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HANSON SCORES CAREER HIGH OF 28 AS VOLS FALL 85-74

Date story was published: Thursday, February 14, 1991

On a night dedicated to fond memories, Reggie Hanson gave himself something to reflect back on in, say, 25 years.

Hanson responded to a call for more offense by posting a career-high 28 points. Those points, plus 12 rebounds, four blocks, three steals and no turnovers led Kentucky to an 85-74 victory over Tennessee last night.

An 18th victory in 23 games came on a night Kentucky looked back 25 years to honor one of its most beloved teams -- "Rupp's Runts" of 1965-66. In a pregame locker room talk, one of the Runts, Pat Riley, reminded the present Wildcats that these are destined to be their good ol' days.

Hanson heard much the same words from Coach Rick Pitino Tuesday. He got the message.

"You always want to end your career on a good note," UK's senior center said. "He (Pitino) told me I need to be more aggressive. That's what I'll have to do."

Hanson had been under his scoring average in eight straight games. But he scored 19 of his points in staking UK to a 59-35 lead early in the second half. His previous career high, 27 points, came earlier this season against Eastern Kentucky. He matched that with 8:13 left, but had only a free throw thereafter.

"Reggie was very active, but I'd like to see him even more active in the last seven, eight minutes," Pitino said. "He has to go for the jugular even more."

As for his motivational powers, Pitino said he focused on two themes:

Hanson's college career ends in three weeks.

UK needs to snap its only two-game losing streak of the season.

"You talk to him and tell him, 'You're not a freshman or a sophomore,' " Pitino said. " 'You only have six games left in your career. Why not go out with the six best of your career?' "

UK, which lost at Louisiana State and Mississippi State last week, improved to 10-3 in the Southeastern Conference. That matched Alabama for the league's best record.

Despite dropping to 9-15 overall and 3-10 in the SEC, Tennessee came away with its pride. The Vols rallied to within nine points late in the game but got no closer. All-SEC guard Allan Houston led Tennessee with a hard-earned 26 points.

Coming close continued a frustrating season for Tennessee coach Wade Houston, Allan's father.

"Coming into the game, we felt we had a chance to play with Kentucky," the elder Houston said. He based that belief, the Tennessee coach said, on the absence of UK point guard Sean Woods. Woods was in the hospital recovering from an acute viral infection.

Woods' absence did not hurt Kentucky. Richie Farmer (14 points and seven assists) and freshman Carlos Toomer (no turnovers in eight minutes) filled in.

Kentucky dominated the first half, rushing to a 19-point lead inside the first eight minutes and breezing to a 45-33 cushion at halftime.

Both sides said the pregame ceremonies honoring the Runts inspired UK and shook up Tennessee.

Only the eye-catching abilities of Allan Houston kept the halftime score reasonable. Houston scored 15 points in the first half.

UK ran out to a 10-3 lead in the first two minutes with Farmer scoring five.

Later, a 16-2 run gave Kentucky a 28-9 lead at the 12:38 mark.

"We were sizzling," Pitino said. "It was great."

Hanson began the run with a three-pointer from the top of the key off a set play.

Deron Feldhaus followed with back-to-back layups. The second came six seconds after a Tennessee basket and gave an indication UK's transition offense was in gear.

Three three-point plays completed the run. Jeff Brassow and Junior Braddy sandwiched three-point baskets around Jamal Mashburn's old-fashioned three- point play underneath.

A rout seemed on, but Tennessee refused to cooperate.

"We kept ourselves in position to make a run," Wade Houston said. "A lot of teams come in here and get blown out by 20 or 30 points. We hung in. I'm not surprised we got off to a slow start. I would have been disappointed if we did not make a run to get back in the game."

Tennessee got as close as nine twice later in the half as Pitino substituted liberally.

An intentional foul call kept Tennessee at bay. With UK ahead 39-30, Vol Steve Rivers blatantly grabbed Brassow's jersey rather than let the UK sophomore cut to the basket.

Brassow hit both free throws. Braddy drove for a basket with the ensuing possession to put UK ahead 43-30.

A scare came with 1:33 left when Hanson fell to the floor heavily on a rebound attempt.

Grimacing, Hanson got up and proved he was all right on the next possession. He rebounded Mashburn's miss for a putback.

Kentucky outscored the Vols 14-2 to open the second half. That established Kentucky's largest lead, 59-35, with 15:49 left.

Tennessee turned the ball over on its first two possessions and six times inside the first five minutes. The Vols committed 27 turnovers on the night.

Worse for Tennessee, Houston snaked into the lane and came out limping barely two minutes into the half. After the game, Houston had an ice pack on his right knee and a bruise on the left.

"I got beat and banged up tonight," he said good-naturedly. "Part of the business."

It seemed only a final score remained in doubt.

But Tennessee closed to within 74-65 with 4:55 left. The Vols had two chances to creep closer but turned the ball over each time. Carlus Groves walked after fumbling a pass for an open layup. Houston threw away an inbounds pass rather than risk a five-second call. The mistakes were turnovers Nos. 23 and 24.

Notes

UK assistant coach Bernadette Locke was admitted to the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Medical Center yesterday. Locke was suffering from an acute viral illness, according to a UK news release.

Team physician Dr. Henry Stiene said Locke was being treated for fever, nausea and dehydration, the same symptoms that laid up Pitino last week.

Locke was expected to be hospitalized one or two days, Stiene said in the release.

Woods is expected be released from the hospital in a day or two, the release said.

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