This Week in Kentucky Basketball History: That Jodie Meeks Game Edition
On Tuesdays throughout the 2015-2016 season we will take a trip down memory lane and look back at past great plays, players and games associated with University of Kentucky men’s basketball for that given week. So be sure to check back with us each and every Tuesday to relive the moments that make the winningest Division I men’s basketball program so special.
• 1966: The Rupp’s Runts had their first test of the season, seeing a 13-point lead at halftime slip away against Georgia in Athens. The Bulldogs forced overtime with the game tied at 60. The first overtime was uneventful, as both teams scored just one point. In the second overtime, No. 2 Kentucky pulled away from Georgia, outscoring the Bulldogs 8-4 in the final five minutes for the 69-65 victory. The Wildcats improved their record to 11-0, with this being their first game decided by less than 10 points. Louie Dampier led the team in scoring with 23 points, while Pat Riley chipped in a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
• 1981: No. 4 Kentucky raced out to a seven-point lead at the half against No. 13 Tennessee, but held onto the lead in the second half en route to a narrow 48-47 victory over its border rival. The Wildcats were unselfish on offense, having 14 assists on their 20 made field goals. Sophomore Derrick Hord led the team in scoring with 16 points.
• 1995: No. 7 Kentucky had no trouble on the road against No. 15 Florida, leading the Gators by 12 at halftime en route to a convincing 83-67 victory in Gainesville. The Wildcats overwhelmed the Final Four participant from the previous season with their great shooting, 57.1 percent from the field. The Wildcats were led in scoring by a quartet of double-figure scorers, including Tony Delk and Rodrick Rhodes, who each scored 17 points.
• 2004: No. 7 Kentucky, with a slim two-point lead against No. 20 Vanderbilt at the half, pulled away from the Commodores in the final 20 minutes in a 75-63 win at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats dominated on the glass, resulting in a plus-19 rebounding margin. Kentucky was led on offense by a trio of 16-point scorers: Kelenna Azubuike, Erik Daniels and Gerald Fitch.
• 2015: No. 1 Kentucky survived a scare from Texas A&M, defeating the Aggies 70-64 in a double-overtime thriller in College Station. The Wildcats held on for the victory despite shooting just 28.1 percent from the field. UK’s defense wasn’t so bad either, limiting the Aggies to 33.3-percent shooting from the field. The team was led in scoring by freshman Devin Booker's 18 points. This was Kentucky's first double-overtime game since Jan. 12, 2008.
• 2011: No. 13 Kentucky jumped on Auburn early, racing out to a 20-point halftime lead that the Tigers couldn't overcome in the Wildcats' 78-54 victory at Rupp Arena. The Tigers were coached by Kentucky's current assistant coach Tony Barbee. This game was about one player though: Terrence Jones. Jones was explosive on offense, setting a school record for most points in a single game by a freshman (35).
• 2008: Kentucky surprised No. 13 Vanderbilt in the first half at Rupp Arena, leading by 10 points at halftime. But the Wildcats let the lead slip away, with the Commodores forcing overtime with the score knotted at 65. Even five extra minutes wasn't enough as both teams scored seven points to set up a second overtime. The Wildcats pulled away in the final overtime, outscoring the Commodores 7-1 to secure the 79-73 upset victory. Kentucky had three players who scored in double figures, led by Patrick Patterson's double-double performance of 23 points and 12 rebounds. This was Kentucky's first win in a double-overtime game since Mar. 16, 2000.
• 1975: No. 7 Kentucky used hot shooting, 52.2 percent from the field, to defeat No. 18 Tennessee 88-82 at Memorial Coliseum in a battle of ranked border rivals. The Wildcats' defense was also great, limiting the Volunteers to just 39.4-percent shooting from the field. Kentucky had four players score in double figures, led by senior Kevin Grevey's 24 points.
• 1998: No. 6 Kentucky took great care of the ball, committing only seven turnovers, in a convincing 91-70 victory over No. 14 South Carolina at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats were also aided on offense by their 54.1-percent shooting from the field. Kentucky had five players score in double figures, led by senior Jeff Sheppard's 16 points.
• 2001: Kentucky was nearly flawless from the charity stripe, making 87 percent of its 23 free-throw attempts in a 82-71 upset victory over No. 25 Notre Dame at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats had four players score in double figures, led by Tayshaun Prince's 19 points.
• 2004: No. 5 Kentucky raced out to a nine-point lead at halftime against No. 20 Mississippi State in Starkville, and they needed some heroics to escape with a victory. With 2.5 seconds remaining and trailing 66-65, Cliff Hawkins inbounded the ball towards Chuck Hayes at the basket. The ball was deflected before it reached Hayes, and Erik Daniels recovered the ball in time to throw up a bank shot at the buzzer to defeat the Bulldogs 67-66 in a thrilling finish. The Wildcats were led in scoring by Gerald Fitch's 23 points.
• 2009: Kentucky ran away from No. 24 Tennessee in the second half, outscoring the Volunteers 49-35 in the final 20 minutes to secure the 90-72 upset win in Knoxville. But this game was all about the greatest individual offensive performance in Kentucky's storied history. Junior guard Jodie Meeks had the game of a lifetime. Meeks made a school record 10 three-point field goals, and was a perfect 14 of 14 from the free-throw line on his way to a school record 54 points scored. Meeks broke the previous record of 53 points, set by Dan Issel 39 years earlier.
• 2015: No. 1 Kentucky had one of its most impressive defensive performances in a conference game in the shot-clock era, limiting Missouri to just 37 points scored on 27.1-percent shooting from the field in their 49-point blowout victory over the Tigers. Eleven different players scored for Kentucky, led by sophomore Aaron Harrison's 16 points.
• 1956: No. 5 Kentucky simply overwhelmed LSU on the glass, resulting in an astounding plus-36 rebounding margin, on the way to a convincing 107-65 victory over the Tigers at Memorial Coliseum. This game was all about senior center Bob Burrow though. Burrow made 19 field goals and 12 free throws to become the second player in school history to score 50 points in a single game. To top it off, Burrow also added 23 rebounds for quite an impressive double-double. An added note: The duo of Jerry Bird and Burrow both outscored LSU (70-65) and outrebounded the Tigers (36-34) by themselves.
• 1997: No. 5 Kentucky used stifling pressure defense to limit No. 21 Georgia to just 30-percent shooting from the field as the Wildcats easily defeated the Bulldogs, 86-65, in Athens. The Wildcats were able to overcome some physical play, resulting in four players fouling out. Kentucky had four players score in double figures, led by Derek Anderson's 24 points.
• 2003: No. 16 Kentucky had quite the second half turnaround against Vanderbilt in Nashville. Trailing the Commodores by eight points at halftime, the Wildcats outscored Vanderbilt by an astounding 30 points in the final 20 minutes to complete their 74-52 comeback victory. Kentucky was led on offense by four double-figure scorers, including Gerald Fitch's 18 points.
• 1966: No. 2 Kentucky shot 54.8-percent from the field to aid in their 96-83 victory over No. 3 Vanderbilt at Memorial Coliseum. Louie Dampier led the Wildcats in scoring with 28 points, while the trio of Larry Conley, Thad Jaracz and Pat Riley recorded double-doubles. This was the first matchup between Kentucky and Vanderbilt with both teams ranked in the top five of the Associated Press Poll.
• 1982: No. 6 Kentucky raced out to a 14-point lead at halftime against No. 13 Alabama and cruised in the final 20 minutes on the way to an 86-69 victory over the Crimson Tide at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats overcame Alabama shooting 50 percent from the field by shooting 55.2 percent themselves. Kentucky had four players score in double figures, led by Dirk Minniefield's 25 points.
• 1996: No. 2 Kentucky had the greatest offensive performance in a single half in school history against LSU in Baton Rouge. The Wildcats overwhelmed the Tigers in the first 20 minutes, scoring an unthinkable 86 points, and leading by 44 points at halftime. Kentucky cruised in the second half to end up with a 129-97 final score. The Wildcats were aided by the high score from shooting 58 percent from the field. Kentucky had six players score in double figures, led by Antoine Walker's career high 32 points.
• 2001: Kentucky took an eight-point lead into the half against No. 4 Tennessee and held on in the second half to upset the Volunteers 84-74 at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats' defense provided the difference, forcing Tennessee in 22 turnovers and limiting the Vols to just 38.8-percent shooting from the field. Kentucky was led on offense by four double-figure scorers, paced by Keith Bogans' 21 points. This was Kentucky's first win as an unranked team over a team ranked in the top four since Dec. 23, 1961.