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Two guards hurt in Kentucky Wildcats' 72-58 SEC semifinal win over Alabama Crimson Tide

Trainer Chris Simmons and forward Josh Harrellson help Kentucky guard Doron Lamb off the court after he sprains his left ankle. The freshman says he will try to play today.

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Trainer Chris Simmons and forward Josh Harrellson help Kentucky guard Doron Lamb off the court after he sprains his left ankle. The freshman says he will try to play today.

ATLANTA — The game didn't take much effort at all, but the outcome might have cost more than Kentucky wanted to pay.

The Wildcats jumped out to a double-digit lead on Alabama midway through the first half Saturday and didn't look back en route to a 72-58 victory in the SEC tournament semifinals.

But with the victory came injuries to two key players. Freshman guard Doron Lamb and junior guard Deandre Liggins went down with ankle injuries on successive plays late.

"(Lamb) could be doubtful," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "I don't know. He was pretty bad in there, but we'll … see how bad he wants to play."

Lamb, who scored 15, was diagnosed with a sprained left ankle. He sat in the locker room with his foot propped up with ice and later was seen on crutches. He said he will try to play.

Liggins, who had 14 points and nine rebounds, said he expects to play. He initially could not get up but eventually limped off under his own power.

"I feel fine, just a minor tweak," Liggins said.

Kentucky (24-8) plays today in its 36th tournament final, seeking its 28th title, this time against regular-season champion Florida. Meanwhile, Alabama (21-11) must anxiously await its NCAA fate today.

The Tide was considered by analysts to be one of the final four teams in the NCAA Tournament after its quarterfinal win over Georgia on Friday. But the double-digit semifinal loss might change its status.

"I think we've had a very good year considering where we started and where we finished up," coach Anthony Grant said. "The SEC was our focus. Whatever happens will happen. Whatever happens won't diminish what these guys accomplished this year."

Tied at 4, Lamb scored all of Kentucky's points during a 10-4 run that gave it a 14-8 lead 5:52 into the game. Alabama never recovered and never led.

Said Calipari: "We'd have smacked anybody the way we played."

No. 15 Ky. 72

Alabama 58

Two guards hurt in Kentucky Wildcats' 72-58 SEC semifinal win over Alabama Crimson Tide 03/12/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 12, 2011 9:32pm]
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