layups. UK was forced to call time because it couldn't inbound the ball.

    No more reports on Mickey, as Number3Son has been sent off to bed.

  14. Kentucky 58 - 45 Tennessee (7:13 left in 2d half)

    So Jones misses a shot, misses the putback -- and then Harrellson taps it in!

    Then Knight misses a 3-pointer, and Harrellson scores the putback!

    Then Knight beats his man off the bounce, and makes a beautiful layup.

    UT then responds with a 3-pointer. The Vols, who couldn't hit the side of a barn on Saturday against Alabama, are 7-11 from three-point range.

  15. Kentucky 62 - 50 Tennessee (3:43 left in 2d half)

    Pretty desultory play on offense, with UK holding the ball late in the shot clock, trying to use up as much time as possible.

  16. Kentucky 67 - 54 Tennessee (1:42 left in 2d half)

    It is tempting to attribute this victory to improved scoring by Liggins (a career high with 19 points) and Harrellson (16 points), but UK is scoring at about the same pace that it followed during all four of its conference losses. The real key to this game was that UK has out-rebounded UT 32-23, thus preventing the putbacks and free-throws that have killed UK on the road.

  17. Kentucky 73 - 61 Tennessee (Final) (No. 2,040)

    UK runs its record to 17-6 overall, and 5-4 in the SEC. Great, great performances from Liggins (19 pts, 6 rebs, great defense on Hopson) and Harrellson (16 pts, 6 rebs). UK started off with a barrage of threes, but ended up going only 7-18 from 3-point line. UT was 9-16 from beyond the arc. But UK went 22-27 from the line, as opposed to 8-12 for UT. I did not think this was home cooking -- UK was much more aggressive on the inside than they've been in recent games. My guess, however, is that the story might have been different in Knoxville.

    UK broke 70 points for the first time in six games, which was nice to see. And they pounded UT on the boards, which was even nicer to see.

    On the whole, a very good win in a game that the Cats absolutely had to have.

  18. Interestingly, UK has had a double-digit lead in all five of its conference wins.

  19. Two other points:

    1. John Wall -- who may actually be my all-time favorite UK player -- did the "Y" at tonight's game. And, of course, he got an amazing reception.

    2. Purdue killed IU 67-53 in West Lafayette. Remember when this used to be a big game?

  20. Glad to have the coverage back.

  21. Indeed! Glad, too.

    The DeAndre Liggins-Scotty Hopson battle was great. Also, John Calipari/Bruce Pearl/Billy Donovan gives the SEC quite a petri dish for drama.

    Virginia broke out the Nerf hoop during this game. Her shooting percentage was probably about 6, but she was still the house's leading scorer because of her perseverance (shooters gotta shoot). "So close," she said with each miss (regardless of how close it was), and then she'd chuck something else at the goal--various stuffed balls and animals, socks, a birthday card, etc. Her most impressive make was a running bank of a tiny stuffed football. I rang her up for her six points on that one.