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Kentucky Flutters in the 2nd Half and Falls Firmly on the Bubble with Loss to Alabama
Kentucky couldn’t duplicate their first half as Alabama used a great second half to beat the Wildcats 59-55.
With the loss, and a weak SEC, the Kentucky Wildcats are a definite bubble team and will need to really pick it up to have a shot at the NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats couldn’t get any consistency on the offensive end in the second half, as they were outscored 35-32 and shot for a total of 39% for the game after firing close to 49% in the 1st half.
John Calipari complimented Archie Goodwin about letting the game come to him vs. Auburn, but one game was it, as Goodwin played selfish again and shot a dismal 2-12 from the field and 3 for 6 from the free throw line for a mediocre 7 points.
Nerlens Noel was the player of the game for Kentucky, finishing with a career high 7 blocks and 13 rebounds, and scored 8 points in the loss. Noel is the most consistent and dependable player on the team.
Kyle Wiltjer had a huge first half with 11 points, but couldn’t get going in the 2nd half, as he finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds. It is apparent that if Wiltjer doesn’t score this team can’t win. Of course, in saying that, Wiltjer had a chance to give the Wildcats the lead late but missed the front end of a one and one.
Julius Mays also played well, scoring 12 points on 4 for 5 shooting from the three. Mays gives all he can, and although he is quite limited athletically, puts out a lot for John Calipari.
Ryan Harrow had his worst game since his “sickness,” scoring 6 points on 3-12 shooting. Alabama’s Trevor Relaford and Levi Randolph easily won the backcourt tonight outscoring Harrow and Goodwin 24-13.
Alex Poythress fouled out early in the 2nd half and continues to be a nonfactor for Kentucky. Scoring 6 points on 3 shot attempts is not what many Kentucky fans envisioned for the supposed NBA lottery pick.
Until Archie Goodwin understands the concept of team basketball and Alex Poythress decides to play at all, this is a mediocre basketball team in a terrible conference that will be lucky to slip in the NCAA Tournament as a 12 seed in it’s present state.
Kentucky Basketball Postgame Notes
Alabama 59, Kentucky 55
January 22, 2013
Coleman Coliseum – Tuscaloosa, Ala.
–Kentucky falls to 12-6, and 3-2 in league competition, while Alabama improves to 12-6 and 4-1 in Southeastern Conference action.
–UK still leads the series by a 102-37 margin and 28-23 when games are played in Tuscaloosa. UK has won 11 of the last 14 meetings including seven of the last nine.
–The game featured the Southeastern Conference’s two winningest programs. UK has garnered 903 wins in league competition with Alabama now increasing its total to 734.
–Kentucky returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 26 when UK welcomes LSU to Rupp Arena. The game is set for a 4 p.m. ET tip and will air live on the SEC Network.
Team Game Notes
–UK used the starting combination of Archie Goodwin, Ryan Harrow, Julius Mays, Nerlens Noel and Alex Poythress for the fourth time this season. That starting combination falls for the first time this season and now is 3-1 when starting that lineup.
–Nerlens Noel opened the scoring for UK for the fourth time this season and second-consecutive outing.
–Kyle Wiltjer was the first sub off the bench for the Blue and White. He’s been the first sub for UK on a team-leading five occasions this season.
–Julius Mays connected on Kentucky’s first 3-point attempt of the game at the 7:24-minute mark of the first half to extend UK’s 3-point streak to 845 consecutive games which is a standard that ranks as the third longest such streak in the nation.
–The Wildcats carried a 33-24 lead into the locker room at half time. Tonight’s loss is the first of the season when leading at the break. UK is 12-1 in such situations.
– The last time UK led by nine-or-more at half and lost was Dec. 15, 2007 vs. UAB at Freedom Hall. Led 40-28 at half and lost 79-76.
–The Blue and White led the rebounding battle by a 43-32 margin. The Wildcats fall to 10-3 when winning the battle of the boards.
–The Wildcats dropped to 71-2 under John Calipari when holding opponents to 63 or fewer points with the only other loss coming against Connecticut in the 2011 Final Four.
Individual Player Notes
#3 Nerlens Noel
–Has blocked three or more opponent attempts in six-straight games, and six or more in four-straight.
–Registered at least six rebounds in every game this season and with 13 boards tonight has reached double-figures in that category on six occasions this season.
#5 Jarrod Polson
–Scored in consecutive games for the first time since having consecutive-scoring outings over a four-game stretch beginning vs. Lafayette and ending at Notre Dame.
#10 Archie Goodwin
–Pulled down six or more rebounds in consecutive games.
#33 Kyle Wiltjer
-Reached double-figures with 12 points and has now hit 10 or more points in three-straight games.
#34 Julius Mays
–Connected on a quartet of 3-pointers for the game and has now hit two or more in four-straight games.
–Scored 12 points and reached double-figures for the first time this season in SEC action.