The seventh largest crowd in Rupp Arena history saw a nail-biter of a game with the Wildcats on the winning end. The positive side of a nine o'clock start is the Wildcat fans have a chance to live up to the reputation of Kentuckians from a spirit(s) standpoint, no pun intended. Assist to the Rupp Arena crowd!
So at the 7:34 mark of the first half with Kentucky
trailing 18-17, UK went on a 6-0 run that put the Cats up 24-18. At the 5:47 mark of that run, Rupp Arena was the loudest it's been all season. Gillispie expressed his admiration for the Rupp Arena crowd and the way they reacted Tuesday night when the team needed them most. He said the way they've been playing, you couldn't been too disappointed had they not shown up.
"Definitely they came here ready to rumble," a jubilant Gillispie said. They made a big difference in the game - I mean a huge difference in the game. I know they were very, very exciting last year on Senior Day, but I don't know if I've heard them better during the time I've been here. The thing about it we needed them the most. We've obviously been struggling a little bit and we needed them the most and we're very appreciative of the showing and giving the great effort like they did. Because I know that 11 o'clock is a little bit late for most of them." Much of that excitement was spearheaded by the aggressive play of Kevin Galloway
, who had nine assist for the game. Gillispie said you'd better stay ready because never know when your chance is going to come and he did a good job of taking advantage of it. Assist to Rupp Arena crowd!
In reference to Jodie Meeks
, who buried the winning three-point shot, Orestes Meeks father of Jodie Meeks said the fans love Jodie but they we love him more. He was referring the himself and his wife, Margeret. The elder Meeks said he has been to Rupp Arena several times over the last four years and, "I'll say this about the game today and I saw the team that play against the Florida
teams that won the National Championships - I've never heard Rupp Arena as loud as it was when Jodie hit that shot tonight. Boy, what an advantage with that crowd."
Jodie Meeks said it was a great crowd tonight. "It doesn't get any better than that, 24,000 fans, at the University of Kentucky, on ESPN," Meeks said. Assist to the Rupp Crowd!
The team it going to need some more of that raucous elixir in future games in Rupp to ward off a mediocre season.
The nine o'clock games are not the most desirable time for many of the Kentucky fans because of the ending time. Many People are in slumber land when a game of that time concludes. Many fans have to go to work early the next morning. Much of the media have a tight deadline that sometime have to be extended. Players have class the next morning. But all's well that ends well.