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Kentucky swats away Tar Heels

Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis flies in to block a shot by North Carolina forward John Henson, the former Sickles standout, in the final seconds of the Wildcats’ 73-72 victory.

ROBERT WILLETT | News & Observer

Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis flies in to block a shot by North Carolina forward John Henson, the former Sickles standout, in the final seconds of the Wildcats’ 73-72 victory.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Pushed and pressured all day, Anthony Davis finally went somewhere else no one could on the floor. Up.

The freshman soared to block former Sickles standout John Henson's shot in the final seconds, and No. 1 Kentucky held on to beat No. 5 North Carolina 73-72 on Saturday for its 39th straight win at home.

"I just jumped as high as I could with my arm up," said Davis, who had seven points and nine rebounds. "I thought I probably would (block it). I have long hands."

Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Kentucky (8-0) and Doron Lamb added 12 of his 14 points after halftime in the heavily hyped matchup.

"I didn't realize, because I hadn't been watching much TV, that this game was being played up like the end alls of end alls," Kentucky coach John Calipari said.

Davis sure ended it, all right.

Reggie Bullock hit a 3-pointer for North Carolina (6-2) to cut the Wildcats' lead to 73-72 with 48 seconds left. After freshman Marquis Teague missed a one-and-one, Davis blocked Henson's shot, grabbed the rebound and the Wildcats ran out the clock.

"If he doesn't block the shot, we lose," Calipari said. "Both teams gutted it out, just gutted it out. This is supposed to be March, not now. I'm exhausted."

Tyler Zeller and Harrison Barnes scored 14 each for the Tar Heels, who led by as many as nine in the first half and held a six-point lead in the second before Kentucky rallied.

The Wildcats haven't lost at Rupp Arena since Calipari took over, a span of 38 games that includes winning their final one at home under Billy Gillispie.

Lamb converted a three-point play as part of a 7-0 run that gave Kentucky a 63-60 lead. After Zeller hit a jumper to cut it to one, Lamb hit two 3's, the second in the corner that gave the Wildcats a 69-64 lead with 3:47 left.

"He had a couple of layups, a couple of threes and they were big shots, they were big shots. That one in the corner was a huge shot and he knocked it down," Calipari said. "I've got good players. We're young, we're inexperienced, but I have really good players."

NO. 2 OHIO ST. 64, TEXAS-PAN AM 35: Evan Ravenel had a career-high 11 points in place of Jared Sullinger, out because of back spasms, and the host Buckeyes (8-0) gave coach Thad Matta his 300th career win.

NO. 8 UCONN 75, ARKANSAS 62: Freshman Ryan Boatright had 23 points and six assists in his home debut for the Huskies (7-1) in the Big East/SEC challenge in Hartford.

NO. 16 MARQUETTE 61, NO. 9 WISCONSIN 54: Darius Johnson-Odom had 17 points and Todd Mayo 14 for the Golden Eagles (7-0), who snapped a 23-game home winning streak by the Badgers (6-2).

NO. 11 XAVIER 66, PURDUE 63: Tu Holloway had 21 points, including three 3-pointers in the last two minutes, and the host Musketeers (6-0) rallied from a 19-point second-half deficit.

NO. 14 MICHIGAN 76, IOWA ST. 66: Tim Hardaway Jr. had 19 points and Jordan Morgan 16 for the host Wolverines (6-2) in the schools' first meeting since former Michigan and Iowa State coach Johnny Orr left the Cyclones in 1994.

NO. 17 PITT 61, TENNESSEE 56: John Johnson converted a three-point play with two seconds left to seal it for the visiting Panthers (7-1) in the Big East/SEC Challenge.

ILLINOIS 82, NO. 19 GONZAGA 75: Meyers Leonard had 21 points and helped the host Illini hold Bulldogs (5-1) star Robert Sacre to two in the second half.

NO. 21 MISS. ST. 75, W. VA. 62: Arnett Moultrie had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the host Bulldogs (7-1), who pulled away with a late 13-2 run.

NO. 22 MEMPHIS 91, AUSTIN PEAY 60: Will Barton had 22 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for the host Tigers (4-2), who hit 15 3-pointers.

NO. 23 SAINT LOUIS 73, PORTLAND 53: Brian Conklin made all seven shots with a strong inside game and scored 19 for the Billikens (7-1) in their first home game as a ranked team since 1994.

NO. 25 TEXAS A&M 55, SFA 42: Elston Turner had 17 points and Ray Turner 12 for the host Aggies (6-1), who have not topped 60 points in five straight games.

State

MIAMI 83, UMASS 75: Durand Scott had 16 points, going 0-for-6 from the field but 16-of-18 from the free-throw line, to lead the host Hurricanes (5-2).

UCF 67, HARTFORD 48: Isaiah Sykes had career highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the host Knights (5-2).

B-CU 74, FAMU 59: Anthony Breeze had 22 points and the host Wildcats (3-5) took command early against the Rattlers (0-7) in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opener for both.

LYNN 57, TAMPA 37: The Knights held the Spartans (2-5, 0-2 Sunshine State) to 28.6 percent shooting.

FLA. TECH 82, ECKERD 72: Simon Cummings had 23 points as the host Panthers handed the Tritons (3-2) their second straight loss in their SSC opener.

SAINT LEO 69, VALDOSTA ST. 59: Trent Thomas had 19 points, seven rebounds and four steals to lead the host Lions (5-2).

Kentucky swats away Tar Heels 12/03/11 [Last modified: Saturday, December 3, 2011 11:26pm]

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