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Freshmen take charge as Kentucky stops Vols

Freshman John Wall, shooting over Tennessee’s Kenny Hall, led Kentucky with 24 points.

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Freshman John Wall, shooting over Tennessee’s Kenny Hall, led Kentucky with 24 points.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — John Wall had 24 points, one short of his career high, and Eric Bledsoe added 16 as No. 3 Kentucky fought off No. 12 Tennessee for a 73-62 victory Saturday night.

Down 52-50 midway through the second half after a three-point play by J.P. Prince, Kentucky (24-1, 9-1) scored the next 10, six by Wall, to give John Calipari his first win over Bruce Pearl in an SEC matchup. The two met annually when Calipari coached at Memphis.

Bledsoe, Kentucky's other freshman backcourt star, clinched the victory with three clutch shots in a row, a fastbreak layup followed by two 3-pointers.

Bobby Maze led the Vols (18-6, 6-4) with 15 points. Melvin Goins had a career-high 14.

The teams battled for the lead most of the night. Kentucky kept the Vols in it partly due to poor free-throw shooting, particularly by DeMarcus Cousins, who was 1-of-8.

CALHOUN BACK, UCONN NOT: Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun returned from a 3½-week medical leave to watch his team lose 60-48 to visiting Cincinnati, the Huskies' (14-11, 4-8 Big East) fewest points since 2002.

"I thought it was one of the worst performances I've had here at UConn in 24 years," Calhoun said. "I'm really incredibly disappointed by the performance, and I'm embarrassed by it, quite frankly."

HEELS END SKID: Larry Drew II had 15 points and host North Carolina (14-11, 3-7 ACC) pulled away late to beat North Carolina State 74-61, snapping its four-game losing streak.

NO. 1 KANSAS 73, IOWA ST. 59: Xavier Henry and Tyshawn Taylor fueled a 14-0 run that turned a tight game into the expected laugher, and the host Jayhawks (24-1, 10-0 Big 12) gave coach Bill Self his 400th career victory.

NO. 4 VILLANOVA 92, PROVIDENCE 81: Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher had 22 points each as the host Wildcats (22-2, 11-1) tied Syracuse atop the Big East.

NO. 6 PURDUE 63, IOWA 40: JaJuan Johnson had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the host Boilermakers (21-3, 9-3 Big Ten) won their seventh straight.

NO. 8 DUKE 77, MARYLAND 56: Jon Scheyer had 22 points for the host Blue Devils (21-4, 9-2 ACC) in coach Mike Krzyzew­ski's 1,000th game at the school.

NO. 9 KANSAS ST. 68, COLORADO 51: Jacob Pullen had 15 points and 10 assists for the host Wildcats (20-4, 7-3 Big 12), who started slowly but pulled it together in the second half.

NO. 10 MICH. ST. 65, PENN ST. 54: Kalin Lucas had 24 points in his return to the starting lineup from a sprained ankle as the visiting Spartans (20-6, 10-3) snapped a three-game skid.

NO. 11 WIS. 83, INDIANA 55: Jason Bohannon had seven 3-pointers and a career-high 30 points to help the host Badgers (19-6, 9-4 Big Ten) rebound from a surprising home loss.

NO. 14 TEXAS 91, NEBRASKA 51: Avery Bradley had 20 of his 25 points in the first half as the host Longhorns (20-5, 6-4 Big 12) snapped a two-game skid.

NO. 15 NEW MEXICO 68, UTAH 65, OT: Roman Martinez had 15 points, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer late in overtime to help the visiting Lobos (23-3, 9-2 Mountain West) to their ninth straight victory.

NO. 17 BYU 91, AIR FORCE 48: Jonathan Tavernari came off the bench to score a season-high 19 points as the Cougars (23-3, 8-2 Mountain West) won their 20th straight home game.

NO. 18 BUTLER 70, CLEVELAND ST. 59: Matt Howard and Gordon Hayward had double doubles for the visiting Bulldogs (23-4, 16-0 Horizon League), who extended the nation's longest winning streak to 15 games.

BRADLEY 68, NO. 19 N. IOWA 59: Andrew Warren had 15 points and the host Braves rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit to prevent the Panthers (22-3, 13-2) from winning their first outright Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title.

WAKE 75, NO. 20 GA. TECH 64: Al-Farouq Aminu had 19 points and 10 rebounds as the host Demon Deacons won their fourth straight. The Yellow Jackets (17-6, 5-6 ACC) went the final 8:50 without a field goal.

NO. 21 TEMPLE 78, R.I. 56: Micheal Eric had a career-high 19 points for the host Owls (20-5, 8-2 Atlantic 10), who shot a school-record 68.6 percent.

NO. 22 VANDY 77, LSU 69: Reserve Lance Goulbourne had 11 of his career-high 18 points in the second half as the host Commodores (19-5, 8-2 SEC) avoided a letdown after Tuesday's big win over instate rival Tennessee.

SAN DIEGO ST. 68, NO. 23 UNLV 58: Billy White had 19 points as the host Aztecs upset the Runnin' Rebels (19-6, 7-4 Mountain West).

NO. 24 BAYLOR 64, MISSOURI 62: Ekpe Udoh's tip-in with 1.6 seconds left capped a wild finish for the host Bears (19-5, 6-4 Big 12), who led from the opening minute before the Tigers took a 62-61 lead with 47 seconds left.

State

CLEMSON 74, UM 66: Trevor Booker had 18 points and the host Tigers won back-to-back games for the first time in almost a month. The Hurricanes (17-8, 3-8 ACC) have lost seven of their past nine.

ROLLINS 61, TAMPA 59: The host Tars rallied after the Spartans (10-12, 4-9 Sunshine State Conference) took a 13-point second-half lead.

ECKERD 82, FLA. TECH 77, OT: Zaronn Cann had 22 points to lead four players in double figures for the visiting Tritons (14-8, 7-5 SSC).

Freshmen take charge as Kentucky stops Vols 02/13/10 [Last modified: Monday, February 15, 2010 5:25pm]

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