Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kidd-Gilchrist Leads Kentucky Past Louisville in Rivalry Battle

(3) Kentucky 69
(4) Louisville 62

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had arguably the best game of his young college career as he led No. 3 Kentucky past No. 4 Louisville 69-62 on Saturday afternoon at Rupp Arena.

Kidd-Gilchrist had 24 points and a game-high 19 rebounds to lead the way for Kentucky (13-1).

Freshman Anthony Davis added 18 points, 10 boards, 6 blocked shots and 3 steals for the Wildcats. Doron Lamb chipped in 10 points, but was a cold 1-7 from the field.

Terrence Jones continued his offensive struggles for UK as he was just 1-9 from the field for 4 points. He did pull down 11 rebounds.

Louisville (12-2) was led by a game-high 30 points from Rush Smith. Smith was 10-20 from the field, including 3-8 from long range. Peyton Siva contributed 8 points and 4 assists.

Kentucky picked up the win despite shooting just 17-57 (29.8%) from the field and committing 21 turnovers. The Cats were a paltry 3-16 (18.8%) from long range.

The Cards didn't shoot much better, going 20-62 (32.3%) from the field. Starters Chris Smith and Siva combined to shoot 4-23 during the game.

UK returns to action Tuesday night when they play Arkansas-Little Rock in Louisville. The Cards travel to St. John's Tuesday night for a Big East Conference battle.

Some thoughts:

- The officials absolutely destroyed any potential for this to be a good basketball game. They called 52 fouls during the game and were not consistent in any way. That's just terrible.

- The fouls along with terrible field goal shooting and 35 turnovers made for a very ugly game.

- Louisville hit back-to-back three-pointers in the final seconds to cover the spread and make the score a little more respectable. UK led by 13 with just over 10 seconds remaining.

- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was the man today. No question, he was the difference-maker.

- Rick Pitino refused to take the podium for a postgame press conference. Instead, he spoke to limited media in the hallway.

- Chane Behanan, who predicted an undefeated season for the Cards, struggled mightily today. He picked up 3 fouls early following a dumb technical foul and was essentially a non-factor, scoring just 4 points in 15 minutes. He then told the media after the game that he felt Louisville should've won the game.

- The stars were out for the game; Ashley Judd and Jay-Z were sitting courtside.

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