Kentucky Crushes Arkansas...Should Move To Number 1 - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Kentucky Crushes Arkansas...Should Move To Number 1

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Darius Miller had a career-high 18 points

and DeMarcus Cousins got his 10th double-double as No. 2 Kentucky

coasted by Arkansas 101-70 Saturday.

The Wildcats kept alive the nation's only unblemished record and

a near certain return to the top of the college basketball

rankings.

Kentucky (19-0, 4-0 SEC) hasn't topped The Associated Press poll

since 2003, but that streak is almost certain to end Monday

courtesy of its dominating victory over UK alumnus John Pelphrey's

Razorbacks and top-ranked Texas' loss to Kansas State earlier in

the week.

This one was practically over by tipoff. Kentucky scored the

game's 10 points, stretched the lead to 30 by halftime, then added

the first 14 points of the second half.

With that much margin for error, the Wildcats easily avoided the

kind of second half letdown that made recent wins over Georgia and

Auburn much closer than anticipated. Arkansas (8-11, 1-3) did make

an 18-3 run midway through the second half, but by that time,

Kentucky had plenty of cushion to withstand it.

The Wildcats' largest lead was 46 after John Wall hit a jumper

with 14 minutes left. The Razorbacks got it no closer than 92-62

with under 4 minutes to go.

Arkansas were led by Courtney Fortson's 21 points, but it wasn't

nearly enough to keep up with the Wildcats' scoring barrage.

They ended the first half and began the second on a 21-0 run,

including a 3-pointer by Ramon Harris at the halftime buzzer and

later consecutive 3s by Darius Miller.

Miller connected on four of six attempts from long range.

Cousins, who finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds, secured

his double-double just seconds into the second half. He probably

would have gotten it even sooner but was sidelined for all but nine

minutes of the first half with a minor injury.

Every bounce seemed to go Kentucky's way in this one - even on

the broken plays. Late in the first half, Patterson missed badly on

a reverse dunk attempt, but Wall was right there to dish in the

follow. Wall had 16 points and a game-high seven assists.

For the most part, the Wildcats relied on athleticism - not luck

- to overpower the Razorbacks.

Just 18 seconds in, Patterson hit a baseline jumper in what

turned out to be the game-winning basket. Cousins added a layup in

traffic, followed by a Wall's three-point play and the first

3-pointer of the game by Miller.

By the time Mike Washington ended the Kentucky run with a

three-point play, Arkansas' lone basket in 11 shots, the Wildcats'

lead was 10.

The win kept alive for Kentucky coach John Calipari an NCAA

record of 64 consecutive wins against conference foes. Most of

those victories were when he coached Memphis, which last week saw

its streak of 64 such wins fall against UTEP.

Calipari tried to keep expectations low going into the Arkansas

game, joking, "What's going to happen the next day, we go to the

electric chair?"

One thing that did concern him was the Wildcats have been

vulnerable against 3-point shooters this year, and Arkansas has one

of the nation's best of those in Rotnei Clarke. However, Clarke was

just 2-of-9 from beyond the arc and the Razorbacks managed just one

other 3.

It was Kentucky's third 100-point effort of the season and first

in SEC play.

Pelphrey has now lost all three meetings against his alma mater

as an opposing coach.

 

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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