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- No. 20 Baylor beats No. 3 Kentucky 67-62
- UK TV Video: UK Hoops celebrates 4-OT win over Baylor
- Postgame notes from UK Hoops’ 133-130 win over Baylor
- O’Neill, UK women top Baylor 133-130 in 4 OTs
- Final Hoop Fest schedule for Saturday
- Video: UK TV interviews Julius Randle and Dominique Hawkins prior to the matchup with Baylor
- Weather delays HoopFest, Lyles will play twice on Saturday
- Numbers project a 75-68 Kentucky win over Baylor
AP Basketball Writer
Kenny Chery scored 18 points, including six in the go-ahead run, and No. 20 Baylor defeated No. 3 Kentucky 67-62 on Friday night in the same building where the NCAA Final Four will be played in April.
The young Wildcats (7-2) had a 50-41 lead when Julius Randle, one of three Kentucky freshmen playing in their home state, had a slam dunk with 13 minutes left.
Baylor (8-1) responded with a 15-5 run in which Chery, the junior college transfer who is now the Bears’ point guard, came up big. His two free throws with 6 minutes left put the Bears up 56-55 and they never trailed again.
Randle had 16 points for Kentucky while Aaron Harrison had 15 and James Young 14 with four 3-pointers.
Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson had 13 points each for the Bears, who beat Kentucky for the second straight year. Rico Gathers had 13 rebounds.
Blue-clad Kentucky fans easily outnumbered those of the local team in what they certainly hope isn’t their only trip to the Dallas Cowboys’ massive stadium this season. It will be much fuller in four months.
With Baylor’s football team playing at home about 100 miles away Saturday with a chance to clinch the Big 12 title, and icy conditions that made driving treacherous from the Waco campus, the crowd was under 10,000.
Plus, the game already scheduled to start after 9 p.m. local time started more than an hour after that. The Top 10-ranked women’s teams from the two schools played four overtimes in the opener of the doubleheader. No. 5 Kentucky beat No. 9 Baylor 133-130 in the highest-scoring Division I women’s game ever.
It was the third straight season the Baylor and Kentucky men played. Last December, the Bears won 64-55 at Rupp Arena to end a 54-game home winning streak by Kentucky, which beat Baylor in an NCAA tournament regional final in March 2012.
Kentucky trailed by nine points early, but recovered to tie the game at 27, 29, 31, 33 and 35 before Andrew Harrison’s 3-pointer with 19 seconds left in the first half put the Wildcats up 38-35. They opened the second half with an 8-2 run.
Baylor had a 16-7 lead after Jefferson had a rebound that led to his assist on Chery’s jumper only 4:22 into the game.
The Wildcats responded with a 15-7 run, and were down by only one after Aaron Harrison’s third 3-pointer in less than 5 minutes.
Young’s 3-pointer with 7 minutes left tied the game at 27. That was the first time Kentucky hadn’t trailed since Young scored its first five points of the game for a 5-4 lead.
Randle is from the Dallas area. The other Kentucky freshmen playing in their home state were 6-foot-6 twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison from Richmond, about 4½ hours south, near Houston.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
SCHUYLER DIXON AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jennifer O’Neill scored a career-high 43 points, including the go-ahead basket in the fourth overtime, and No. 5 Kentucky beat No. 9 Baylor 133-130 on Friday night in the highest-scoring Division I women’s game in history.
The Wildcats (9-0) beat a top 10 team for the second time in five days in front of a crowd heavy with Kentucky blue at the 80,000-seat home of the Dallas Cowboys and site of the men’s Final Four this season.
The Bears (7-1) played the last three overtimes without star guard Odyssey Sims, who had a career-high 47 points when she fouled out with 1:23 left in the first overtime.
The previous high for a Division I women’s game was 254 points in SMU’s 127-125 win over TCU, also in four overtimes, on Jan. 25, 1997.
Sims was the first of seven Baylor players to foul out. Among the others was Nina Davis, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The teams combined for 80 fouls, 47 by the Lady Bears. The Wildcats were 49 of 66 on free throws, and Baylor was 33 of 46 from the line in just its third loss since the 2011 NCAA tournament. The Lady Bears have 81 wins in that span.
O’Neill’s layup with 1:42 left in the fourth overtime finally put Kentucky ahead for good. She missed the second of two free throws with a two-point lead with 6 seconds left but teammate Bria Goss grabbed the rebound.
After Goss gave Baylor one more chance by missing the second of her two free throws, a desperation 3-pointer by Baylor’s Alexis Prince, who was playing for the first time this season, rimmed out at the buzzer. The crowd gave both teams a standing ovation.
The Wildcats were coming off a 69-64 victory over No. 7 Louisville, which ousted Brittney Griner and then-No. 1 Baylor in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament last season.
Baylor won the only other meeting between the teams, 85-51 last season in Waco, 100 miles south of the Cowboys’ home field.
Mackenzie Robertson, the daughter of Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, matched her career high with 23 points.
Janee Thompson scored 20 points for Kentucky, and DeNesha Stallworth had 16 points and nine rebounds.
O’Neill missed a free throw to open the door for Imani Wright’s tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first overtime.
Sune Agbuke did the same late in second OT for Baylor moments after blocking a layup attempt by O’Neill. Down two, Kentucky sent the game to a third overtime on a layup by Kastine Evans with 3 seconds left.
Thompson tied the third overtime with two free throws with 22 seconds left after the Wildcats missed three layups while down two points in the final minute. Robertson missed badly on a driving shot at the buzzer.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
By LARRY VAUGHT
Even though most of the teams are on site, tonight’s games in the Marshall County Hoop Fest have been postponed.
Organizer Dan Hudson said the lingering snow/ice have made the parking lots unsafe for tonight’s play.
The Hoopfest will have a revised scheduled for Saturday with the top teams playing two games each.
The first game Saturday will feature Kentucky signee Trey Lyles and Indianapolis Arsenal Tech against Louisville Ballard at 10:30 a.m. CT. Tech will then play Huntington Prep at 6:30.
Kentucky signee Devin Booker of Moss Point, Miss., is also scheduled to play Saturday at 5 p.m. against Ballard. Moss Point is playing in Mississippi tonight before heading to Marshall County. Hudson said plans still call for Moss Point to be at Saturday’s game.
Huntington Prep will take on Atlanta Sports Academy at noon Saturday.
Teams are finding ways to make the most of today’s break. Arsenal Tech coach Jason Delaney had his team practice and then had dinner and possibly a movie planned for the team. Oak Hill Academy, which is slated to play Christ Presbyterian of Tennessee Saturday at 8 p.m., also had plans to have dinner with host family.
“We can control a lot of things, but not the weather,” Hudson said.
By RICHARD CHEEKS
In early April 2014, the college basketball world will converge upon the Texas AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas to show case its finest hour to culminate the 2013-14 college basketball season. Big Blue Fans have been much more confident than hopeful for the last 8 months that the Cats will be among the final four teams standing to compete for the championship in that venue. Coach Calipari seems to always be two steps ahead of the pack on such matters, because it was about 2 years ago that he scheduled this home and home pair of games with the Baylor Bears, with the 2013 installment to be played in that very same venue.
Coach Calipari has been planning for at least 2 years to let his youngsters test drive their game on the floor and in the final four venue against Baylor. That opportunity arrives on Friday night.
One thing that Coach Calipari probably did not anticipate in his advance planning was that the Baylor Bears would waltz into Rupp Arena a year ago in the first installment of this contract, and hand Coach Calipari and his 2012-13 Wildcats their first Rupp Arena loss of the Calipari Era. For that reason alone, the trip to Arlington, Texas carries even more significance that a “mere” test drive of a final four venue. It is payback time for the Big Blue.
The Baylor Bears are a worthy opponent for this venture into the final four venue. They are the strongest opponent the Cats have faced this season, except for their third game encounter with the Michigan State Spartans, and Baylor will be the fifth toughest opponent this season, facing them in their own backyard.
The trip to Arlington, Texas will be the second consecutive game for the Cats away from Rupp Arena, and while the AT&T Stadium is not the home venue for these Baylor Bears, it will be close enough to their home for Pomeroy to characterize the venue as a semi-home game for the Bears. So far, the Cats are 1-1 outside of Rupp, a 4 point loser to #12 Michigan State in Chicago and a 14 point winner over Providence in Brooklyn.
Baylor has played 8 games, posting a record of 7-1. Four of their eight games have been at home, two on a neutral court, and one each at a semi-home and semi-away location (Chaminade in Hawaii, Colorado in Texas). The Bears’ only loss can at the hands of #7 Syracure in the Championship game of the Maui Classic by 7 points. The Bears’ most impressive win to date was by 12 points over #39 Colorado in the first game of Baylor’s season. However, Baylor has played two of its 8 games against Non-D1 opponents (Chaminade and Hardin Simmons), winning by 16 in the former and by 45 in the latter. While Providence lost to #39 Maryland by 4 earlier this year, Baylor defeated #37 Colorado by 12, to provide an interesting basis for comparing UK’s last opponent to the Bears. Baylor’s early schedule strength has been 0.6988 (#32).
BAYLOR has averaged about 65 possessions per game, producing 71.3 ppg (1.10 ppp) and allowing 66.0 ppg (1.01 ppp). BAYLOR has turned the ball over on 22.5% of its possessions while forcing turnovers on 13.8% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, BAYLOR has secured an offensive rebounding rate of 41.1% about 9% above the 32% NCAA average, and a defensive rebounding rate of 69.9%, about 2% above the NCAA average.
In contrast, the Cats have averaged about 70 to 71 possessions per game, producing 84.5 ppg (1.20 ppp) and allowing 64.0 ppg (0.92 ppp) against a schedule strength of 0..419 (272nd). The Cats have committed turnovers on 18.2% of its possessions and forced turnovers on 15.9% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, the Cats’ rebounding rates have been 48.2% and 69.3% on the offensive and defensive ends.
Based on this distribution, the analysis tips in favor of Kentucky by 7 points, 75-68 in a game played at a pace of 68 possessions for the Cats and 67 possessions for BAYLOR. Pomeroy figures the Game in Kentucky’s favor by 3 points, 73-70 at a pace of 65 possessions.
See how other Big Blue Fans see this game’s likely outcome by clicking the following link.
You can enter your prediction at any time prior to tip off by visiting the 247 Sports prediction thread for this game at:
By LARRY VAUGHT
Julius Randle became only the second Kentucky player to have seven straight double-doubles to start a season (Jim Andrews was the first), but having the streak snapped in Sunday’s win at Providence was not a big deal.
“I don’t even think anybody on the team knew about the double-double. We just know that he played a good game and we won,” said Kentucky freshman Dominique Hawkins.
Randle, who ranks second nationally with 12.6 rebounds per game, had 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the win over Providence in what many considered an “off” game for him.
“I’m all about winning. That’s why I came here. I came here to win a national championship. So just to see those guys step up and make plays, it’s a big relief for me,” Randle said about the improved play of teammates. “It’s also encouraging for me because I know they’re growing, so it’s only going to help me. It’s only going to help them too. It’s going to help our team.”
Now Randle, a Texas native, gets to play a game in front of many family members and friends when UK plays No. 20 Baylor tonight in Arlington, Texas.
“Yeah, I’ll have a bunch of family and friends, so I’m excited to see all of them,” Randle said.
Here’s more of what he had to say Wednesday before practice.
Question: How long have you looked forward to going back to Texas for this game?
Randle: “I would say it’s a dream of mine just to be able to come back to my home state and be able to play in front of family and friends and fans in the city too, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Question: Did you know when you were recruited by Kentucky that this game was on the schedule?
Randle: “Yeah, I had already knew, plus I knew the Final Four and national championship was there. I’m just more excited to see my family. I don’t get to see them very often because I’m here. I’m just excited to see those guys.”
Question: How important it is to him to get to go back to Dallas for a second time at the end of the season for the Final Four?
Randle: “Very important. It’s the most important thing this year.”
Question: Has he shot at spacious AT&T Stadium before?
Randle: “No. I went to a game last year in that arena and it was kind of funny, the dome and everything. It seemed like a really fun environment.”
Question: Is it too big for basketball?
Randle: “No, it’s packed out so no. I couldn’t imagine playing in front of all those people. It had to be fun for them.”
Question: Will he get any time with his family?
Randle: “I’m hoping so. We get there early tomorrow, so I’m hoping that. I know if I’m not able to go out in the city and hang out with my family, I know that they were all saying they were going to come to me. Hopefully I have some good downtime just to hang out with them.”
Question: How familiar is he with Baylor?
“Pretty familiar. I know some of those guys just because of AAU basketball and high school playing against them. I’m very familiar with their guys. They’re a really good team. They can shoot the ball and have some long, athletic bigs. It should be a good challenge for us. They have length at positions one through five. They have a lot of length, so I think it will be a pretty good matchup for us.”
Question: Can length maybe create some one-on-one matchups for him instead of the usual double and triple teams?
Randle: “If they play me one-on-one I’d be surprised. That would be Christmas.”
Question: Does he feel any pressure going back to play in front of family and friends?
“(Assistant) Coach (Kenny) Payne has been joking with me about not embarrassing myself when I go back home, but I don’t feel any pressure.”
By LARRY VAUGHT
Because he’s in better physical shape, sophomore center Willie Cauley-Stein has “come a long way” since last season when he was the least heralded member of Kentucky’s recruiting class and a backup for Nerlens Noel.
“He’s in good enough shape he can continue to play. There have been times before, he’d just stand there and just let the guy drive in and like hold onto his guy and say, ‘Well, I was … I was holding my guy.’ Now he knows he can go get it,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said after Cauley-Stein had 15 points, nine blocks and eight rebounds against Providence Sunday.
“And then the second thing is, we’re doing a better job if he does leave to block out, cracking down and taking his man. But to have nine blocks in a game like this? Big-time. Big-time. And then to play the way he did and to run like a gazelle. Did you see him run the court? Oh, my gosh.”
Cauley-Stein has 31 blocks through eight games, or just five fewer than Anthony Davis did during his record-setting season two years ago. He’s almost averaging a double-double (9.6 points, 8.4 rebounds per game) and is shooting 60 percent from the field.
“I think just more aware. Like before in the past it was like I was hesitant on going (to block a shot),” Cauley-Stein, who has 17 blocks in the last two games going into Friday’s game against No. 20 Baylor. “Now I’m just going. Like coach said, ‘Don’t even worry about it. Try to go block every ball.’ So that’s what my game plan is coming into the game: just go try to block everything.”
Cauley-Stein says his improved offense is due in large part to his better play on defense this season.
“It definitely feeds off the defense, just flying around everywhere. It makes it where you’re not thinking about the offense. In the past that’s what I was doing: thinking about, like pre-thinking what move I need to do. Now, it’s just I’m reacting and just trying to go up,” Cauley-Stein said.
Teammates know how valuable Cauley-Stein has been.
“When Willie picks it up on defense, it just gives us the extra energy boost that we need. We clap, clap it up on defense, which really picks us up on defense,” freshman guard James Young said.
Freshman Dominique Hawkins says Cauley-Stein’s defense “sparks” the team.
“It makes us want to play defense better. To give the energy that he’s giving, we all want to give that same energy and we know that he probably has our backs as guards if somebody drives around us that he’s going to be on the help side to block their shot or change their shot or anything like that,” Hawkins said. “Running up and down the court has really been effective for him. I think he probably got at least two alley-oops a game just because he’s running up and down the court. And definitely he’s improving on his offensive game every day. If you ever watch practice, Willie, he’s always going as hard as he can and working on his post moves.”
Hawkins says Cauley-Stein is simply doing what Calipari is encouraging him to do on defense.
“He tells all the bigs to go after the shot block because that’s how team defense becomes better and he wants us to get the loose balls once the shot is blocked. So basically he’s telling Willie to be an effective shot-blocker,” Hawkins said.
Freshman Julius Randle, UK’s leading scorer and rebounder, says Cauley-Stein is embracing his role as a team leader.
“He’s maybe not going to say as much. He’s starting to become really vocal, but before anything he’s going to lead with his actions or how hard he plays,” Randle said. “You can tell that’s what he does by having nine blocks last game and then scoring the ball there at the end. He’s changing the game and making our team a lot better.”
Calipari said he asked players why Cauley-Stein has been playing so well and one answered that he was “not thinking” and was just playing. That was the wrong answer.
“The statement you don’t think, that’s not true. You got to think. He’s reacting better, and I’ll tell you why: because he’s practicing like crazy. He is attacking practices, which make the games easier,” Calipari said. “We have other guys that the practice is attacking them every day. One guy shut it down: ‘I can’t breathe!’ And they looked at his heart rate and it was at 82 percent. Well then you have a lung disease, OK?
“So it’s not — you just can’t push through the comfort level. There are times, I have a couple guys, their heart rate gets in the 90s and I tell them — they’ll tell me, ’94!’ Who? ‘Willie.’ Step off, Willie. Step off, Dominique.”
Calipari said Cauley-Stein is “going like there’s no tomorrow” at the last part of every drill compared to teammates who just want the drill to end.
“There’s a difference. You finish the drill; the hardest part is those last seven, eight seconds. ‘Ah!’ And those other guys are looking at the clock: ‘Can I get through it? The clock.’ Well, you’re not going to get better. What got you here, won’t get you there. You’ve gotta change,” Calipari said. “So some guys are changing. Willie’s changing. Other guys are not.
“Until they accept they’ve got to change, they won’t. But all in all, I’ve been really pleased. I’m dragging this team faster than they need to go, yet taking some things back to the very elementary that they needed to be doing when they got here.”
Thanks to Dallas Morning News writer Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) there is a little trash talking going into Friday night’s Kentucky-Baylor game in Arlington, Texas.
Kentucky freshman Julius Randle and Baylor sophomore center Isaiah Austin were rivals for years and both were recruited by Kentucky and Baylor.
Austin took some blunt shots at UK and coach John Calipari.
“Coming out of high school, everyone wants to go with the hype,” Austin told Hairpooulos. “Kentucky was the hype. … I made the best decision for me coming here. Coach (Scott) Drew is just as great a coach as coach Calipari. We have just as great as faculty and staff. … Kentucky is not better than us in any way, shape or form.”
Austin averages 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game and could be a big matchup for improving Willie Cauley-Stein. But Austin won’t sneak up on the Cats, not after these comments.
By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach John Calipari revealed just how talented freshman walk-on E.J. Floreal, the son of UK’s head track coach, is during his press conference Wednesday.
Calipari was explaining how some players have been complaining about the workouts he’s putting them through in practice when he dropped these comments about Floreal into the conversation.
“How do you push to where you can’t? I have E.J. , who people are coming in watching him saying he should be all-conference in track in the SEC,” Calipari said. “I had a football coach come in and say he could play in the NFL, E.J.
“So he does a leg drill that we’re doing; he does it so hard that he practically falls down. And the team’s watching. That’s how hard you go. That’s how much you push yourself.
“It’s just, it’s all new. This stuff is all new. We’re doing drills that they should’ve been doing in eighth grade that they obviously didn’t. But I’m not going to get ahead of schedule with this group. We are what we are right now.”