The University of Kentucky Wildcats head down to Alabama to take on the Auburn University Tigers. The Cats are 12-6 with an even 2-2 SEC record while the Tigers are 8-7 with a 0-4 SEC record. UK leads the series 79-17. The Wildcats have won 20 of the last 21 games against the Tigers. Tubby Smith is 10-2 against the Tigers and has a 9-1 record while coaching the Cats.
In SEC play, both Patrick Sparks and Ravi Moss are .500 or above when shooting from beyond the arc. Both rank in the top five for best three-point percentage in conference play. If Tubby Smith is smart, he'll continue to play Sparks at the point guard position. Tonight will mark the 100th game that Central City native Patrick Sparks has started. Under the current lineup, the Cats are 2-0. The Cats have continued their streak of consecutive games with a three pointer. They currently have 593 games in a row.
ESPN airs the game on TV while the Big Blue Sports Network will take care of coverage on the radio with pregame coverage starting at 5:30. Dave Baker believes the Cats can take care of business if with guard the perimeter. Dave has no email access tonight.
Dave Baker was over in Frankfort today. After they did what they did with legislation, everyone was talking about the jump shots. What's up with the game time recipes? One caller said that Sparks has his confidence back. Dave wants Tubby to hire him and Oscar to be communication specialists. Dave has been very impressed with Joe Crawford and Oscar thinks he is the example of why the NCAA needs to institute the freshman rule. I definitely think that the Cats have improved since the return of Randolph Morris.
Tom Leach is now talking to Coach Tubby Smith about Auburn. The Cats have gotten better and Tubby says that matchups could be a problem. The Cats should make up for that in the inside. Morris is not much of a passer but it will be worked on. Chuck Hayes did score a double-double with the Houston Rockets. Tubby belives Chuck is deserving of what he did and he didn't coach anyone harder than Chuck. Seniors have been a leader on and off the courts. Ravi Moss has a lot of pride in the program and has been one of the top three-point shooters. Keys to the game: defense and rebound. We have to guard them since they don't go small. Play smart, no gambling. Dave and Oscar have left the building. The crowd is far less than capacity. The building is half full right now (5:56 PM)
ESPN Commentators: Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes, and Heather Cox:
Big Blue Sports Network: Tom Leach, Mike Pratt, Dave Baker, Oscar Combs
F - Bobby Perry
F - Joe Crawford
C - Randolph Morris
G - Rajon Rondo
G - Patrick Sparks
F - Korvotney Barber
F - Joey Cameron
G - Ronny LeMelle
G - Frank Tolbert
G - Quantez Robertson
First Half Score Reports
AU takes the tip. Rondo lost the rebound. Charge. Good job, Bobby Perry. Sparks at the point. Crawford misses 3. AU Turnover. Morris for 2! AU Turnover. Morris loses it to a steal. Bad defense. Perry for 2 on the Morris miss. Cats turnover. Come on Cats! Perry fouls. Auburn fouls on their own side of the court so we'll have a TV timeout.
15:53 (TV Timeout) UK 4, AU 4
Perry for 2! Airball. Crawford fouls on the shot. Cats rebound the free throw. Morris and 2. Makes 1 of 2. Barber has two quick ones. AU Turnover. Sparks for 3! AU Turnover. Rondo for 2! Bad possession for the Cats. Charge on AU. UK has been drawing the charges and forcing AU turnovers. That's at least 7 right now for AU. Perry for 3! The Cats are on fire. Rondo misses 3, Cats rebound. Moss in for someone.
11:48 (TV Timeout) UK 15, AU 10
Bradley in. Woo in. Thomas in and gets called for a blocking foul. Rondo still in. Cats turnover. Bradley steal. Moss for 3! AU Turnover. Ravi misses 2. AU has 5 field goals and 9 TO. Jump ball. UK ball. Sparks back in. Rondo out. Woo and 2. 9:36 remaining. Makes 1 of 2. Morris in for Woo. 19-11 UK. Morris picks up a foul. Wake up, defense. Sparks to Morris for 2. Auburn getting hot. Morris answers with 2. Bradley rebound. Bradley for 2 and 1!
7:42 (TV Timeout) UK 25, AU 18
Morris and Perry with 7. Sparks with 4 assists. Bradley makes the shot. AU has 10 TO. AU T0. Morris misses. Starters back in. Morris picks up his second. Crawford for 3! Cats rebound. Crawford with 3 more. Sims in for Perry. Thomas in. Sims fouls. Cats fell asleep on defense. Sparks misses 2. Rindo rebound. Thomas for 3, misses, Sims rebounds and goes for 2 and gets fouled. Free throw after this break.
3:42 (TV Timeout) UK 34, AU 24
Misses the shot. Rondo misses. AU getting on a run here.
2:46 (UK Timeout) UK 34, AU 28
Moss misses 3. Moss, Perry, Bradley, Rondo, Crawford in for the Cats. Cats rebound. Bradley double dribbled. Sparks in for Bradley. Rondo rebound. Crawford adds up for 3 more. Charge and that's another AU TO. Sparks for 2 with a jumper.
42.2. (AU Timeout) UK 39, AU 28
Lebo wanted a time out. Sparks fouls. Tubby sends Bradley in for Sparks and you can see the eyes right now on TV. The coat just came off in the time out. Cats rebound.
HALFTIME UK 39, AU 28
Looking great for this to be a nice evening. The Cats just need to hold on to the lead that they have.
Second Half Score Reports
It's time to start the second half. The Tigers have possession at the start. The Cats lead 54%-50%. Morris picks up his 3rd foul. He'll sit for a long time. AU TO. Perry miss, Crawford rebounds and gets fouled for 2 and makes both. Another turnover for AU. Sparks misses 3 and Perry keeps it alive. Crawford is perfect with 3 more. Perry fouls underneath. That's his 2nd. AU misses both shots and the rebound went out of bounds. Thomas gets charged with another blocking foul. Crawford misses 3. Rondo misses 3 - That's not your shot!! Rondo rebound. Sparks misses 3. Woo rebound. Thomas for 2. Woo saves but AU steals and hits a 3. 46-37 UK. Push on the baseline.
15:02 (TV Timeout) UK 46, AU 37
Bradley got fouled. He'll shoot 2. Makes 1 of 2. UK steals the in-bounds pass only to lose it. Foul on the other end. AU TO on a travel. Bradley walked. Sims' shot rejected. 47-40 UK. Rondo and 2. Makes both. Crawford in for Rondo. AU TO on the shot. Sparks misses 3. 49-43 UK. AU on fire.
12:41 (UK Timeout) UK 49, AU 43
Tubby wants a quick time-out. Let's hope our defense wakes up. Morris's third foul definitely did not help. He'll come back in after this timeout or the next. Morris still out. Perry misses 3 and AU airballs. UK ball. Morris coming in now. Moss in. AU fouls on what I thought was a charge. TV Timeout.
11:40 (TV Timeout) UK 49, AU 43
Over the back on Auburn. Crawford makes both. Defense fell asleep there. Morris for 2 and he lossed it. Crawford shoots 2 and he gets fouled. Back to the line for Joe. He missed. Moss rebounds and gets fouled. Moss makes both. 55-45 UK. Crawford rebound. Morris loses it but it's off of AU so Cats get it back. Rondo blocked by AU. Jump ball. UK ball. AU fouls Morris. Morris makes 1 of 2. No rebounds for Morris yet. Darn it! Morris gets his 4th so Perry comes back in at the 9:07 mark. Cats can't defend the 3. 56-48 UK. Rondo for 2. These are Tubby's Runts right now. Barber gets his 4th after going over the back on the rebound so the Cats are heading back to the line.
7:45 (TV Timeout) UK 58, AU 48
Moss at the line. Makes both of them. Perry rebound. Rondo palmed the ball. Rondo rebound. Rondo lays it up for 2. Rondo rebound. Rondo for 2 and 1. Crawford rebounds Rondo's missed shot. Rondo misses. UK steals and Rondo gets 2 more. 66-48 UK. Crawford rebound. Sparks loses the ball on a bad pass. Foul on the shot. Morris on the bench. Under four on the AU defelections.
3:57 (TV Timeout) UK 66, AU 50
Crawford to the line for 2. Makes both of them. Rondo loses it out of bounds. No reason for fouls from here on out. Sparks fouls. 3:19 remaining.
3:10 (UK Timeout) UK 68, AU 54
UK has 2 time-out's left and Auburn has 4. This game should be over by 9 PM.
2:58 (UK Timeout) UK 68, AU 54
Sparks got trapped and G-d willing, this game will be over by 9 PM. I'd like to watch Commander-in-Chief tonight. Foul on the in-bounds pass. Crawford makes 2 more for 22 points. He's having a great game.
2:38 (AU Timeout) UK 70, AU 54
This game is clearly over.
2:25 (AU Timeout) UK 70, AU 56
Clearly over...why call a time-out? Crawford hits another free throw and misses the other. Ravi misses 3.
1:20 (AU Timeout) UK 71 , AU 58
Not a big lead but a comfortable one. Rondo misses a lay-up. Less than a minute. Perry fouls. Sparks misses a free throw.
END OF REGULATION
Kentucky 71, Auburn 62
After losing the first two conference games, the Cats move on to 3-2 in the conference and 13-6 overall. Auburn moves to 8-8 overall and still looking for a conference win as they move to 0-5 in the conference. Next up is Arkansas on Saturday.