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Baylor exploits Kentucky's youth

Baylor’s Isaiah Austin, left, and Rico Gathers harass Kentucky freshman forward Alex Poythress during the first half.

Associated Press

Baylor’s Isaiah Austin, left, and Rico Gathers harass Kentucky freshman forward Alex Poythress during the first half.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Baylor's comfort with the zone defense on Saturday created uneasiness for No. 8 Kentucky.

It left the Wildcats with a 64-55 loss to the Bears, a two-game losing streak and the end of their 54-game run at Rupp Arena.

Not to mention a lot of soul searching.

"They came in here and executed what they were supposed to be doing," Kentucky freshman center Willie Cauley-Stein said. "I gave them credit for that. We shot ourselves in the foot. We didn't make shots and gave up easy plays that could have helped us in the end."

Kentucky's struggles with Baylor's combination of zone alignments were symbolized by its failure to get the ball inside to its big men and a failure to answer it from the outside.

The Wildcats (4-3) shot 30 percent, their worst under coach John Calipari. That was 10 percent worse than in Thursday's 64-50 loss at Notre Dame.

"That's what happens when you have a bunch of freshmen out there," Calipari said.

Pierre Jackson scored 17 and Isaiah Austin and A.J. Walton 11 each for the Bears, who beat the Wildcats for the first time in eight tries. Baylor also avenged last year's Elite Eight loss to Kentucky, which went on to win its eighth national title with freshmen Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist leading the way.

Though Calipari has insisted that center Cauley-Stein, forwards Alex Poythress and Nerlens Noel and guard Archie Goodwin might be as good as their predecessors by the spring, they were going to encounter some bumps along the way.

Baylor provided plenty with its zone and athleticism that at times left Kentucky's youngsters flat-footed.

NO. 1 INDIANA 87, COPPIN ST. 51: Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey scored 14 each for the host Hoosiers (8-0), who pulled away after missing their first nine shots.

NO. 2 DUKE 88, DELAWARE 50: Ryan Kelly scored 15 of his 18 in the decisive first half for the host Blue Devils (8-0), who never trailed and led by as much as 46.

NO. 3 MICH. 74, BRADLEY 66: Freshman Nick Stauskas scored 22 in his first start, and the visiting Wolverines (7-0) survived a late run.

NO. 4 OHIO ST. 70, N. KENTUCKY 43: LaQuinton Ross scored a career-high 22 for the host Buckeyes (5-1), who rebounded from Wednesday's loss to Duke despite shooting only 38 percent.

NO. 5 L'VILLE 69, ILLINOIS ST. 66: Russ Smith scored 24 and Peyton Siva added 20 for the host Cardinals (6-1). Down by 3 with eight seconds left, the Redbirds' Tyler Brown airballed a 3-pointer that was saved by Bryant Allen to Jackie Carmichael. Carmichael found Brown, who drew contact from Louisville's Chane Behanan at the buzzer. The shot went awry and no foul was called.

NO. 9 ARIZ. 85, TEXAS TECH 57: Nick Johnson scored 18 for the visiting Wildcats (5-0), who pulled away after a slow start.

NO. 11 CREIGHTON 80, ST. JOSEPH'S 51: Doug McDermott scored 18 of his 23 in the first half, and the host Bluejays (7-1) bounced back after being upset by Boise State on Wednesday.

NO. 12 GONZAGA 85, PACIFIC 67: Sam Dower scored 18 for the host Bulldogs (8-0), who tied the 1994-95 squad for most wins to start the season.

NO. 13 MICH. ST. 84, NICHOLLS ST. 39: Keith Appling scored 13 and the host Spartans (6-2) used a 27-4 first-half run to rout the Colonels, who were missing three starters to injury and illness.

NO. 14 UNC 102, UAB 84: Leslie McDonald scored a career-high 24 in his first career start to lead a balanced offensive showing for the host Tar Heels (6-2).

VA. TECH 81, NO. 15 OKLA. ST. 71: Erick Green scored 28 and hit eight free throws in the final 76 seconds for the host Hokies, who are 7-0 for the first time since 1982-83 and beat the Cowboys (5-1) for the fourth straight time.

NO. 16 MISSOURI 72, APPY ST. 56: Laurence Bowers matched his career high with 23 points for the Tigers (6-1), who have won 69 in a row at home against nonconference foes dating to 2005.

NO. 17 CINCINNATI 58, 'BAMA 56: Cashmere Wright's fadeaway jumper from the baseline at the buzzer gave the host Bearcats (7-0) the victory.

NO. 21 MINN. 87, N. FLORIDA 59: Rodney Williams had 12 of his 15 points in the second half and added eight rebounds as the host Gophers (8-1) won their fourth straight game.

NO. 24 UNLV 77, HAWAII 63: Anthony Bennett had 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks for the host Runnin' Rebels (5-1), who pulled away after fighting off a Warriors second-half run.

NO. 25 NEW MEXICO 77, INDIANA ST. 68, OT: Kendall Williams scored a season-high 24 and Hugh Greenwood scored eight of his 14 in overtime for the visiting Lobos (8-0), who squandered a 19-point lead in the second half.

State

MIAMI 75, UMASS 62: Reggie Johnson had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the visiting Hurricanes (5-1), who won their fourth straight.

UCF 90, FLA. TECH 62: Freshman Matt Williams scored 21, all on 3-pointers, as the host Knights (4-2) routed the Division II.

FAMU 75, B-CU 67: Jamie Adams scored 24 for the host Rattlers (2-6), who handed Bethune-Cookman (2-6) its third straight loss in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opener for both.

ROLLINS 73, ECKERD 45: Brett Chance scored 17 for the host Tars, who hit 11 3-pointers to rout the Tritons (2-1) in their Sunshine State Conference opener.

TAMPA 83, ARMSTRONG 82: Da'Markco Foster hit a driving layup with three seconds left, and the Spartans (6-0) rallied after blowing a 20-point lead in the Ames Classic at Saint Leo.

SAINT LEO 83, FORT VALLEY ST. 65: Marcus Ruh had 23 points, and the host Lions (4-2) bounced back from an opening-day loss at the Ames Classic.

Baylor exploits Kentucky's youth 12/01/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 1, 2012 10:44pm]

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