UK Notches Road Win at Auburn - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

UK Notches Road Win at Auburn

By JOHN ZENOR

AP Sports Writer

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Kentucky coach John Calipari recalls

Auburn's Tony Barbee as "one of the most hard-headed players I've

ever coached."

The second-ranked Wildcats found Barbee's team similarly

stubborn Wednesday night before finishing an uneven performance

with a flourish in a 68-53 win over the Tigers on Wednesday night.

The Wildcats (16-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) had a 23-6

closing run for their second straight 15-point league win. They

didn't take a double-digit lead over the Tigers (10-6, 0-2) until

Anthony Davis scored on an alley-oop pass from Doron Lamb with 1:31

left.

"We went on a run at the end of the game, but you all know it

was a double-bucket game and they could have beat us," Calipari

said.

It would have been a rarity. Kentucky has won the last 13

meetings and 27 of 28 against the Tigers.

But Barbee's Tigers held the Wildcats to 40.4 percent (23 of 57)

shooting. Auburn held its own with a formidable frontcourt, and

Kentucky was outrebounded for the second straight game (35-29).

"The guys fought their tails off," said Barbee, who played for

Calipari at UMass and coached under him at Memphis. "We have to

take this and expound on it and go to the next level.

"I found a style that I think is going to work for this team.

It is to shorten the games and grind it out."

The Wildcats came into the game dominating the boards with an

SEC-best 8.8-rebound margin over opponents, but lost out on a

number of scrambles for the ball.

"They beat us all to balls," Calipari said. "Michael

Gilchrist had one rebound until the end. They wanted it worse than

we did. They played with desire we didn't have."

Anthony Davis and Lamb scored 14 points apiece for the Wildcats.

Marquis Teague and Terrence Jones each had 12 points. Darius Miller

went 3 of 5 from 3-point range for Kentucky and had nine points.

Davis had six rebounds and four blocks, but had his string of

double-doubles end at five games.

"They really outhustled us on the boards," Davis said. "We

started getting rebounds. At the end, we just had to get every

rebound. Every possession counted."

Rob Chubb led Auburn with 14 points and eight rebounds, but

missed all three of his shots in the second half. Chris Denson had

12 points.

Kentucky, which committed just eight turnovers, gradually gained

control after Auburn took a 47-45 lead on Chubb's two free throws

with 10:52 left.

Miller and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist hit back-to-back 3s late in a

13-2 run that all but ended any concerns, and the Wildcats didn't

let up from there. The biggest remaining question was if the

Wildcats would have only their third single-digit win - the first

two coming against then-top 5 teams North Carolina and Louisville.

Auburn didn't join that illustrious group.

Barbee fell to 0-5 coaching against his mentor, the first three

coming at UTEP. The Tigers were coming off 29- and 30-point road

losses to Florida State and Vanderbilt, which held Auburn to 35

points.

The Tigers kept it close even with leading scorers Kenny Gabriel

and Frankie Sullivan in foul trouble. Gabriel had six points and

Sullivan five after both came in averaging nearly 12.

Barbee moved to a bigger lineup with 6-foot-8 Adrian Forbes

getting his first start. It paid off in the first half with the

Tigers dominating the boards 21-11.

Miller, though, finished with a 3-pointer as time expired after

a turnover to put the Wildcats ahead 32-28.

"The play at the end of the half was unbelievable execution,"

Calipari said. "We've run that scripted play probably 50 times,

and I walked into halftime and said, `That's why we scripted it."'

He was glad to get the game with his former player out of the

way.

"If we had lost, I would have been ecstatic for him," Calipari

said. "He knows that."

 

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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