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Image 7 of The Cats' Pause, December 30, 1989

Part of The Cats' Pause

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Q)ece/tt//€r so, /y6y . 77/e ()(//* ' (£aa/ie Woods lights fire under 'Cats Sophomore guard sets the pace to help Kentucky ease past Portland 88-71 in first round of UKIT by TCP publisher/editor Oscar Combs Thanks to the brilliant all-around performance of sophomore guard Sean Woods, who scored a career-high 20 points and gave his teammates repeated injections of energy. Kentucky eased past Portland 88-71 in the first round of the annual UKIT. Woods, whom coach Rick Pitino said played his finest hour since his emergence from a year of Proposition 48, was the one battery ready and willing to crank up the slow-to-get-going 'Cats. Woods' leadership at the point guard position jump-started the club time after time and kept Portland from ever making a serious run. His 6-6 statistics in rebounding and assists showed just how valuable he was on this particular night. But most important to him and his coach were his eight of nine free throws. "Sean had his finest game yet." Pitino said. "I thought he had just a great game. He did everything you can ask of a point guard. He scored, had assists, hit his free throws and hit well from the field and he did a great job of running the offense in a different tempo game. "Because of the tempo, a lot of people did not get into it. Sean was excellent in all areas and that's why we won." Although four other Wildcats assisted with double figure scoring, the spark seemed to be in only Woods' shoes. "It was kinda a draggy game and that forced us into a sloppy game and we felt sloppy." Woods said "but I just concentrated on getting into the flow of the game." Woods credited Pitino's constant reminders of "getting into the game" as to what enabled him to take charge. And Pitino feels Woods is now beginning to shake the effects of a year's layoff. "At the beginning of the season I really worried. I was even frightened." Pitino said, "but not now." "He's starting to gain confidence." Pitino said of Woods. And on this chilling evening, where outside temperatures dipped into the red, the crowd was seemingly frozen. And unlike the previous four home games at Rupp Arena this year, the crowd wasn't in a rock'n. roll'n mood. The yawning disease contracted by the 'Cats on this particular night apparently was shared by those fans in the stands. The official stats sheet listed the attendance as 18.639, but most observers along press row put the crowd more like 15.000 in the massive 23,000-seat arena. Two factors obviously contributed. The bitter cold that had hit Kentucky earlier in the week probably kept people home in front of the fireplace listening to the games on radio and waiting for television replays a couple hours later. And the field of SW Louisiana, Portland and Cincinnati—not hoop powerhouses these days—wasn't to be compared with the Big Four Classic. And Kentucky's players responded likewise. Pitino. however, found some good in the bad. "This was good for us because we got a chance to rest our players, style-of-play wise," Pitino said. "That's important in back-to-back games when you play twice within 24 hours." True. ex-Wildcat Larry Steele brought his team to Lexington with something in mind other than to race up and down the court the way he once did under the late Adolph Rupp. "That was what we needed." Steele said of the slowdown pace which had Rupp Arena patrons booing a couple times. "We just needed a little more poise." UK shot out of the gate like it was going to post something like a 130-point night, first spurting to a 15-4 lead on a John Pelphrey three-pointer at 16:34 and then took command of a 27-11 score at 11:49 when Woods tickled the nets for a rare three-pointer. But Steele wasn't about to be embarrassed in his first trip back to Lexington as a college head coach. The Wildcats increased the margin to 17 (30-13) on Derrick Miller's three-pointer and went up 18 at 7:18 on Johnathon Davis' put-back as Kentucky led 39-21. That's when the Pilots launched a couple attacks, scoring eight consecutive points and getting within 10 at 39-29 with 2:42 left in the half. It was during the final six minutes of the half when Portland forced UK to play its more conservative game, a style Kentucky refuses to play well against. More came in the second half. Kentucky held on to a comfortable twin-digit margin most of the second half, but just couldn't shake the lazy, hazy play of Portland until the final minutes. The Pilots struck a mini-fear at 6:58 when Josh Lowery scored a layup. reducing the margin to nine at 63-54. The Wildcats responded with Pelphrey hitting a short jumper. Feldhaus driving for a bucket and Pelphrey adding a pair of free throws for a 68-54 score at 4:39. Missing in the entire second half was the constant outside scoring threat of three-point artists Miller. Farmer and Brassow. Neither scored from the outside in the last 20 minutes. Miller, who scored 12 points in the first half, all but disappeared in the final 20 minutes and didn't connect from the field on four attempts and failed to score after intermission. He sat out the game's final 2:39 although UK led by only nine. Farmer didn't score at all on the evening and Brassow tallied only four points, none from long range. Picking up the slack in the second half was Pelphrey. who finished the night with 17 points and enjoyed several good offensive moves inside while hitting five of 10 from the field and hauled down six rebounds. Reggie Hanson, the club's stellar offensive leader, struggled at times but still posted his workman-like stats of 17 points on seven of 13 from the field, five boards and two blocked shots. Portland's attack was spearheaded by Lowery's 27 points on 12 of 25 from the field and he was the game's only double-digit re-bounder at 10. UK, 5-2. advanced to meet SW Louisiana in the championship game. ? ? ? As the clock ticked near zero. Southwestern Louisiana's Todd Hill was zero for five from the field. But he suddenly found himself with the basketball near the bucket—with his club trailing by a single point—hitting a short jumper to give his team an 89-88 win over Cincinnati in the first round of the UKIT. The victory pushed USL, 6-0, into the UKIT finals. Hill wore the hero's robe, but it wasn't planned that way. The clutch shot was supposed to come from the star, as in Sydney Grider. the sharp-shooting senior guard who finished the game with 26 points and once played for C. M. Newton when the UK athletics director was coach at Vanderbilt. Grider. though, transferred to Southwestern Louisiana. "We mentioned to Sydney that Coach (CM.) Newton was watching in the stands. Fletcher said. "We said. 'See if you can make one for Coach." But Sydney got cut off, so he got it to Aaron Mitchell, who made a real nice pass to Todd Hill, who kissed it off the glass." "..vers: \y Fj ,53 Try; rt. _ ft- r "**- --5 _I _*» —i . b 7 —; —' ¦ —:- —*¦ -1 ¦4i 3 ' s {: - e - s : r i : * "t .* it I Hi ¦ JLL*-'*- ,- c - ¦7" ; ; S: c 4 . ; s 5 : = *; e - C-i s r : c • ?..:'. k _lij'-£__ { -1 ! O.CrV 5 37.i\ Tin A L< - -ri- j : !!l -.11 II :;l m II (1 Hi J.1js* is: half u ; L*t HXLF 0.' s &ms :..v-». FiMf ..nd ka^F '_6>U 3AX2 ~.j oo ~£JC3A^-Lid HALF 4/14 21.61 G«2 4/ 23 13.2* S£SC'J>CS 4 loA HALT 2/ 6 11.1\ *A."j; 9' €4.3% s; f. EST'. E5- ¦iS s . > ; - —i ; ;. SESjJE ...... __t . :¦". ( . 4 —j 73 —i —i —' " - JC- 5 ." CW. JEJ7 4 c -j - : ..«.':• ?zz?.:z A o . :'JC2 -* ; — *..:: j*;-*' __ __• " t "OCf E c '—. —i — j -3_-.js:s • :>:..:zz .f 7."r:A_i; 71*7 A 1 :.l .1 ?l i.\ : I U : 1 Mil 11 .- 1 rCTAL FZ 1st HA1F .* t: 4-...X in,: HALT . 1, -5 4i . ii ZVS. j. -. 4j.*\ :^*~rA_ .6 11.%\ 2nc HA^F 2/ 9 ZZ.}\ 3A*:E ; ::a.:% 2ns wcr nr.} 73.94 zk-s UK-Portland play-by-play Time Kentucky Score Portland 19:37 Miller 21 ft. 18:50 3-2 Houle 10 ft. 18:38 Pelphrey 4 ft. bank 5-2 18:10 Hanson tip in 7-2 18:04 74 McDowell dunk 17:24 Feldhaus 3 ft.. FT 94 16:58 Hanson 15 ft. 114 16:30 Pelphrey 21 ft. 154 '16:24 15-5 Lowery FTA, FT 15:10 15-7 Grant 8 ft. 14:55 Hanson 4 ft. 17-7 14:06 Feldhaus 4 ft. follow 19-7 13:56 Miller 19 ft. 21-7 |l3:40 21-9 McDowell layup 12:38 Miller 21 ft. 24-9 ¦12:05 24-11 Lowery layup 11:50 Woods 20 ft. 27-11 11:23 27-13 Houle 6 ft. 11:15 Miller 20 ft. 30-13 10:33 30-15 Houle layup 9:54 Feldhaus follow 32-15 8:58 32-17 Lowery layup 8:10 32-19 Lowery layup 7:58 Feldhaus 21 ft. 35-19 | 7:33 35-21 Estep FT, FT 7:17 Woods layup 37-21 6:03 Davis follow 39-21 5:22 39-23 Lowery layup 4:32 39-25 Houle follow layup 4:03 39-27 Deaton, FT, FT 2:42 39-29 i McDowell 4 ft. 2:2' Woods layup 41-24 ' 2:0 >' Miller 6 ft. ' 43-29 :5. 43-31 Houle 12 ft :21 Miller layup 45-31 i :01 45-33 Spoelstra FT, FT HALF 45-33 19:32 45-35 Lowery layup 18:00 Hanson layup 47-35 17:47 Pelphrey 23 ft. 50-35 16:24 50-37 Lowery follow 15:31 Woods 21 ft. 53-37 14:46 Hanson FT, FT 55-37 14:06 55-39 Deaton 12:47 5541 Lowery 18 ft. 11:49 Brassow 8 ft. 57-41 10:13 5744 Spoelstra 21 ft. 9:23 5747 Lowery 22 ft. 9:09 Brassow FT, FT 5947 8:35 Woods layup 6147 8:19 6149 Mobley follow 8:07 61-52 Lowery 22 ft. bank j 7:17 Hanson 3 ft. 63-52 6:59 63-54 Lowery layup 6:37 Pelphrey 6 ft. 65-54 6:19 Feldhaus layup 67-54 4:39 Pelphrey FT, FT 69-56 4:35 68-56 Spoelstra FT, FT j 4:14 Pelphrey layup 70-56 3:20 Hanson dunk 72-56 3:08 72-58 Lowery layup 2:42 72-60 Lowery layup 2:30 72-63 Mobley 21 ft. 2:24 Woods FT, FT 74-63 2:1) 74-65 McDowell layup | 1:50 Woods FT, FT 76-65 !¦ II Feldhaus follow 78-65 1:19 78-67 McDowell layup : 14 Woods FT, FT 80-67 1:02 Pelphrey FT, FT 82-67 :54 Woods FT, FT 84-67 19 84-69 Ritter 4 ft. follow 25 Pelphrey FT. FT 86-69 :14 86-71 Roth 18 ft. :01 Davis follow 8(3-71 FINAL 8871 —D7CP chart 30M4t>M06 iWAWA'AW.1