Wall, No. 2 Kentucky turn back No. 17 Vanderbilt, 58-56 No. 1 UConn wins 66th in a row
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On a night when the shots just weren't falling for No. 2 Kentucky, John Wall still managed to deliver another tight win for the Wildcats.
Vanderbilt limited Kentucky to a season-worst 35.8 percent shooting, but a pair of free throws and a clutch block by Wall in the final 20 seconds gave the Wildcats a 58-56 win over the 17th-ranked Commodores past night.
"He just fought his way," Kentucky coach John Calipari said of Wall, who missed eight of his 11 shots and finished with 13 points. "That will to win, refuse to lose. You just do what you got to do."
Kentucky (26-1, 11-1 SEC), which beat Vanderbilt 85-72 on Jan. 30, grabbed a two-game lead over the Commodores in the SEC East and dealt them their first home loss since Jan. 25, 2009.
It was Kentucky's second close call in as many games after pulling out an 81-75 overtime win at Mississippi State on Tuesday.
Wall's free throws with 20 seconds remaining gave the Wildcats a 57-53 lead, but John Jenkins answered with a 3-pointer to pull Vanderbilt (20-6, 9-3) within a point.
Kentucky's Eric Bledsoe missed a pair of free throws, but Wall bailed him out by blocking another 3-point attempt by Jenkins on the other end and grabbing the ball.
"That shot was going in," Jenkins said. "He bit, but I went up too fast. He made a good play."
Wall made one of two free throws for a two-point lead with 2.5 seconds to play.
"Somebody steps up," said Kentucky forward DeMarcus Cousins, who led the Wildcats with 19 points. "Maybe he doesn't score 20-plus points, he still is going to make key plays down the stretch, which helps the team."
Even still, the Commodores had one more chance.
A.J. Ogilvy caught a long in-bounds pass by Darshawn McClellan, but his runner in the lane bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
"I was really comfortable on that shot," Ogilvy said. "I had a good look. I can make that shot eight of 10 (times). Unfortunately, today was one of the two that I missed."
With that, Kentucky breathed another big sigh of relief, four days after edging the Bulldogs in Starkville, Miss.
The Wildcats relied on their power in the paint to overcome poor outside shooting. The Commodores never let them get too comfortable anywhere on the floor, limiting them to 3 for 16 from behind the arc.
"I love this: shooting 35 percent and 18 percent from the 3 and winning anyway," Calipari said.
NO. 1 KANSAS 94, COLORADO 74
Cole Aldrich had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Xavier Henry scored 24 points to lead the host Jayhawks (26-1, 12-0 Big 12) past the Buffaloes (12-14, 3-9).
NO. 4 PURDUE 75, ILLINOIS 65
Robbie Hummel had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead the host Boilermakers (23-3, 11-3 Big Ten) to their ninth straight win by beating the Fighting Illini (17-10, 9-5).
NO. 7 KANSAS STATE 83, OKLAHOMA 58
Denis Clemente scored 27 points to lead the Wildcats (22-4, 9-3 Big 12) over the host Sooners (13-13, 4-8).
The Sooners played without leading scorer Willie Warren for the fourth time in eight games, first because of a sprained ankle and then mononucleosis.
NO. 8 WEST VIRGINIA 75, SETON HALL 63
Kevin Jones and Devin Ebanks scored 16 points apiece to lead the host Mountaineers (21-5, 10-4 Big East) over the Pirates (15-10, 6-8).
NO. 12 NEW MEXICO 59, AIR FORCE 56
Darrington Hobson scored 17 points, including a putback with 16.9 seconds remaining, and Dairese Gary made two free throws with 2.5 seconds left as the host Lobos (25-3, 11-2 Mountain West) beat the Falcons (9-16, 1-11).
NO. 13 GONZAGA 72, PEPPERDINE 54
Matt Bouldin had 18 points and five assists to help the Bulldogs (22-5, 10-2 West Coast Conference) beat the host Waves (7-21, 3-9).
NO. 15 TEXAS 71, TEXAS TECH 67
Gary Johnson scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Longhorns (21-6, 7-5 Big 12) over the host Red Raiders (16-10, 4-8).
NO. 16 BYU 85, WYOMING 63
Jimmer Fredette and freshman Tyler Haws both scored 22 points and the Cougars (25-3, 10-2 Mountain West Conference) rolled past the host Cowboys (2-11, 9-18).
NO. 18 BUTLER 70, SIENA 53
Shelvin Mack scored 23 points and Gordon Hayward had 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead the host Bulldogs (25-4) to their 17th straight victory, tied with Murray State for the nation's longest winning streak, by beating the Saints (22-6) in a BracketBusters game.
NO. 20 TENNESSEE 63, SOUTH CAROLINA 55
Bobby Maze scored 14 points and the Vols (20-6, 8-4 Southeastern Conference) reached the 20-victory mark for the fifth straight season by turning back the host Gamecocks (14-12, 5-7).
NO. 21 TEMPLE 75, SAINT JOSEPH'S 67, OT
Ramone Moore had 24 points and nine rebounds and Lavoy Allen notched his 10th double-double —16 points and 10 rebounds — of the season for the Owls (22-5, 10-2 Atlantic 10) against the host Hawks (9-18, 3-10).
OKLAHOMA ST. 82, NO. 22 BAYLOR 75
James Anderson matched his season high with 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the host Cowboys (19-7, 7-5 Big 12) against the Bears (20-6, 7-5).
N.C. STATE 68, NO. 23 WAKE FOREST 54
Tracy Smith scored 14 points, and Farnold Degand hit two 3-pointers in the decisive second-half run for the host Wolfpack (15-13, 3-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) against the Demon Deacons (18-7, 8-5).
NO. 24 TEXAS A&M 60, IOWA ST. 56
Donald Sloan scored 14 points and the Aggies (19-7, 8-4 Big 12) won for the fifth time in six games by beating the host Cyclones (13-14, 2-10).
NO. 25 RICHMOND 74, GEORGE WASHINGTON 70
Kevin Anderson had 24 points, including a 15-foot jumper with 1:22 left that lifted the host Spiders (22-6, 11-2 Atlantic 10) over the Colonials (14-11, 4-8).
LOUISIANA TECH 70, NORTHEASTERN 67
DeAndre Brown banked in a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left and the Bulldogs (21-6) scored the last seven points to beat the host Huskies (18-10).
MISSOURI STATE 62, NEVADA 60
Nafis Ricks hit a pair of free throws with 3 seconds left, helping the host Bears (18-10) overcome a 10-point second-half deficit and beat the Wolf Pack (16-10) in a nonconference BracketBusters series game.
SAN JOSE STATE 77, MONTANA STATE 66
Chris Oakes had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Spartans (13-12) over the Bobcats (14-13) in a nonconference BracketBuster series game.
UC DAVIS 82, BOISE STATE 74
Dominic Calegari scored 26 points and Joe Harden added 24 to lead the Aggies (11-15) over the host Broncos (12-15) in a BracketBuster game.
LONG BEACH STATE 77, IDAHO 66
T.J. Robinson got his 16th double-double of the season as he scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to carry the 49ers (13-14) past the host Vandals (13-13).
NEW MEXICO STATE 84, PACIFIC 78
Jahmar Young scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half to lead the Aggies (17-9) over the host Tigers (17-9) in a BracketBusters game.
UC SANTA BARBARA 64, FRESNO STATE 60
Orlando Johnson scored 23 points, including the clinching free throws, as the Gauchos (16-8) held off the Bulldogs (13-15) in a BracketBuster game.
UTAH STATE 68, WICHITA STATE 58
Tai Wesley scored 13 points as the host Aggies (22-6) defeated the Shockers in a BracketBuster game.
DIXIE STATE 97, HAWAI'I PACIFIC 86
Tom Whitehead scored 29 points, Donovan Plunkett 28, Nick Howard 12 and Zach Robbins added 10 points and 11 rebounds as the Red Storm (16-5, 10-2) moved into a tie with the host Sea Warriors (18-5, 10-2) in the PacWest.
Ray Murdock scored 24 points to lead HPU at the Blaisdell Arena.
GRAND CANYON 67, HAWAI'I-HILO 61
Nick Witherill scored 14 points to lead the Antelopes (12-16, 6-6) over the host Vulcans (13-9, 7-5) in a PacWest game.
Bryan Ngo scored 15 points, Andrew Gipson 13, and Lavell Shipman and Justin Smith 12 apiece for UH-Hilo.
Magee matches Knight with 902nd career win: Philadelphia University basketball coach Herb Magee won his 902nd game yesterday to tie Bob Knight for the most victories by a men's coach in NCAA history.
The Division II Rams defeated the host Post Eagles 70-67.
Magee is 902-352 in 43 years at Philadelphia and can surpass Knight (902-371) on Tuesday when the Rams play Goldey-Beacom College in Philadelphia.