AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - John Wall hit two free throws with 8.9
seconds left to help No. 2 Kentucky remain unbeaten with a 72-67
victory over Auburn on Saturday.
The Wildcats (18-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) had a 13-point
halftime lead wiped out and the freshman star had an
uncharacteristically shaky game with seven turnovers. But his
clutch foul shots secured coach John Calipari's 52nd consecutive
victory in a regular-season conference game at Memphis and
Kentucky, breaking Adolph Rupp's NCAA record.
DeWayne Reed cut Kentucky's lead to 70-67 with two free throws
with 1:08 left, then Eric Bledsoe missed an open 3-pointer and the
ball went out of bounds to the Tigers (9-9, 0-3) with 37 seconds to
Reed missed a 3 and the Wildcats' DeAndre Liggins grabbed the
rebound and was fouled. Kentucky inbounded the ball to Wall, who
was quickly fouled and made the free throws that continued
Kentucky's best start in 44 years.
The Wildcats had shut down Auburn after Frankie Sullivan's
3-pointer tied it at 60 with 8:23 left. The Tigers went 4 minutes
without scoring as Kentucky used stingy defense to overcome some
missed drives and turnovers
DeMarcus Cousins, a native of Mobile, had 16 points, 11 rebounds
and four blocked shots in his first game back in his home state. He
was 5 of 6 from the field and 6 of 10 from the free throw line.
Wall finished with 13 points and four assists. He gave a slight
smile after hitting his first free throw in the final seconds to
make it a two-possession game, then calmly made his second.
Fellow freshman Eric Bledsoe, who is from Birmingham, also had
13 points, while Patrick Patterson finished with 12.
Reed led Auburn with 19 points and six assists despite missing
his first 10 shots. He kept firing away, taking 25 shots and making
Sullivan made 3 of 5 3-point attempts and scored 10 of his 15
points in the second half. Lucas Hargrove added 10 points.
Auburn has lost 11 straight games against top 10 teams,
including two in three days. The Tigers were routed 81-55 Thursday
night at No. 9 Tennessee, but followed with a much stronger
It was another close call for Kentucky, the fifth time the
Wildcats have won either by five points or less or in overtime.
Kentucky committed 16 turnovers but shot 51 percent and
capitalized on repeated trips to the free throw line. The Wildcats
attempted 35 free throws, making 23.
All but eight came in the first half, when Kentucky built a
39-26 lead. Auburn shot 29 percent in the half and was outrebounded
The Tigers bounced back to hit 16 of 29 shots in the second
No. 2 KENTUCKY 72, AUBURN 67
Cousins 5-6 6-10 16, Patterson 4-6 4-6 12, Miller 1-4 0-0 3, Wall 3-6 7-8 13, Bledsoe 4-10 3-5 13, Dodson 1-3 0-0 3, Harris 0-2 0-0 0, Stevenson 2-3 0-0 4, Orton 0-0 3-6 3, Liggins 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 22-43 23-35 72.
Hargrove 4-9 1-2 10, Lett 2-4 0-0 4, Reed 7-25 2-2 19, Sullivan 6-9 0-2 15, Waller 1-4 0-0 3, Malone 2-3 2-2 6, Armstrong 0-0 0-0 0, Gabriel 1-1 0-0 3, Knox 2-4 3-6 7, Ross 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-60 8-14 67.
Halftime-Kentucky 39-26. 3-Point Goals-Kentucky 5-14 (Bledsoe 2-5, Liggins 1-1, Dodson 1-3, Miller 1-4, Harris 0-1), Auburn 9-24 (Sullivan 3-5, Reed 3-9, Gabriel 1-1, Waller 1-4, Hargrove 1-4, Malone 0-1). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Kentucky 34 (Cousins 11), Auburn 30 (Malone 9). Assists-Kentucky 13 (Wall 4), Auburn 11 (Reed 6). Total Fouls-Kentucky 13, Auburn 21. A-11,669.
Kentucky Basketball Postgame Notes
Kentucky at Florida
January 16, 2010
Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum – Auburn, Ala.
-- Kentucky is now 18-0, 3-0 SEC on the season. Auburn falls to 9-9, 0-3.
-- UK is 84-17 against the Tigers and 27-13 in Auburn.
-- Kentucky has won 11 straight against Auburn and four in a row in Auburn.
-- This is the final time the Wildcats will play in Beard-Eaves Coliseum. UK has tallied a 24-9 all-time record in the venerable arena.
-- Coach Calipari has won 53 straight regular season conference games, breaking Adolph Rupp’s NCAA record for regular season conference games won.
-- Calipari has also won 64 straight league games (in conference tournament games), tying Rupp’s NCAA record for most consecutive wins against league foes.
-- Kentucky will be in action again next Saturday, returning home for the first time in two weeks to host Arkansas. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. with the game being televised on the SEC Network.
Team game notes
-- The Wildcats used the starting combination of Eric Bledsoe, DeMarcus Cousins, Darius Miller, Patrick Patterson and John Wall for the ninth straight game. Kentucky is 16-0 with that starting five.
-- The Wildcats played in their blue uniforms for only the fourth time this season. The Cats are 4-0 in their road blues.
-- DeMarcus Cousins won the opening tip. The Wildcats have won the opening tip 15 times this season.
-- Daniel Orton was the first sub off the bench for Kentucky. It was his 11th time this season to be the first Wildcat off the bench.
-- Kentucky extended its streak of game with a three-pointer to 729 games, the third longest streak in the country.
-- UK led 39-26 at halftime. The Wildcats are 14-0 when leading at the half this season.
-- The Cats 13 point halftime lead was its largest in league play this season.
-- The Wildcats shot 27 free throws in the first half, the highest first half total this season. UK’s 16 made free throws was also a first half high.
-- Kentucky tied its season high for free throws attempted with 35. The Wildcats were 23-35 from the free throw line.
-- UK outrebounded Auburn by four. The Wildcats have outrebounded their opponents 15 times this season.
-- The Wildcat defense held Auburn to 41.7 percent from the field. UK has not allowed an opponent to shoot above 50 percent this season.
Individual game notes
#11 John Wall
-- Has scored in double-figures in 16 of 17 games this season.
#15 DeMarcus Cousins
-- Recorded his ninth double-double of the season and his first in SEC play.
-- Scored in double-digits in 10-straight games.
-- Pulled down nine first half rebounds, his third highest first half total this season.
-- Finished with four blocks, the most since recording five against Rider.
#24 Eric Bledsoe
-- Hit multiple three-pointers for the second straight game.
-- Averaging 19 points in two SEC road games.
#34 DeAndre Liggins
-- Hit his first three-pointer since the Hartford game and his first in SEC play since hitting two against Mississippi State on Feb. 3, 2009.
#54 Patrick Patterson
-- Moved within six points of 28th on UK’s all-time scoring list with 1,314 points.
-- Tallied 12 first half points, his second highest first half total this season. Patterson scored 14 in the season opener against Miami University.
-- Scored double-figures for the 13th straight game.