CANCUN, Mexico (AP) - Freshman sensation John Wall scored a
season-best 23 points, including clutch shots in the final minute
that sent the game to overtime, and No. 5 Kentucky closed with an
eight-point run for a 73-65 victory over gritty Stanford on
Wednesday night in the championship game of the Cancun Challenge at
the Moon Palace Resort.
Playing his fifth college game, Wall capped a big night with a
slam dunk at the final horn, setting off a wild celebration by
Kentucky players before a crowd of 1,425.
Wall hit a 12-foot fadeaway jumper from the right wing to tie
the score at 61 with 30.6 seconds remaining in regulation, then two
free throws with 2.4 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
Fellow freshman Eric Bledsoe made an NBA-length 3-pointer with
33 seconds to go that gave Kentucky a 69-65 lead it did not
Stanford's Landry Fields was fouled by Ramon Harris during a
scramble and hit both ends of a 1-and-1 to give Stanford a 63-61
lead with 28.2 seconds on the clock.
The Wildcats opted not to call a timeout and went to freshman
forward DeMarcus Cousins, who was fouled on the block. The 53.6
percent free throw shooter missed the first free throw and then the
second on purpose, but fouled Stanford's Jarrett Mann on the
Mann, a 53 percent free throw shooter, then missed both of his
free-throw attempts, setting up a final flurry. Wall drew a
blocking call on Andrew Zimmermann with 2.4 seconds left and calmly
swished both free throws to tie it again.
Stanford's full-court pass was batted off the backboard by
Patrick Patterson and corralled by Wall to send the game to
The game was marked by several long stoppages in play. Officials
spent several minutes reviewing a Stanford 3-pointer and
intentional foul in the first half, then a shot clock malfunction
had tournament organizers searching for a ladder with 11:31 left in
Fields put the Cardinal on his back late in the first half,
scoring six straight points during a late run that gave Stanford a
38-32 lead at halftime. Aided by Jeremy Green's four 3-pointers,
the duo tallied 27 of Stanford's 38 points and helped hold
Kentucky's up-tempo offense scoreless over the final 5:09.
On the other side, Wall was the only Kentucky player to get
going before the break. The freshman had 15 points but could not do
all the heavy lifting with preseason All-American forward Patterson
going out of the game less than six minutes in with two fouls.
Without Patterson's inside presence the Wildcats struggled to get
anything in the paint and shot just 35.5 percent from the field.
Patterson got going early in the second half on his way to his
25th career double-double, but he missed two point-blank
opportunities on the same possession that would have given Kentucky
its first lead since late in the first half with just over 10
He made up for it later, using a power post move to give
Kentucky a 54-53 lead with 6:42 to play.
It was only the third meeting between the schools and first
since the 1998 NCAA tournament semifinals. Kentucky won that
showdown 86-85 in overtime on its way to its seventh - and most
recent - national championship.
No. 5 KENTUCKY 73, STANFORD 65, OT
Zimmermann 3-4 0-0 6, Trotter 1-5 0-0 2, Fields 6-20 11-14 23,
Mann 2-4 5-8 9, Green 6-13 1-2 18, Shiller 2-6 0-0 6, Daian 0-0 1-2
1, Dildy 0-2 0-0 0, Bullock 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-55 18-26 65.
Cousins 5-8 3-8 13, Patterson 5-9 1-2 12, Miller 2-8 4-5 10,
Wall 8-16 8-8 26, Bledsoe 2-4 0-0 5, Dodson 0-3 0-0 0, Harris 3-5
1-2 7, Stevenson 0-0 0-0 0, Orton 0-2 0-0 0, Harrellson 0-1 0-0 0.
Totals 25-56 17-25 73.
Halftime-Stanford 38-32. End Of Regulation-Tied 63. 3-Point
Goals-Stanford 7-20 (Green 5-8, Shiller 2-5, Fields 0-7), Kentucky
6-19 (Miller 2-5, Wall 2-5, Bledsoe 1-2, Patterson 1-2, Cousins
0-1, Harris 0-1, Dodson 0-3). Fouled Out-Cousins, Trotter,
Zimmermann. Rebounds-Stanford 34 (Fields 13), Kentucky 39
(Patterson 11). Assists-Stanford 11 (Fields, Mann 3), Kentucky 14
(Wall 5). Total Fouls-Stanford 22, Kentucky 21. A-1,425. tucky 21.
-- Kentucky is now 6-0 on the season. Stanford falls to 3-3.
-- UK is now 3-0 all-time against the Cardinal.
-- Kentucky returns to action on Monday taking on UNC Asheville in their annual Freedom Hall game in Louisville. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. ET with the game being televised live on Fox Sports South.
Team game notes
-- The Wildcats used the starting combination of Eric Bledsoe, DeMarcus Cousins, Darius Miller, Patrick Patterson and John Wall for the fifth straight game. Kentucky is 5-0 with that starting five.
-- UK lost the opening tip. It was the first time this season the Cats have not won the tip. DeMarcus Cousins has jumped center every game this year.
-- Daniel Orton was the first sub off the bench for Kentucky. It was his third time this season to be the first Wildcat off the bench.
-- UK extended its string of 717 consecutive games making a three-pointer.
-- UK went 4:16 in the first half without a point, during which time Stanford went on an 11-0 run to go from 19-11 down, to 22-19 ahead. John Wall stopped the run with a pair of made free throws.
-- Kentucky went into halftime trailing 38-32. It was the first time UK trailed at the half since being behind Miami University at the half. The Wildcats are 2-0 when trailing at the half.
-- After falling behind 34-32 with 3:52 left in the first half, UK reclaimed the lead 54-53 at the 6:40 mark of the second half. The game then went back and forth until John Wall tied it at 63-63 on two made free throws with 2.4 seconds left.
-- Kentucky forced Stanford into two shot-clock violations, the most this season.
-- UK outscored Stanford 10-2 in the extra period.
-- The Wildcats shot 44.6 percent from the field, its lowest percentage this season.
-- UK played on overtime game for the first time since playing Georgia to overtime in the 2008 SEC Tournament.
-- Kentucky won its first overtime game since defeating Vanderbilt 79-73 in 2008 season.
-- The Wildcats are now 49-42 in overtime games.
-- UK won its second straight in-season tournament after winning the 2008 Las Vegas Invitational and the 2009 Cancun Challenge.
-- John Wall was named tournament MVP and DeMarcus Cousins was named to the all-tournament team.
Individual game notes
#1 Darius Miller
-- Tied his season high with three three-pointers
-- Finished with 13 points. Not the only Maysville native to have success the Cardinal in the championship game of the 1973 UKIT.
#5 Ramon Harris
-- Pulled down a season high seven rebounds
#11 John Wall against Stanford as Ronnie Lyons of Maysville tallied 21 points against
-- Scored double-digits in the first half for the third time in five games.
-- Finished the game 8-8 from the free throw line
-- Hit two free throws with 2.4 seconds left in regulation to tie the at 63-63.
-- Has scored in double digits in every game this season and has scored 20+ points in three games.
#15 DeMarcus Cousins
-- Has registered multiple blocked shots in every game this season.
#24 Eric Bledsoe
-- Hit a three-pointer with 33 seconds remaining in overtime to give Kentucky a 69-65 lead.
-- Has hit a three-pointer in five of six games this season.
#54 Patrick Patterson
-- Has hit a three-pointer in four of six games this season
-- Recorded his 25th career double-double moving him into sole possession of 10th place on UK’s all-time double-double list.