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Kentucky wins fourth straight

Skal Labissiere dunks over Tennessee’s Kevin Punter, helping Kentucky take a one-game lead over LSU atop the SEC.

Associated Press

Skal Labissiere dunks over Tennessee’s Kevin Punter, helping Kentucky take a one-game lead over LSU atop the SEC.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Jamal Murray scored 28, Derek Willis made seven 3-pointers for a career-high 25 and No. 14 Kentucky beat Tennessee 80-70 on Thursday night for its fourth straight victory.

Sixteen days after blowing a 21-point lead in an 84-77 loss at Tennessee, the Wildcats (20-6, 10-3 SEC) held their ground this time. Kentucky stretched a six-point halftime lead to as many as 22. The Wildcats have won by an average margin of 22.5 during the streak.

Murray's perimeter shooting set the tone and Willis got hot to make five 3s in the second half.

Armani Moore scored 21 and Kevin Punter added 19 for Tennessee (12-14, 5-8 SEC), which got within 10 in the final minute but really wasn't that close in losing for the third time in four games since upsetting Kentucky.

Kentucky shot 26 of 62 overall (42 percent) but made 11 of 24 from long range (46 percent).

The Wildcats took control — for now— of the SEC with a one-game lead over LSU.

The Vols shot 38 percent and were outrebounded 45-39.

Kentuckyscored the opening basket but didn't regain the lead until Murray's 3-pointer nearly nine minutes later.

Minnesota upsets No. 6 Maryland

MINNEAPOLIS — Nate Mason had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists to help Minnesota get its first Big Ten win of the season with a 68-63 upset of No. 6 Maryland.

Jordan Murphy added 17 points and 11 rebounds and Joey King had 15 points and six rebounds for Minnesota (7-19, 1-13), which shot 33 percent.

Rasheed Sulaimon scored 28 for Maryland (22-5, 10-4), which has lost consecutive games thanks to another listless performance. Melo Trimble had 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting and the Terrapins turned the ball over 15 times.

The Williams Arena crowd stormed the court when time expired to celebrate Minnesota's first Big Ten regular-season win since beating Michigan State on Feb. 26, 2015.

UConn 68, NO. 21 SMU 62: Amida Brimah had 16 points, eight rebounds and five blocks as the host Huskies (19-7, 9-4 American Athletic Conference) improved their NCAA Tournament resume with a victory over the Mustangs (21-4, 9-4).

Women

No. 23 Syracuse 83, No. 10 FSU 73: Alexis Peterson had 17 points and Brianna Butler added 16 as the host Orange 21-6, 11-3 ACC) ended an 11-game winning streak for the Seminoles (21-5, 11-2). Adut Bulgak, who left the game with an apparent knee injury with 8:47 to go, led FSU with 23 points, hitting 5-of-7 3s.

No. 22 UF 79, Vanderbilt 67: Eleanna Christinaki scored 22 for the Gators (20-6, 8-5 SEC), who shot 50 percent and beat the Commodores (15-11, 4-9) at home for the first time in six meetings. Florida was 22 of 34 at the free-throw line; Vanderbilt was 8 of 15.

No. 2 Notre Dame 86, Wake Forest 52: Brianna Turner had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the visiting Irish (25-1, 13-0 ACC), who won their 18th straight.

No. 3 South Carolina 61, Georgia 51: Tiffany Mitchell scored 19 and the host Gamecocks (25-1, 13-0) wrapped up their third straight SEC title.

No. 5 Ohio State 96, Nebraska 70: Alexa Hart had 18 points to lead five players in double figures and the host Buckeyes (22-4, 14-1) maintained their one-game lead in the Big Ten over Maryland.

No. 11 Louisville 74, Virginia 59: Myisha Hines-Allen had 19 of her 22 points in the second half and grabbed 11 rebounds for the host Cardinals (21-6, 12-1 ACC).

No. 16 Kentucky 83, No. 14 Mississippi State 60: Maci Morris scored 17, Makayla Epps added 16 and the visiting Wildcats (18-6, 7-6 SEC) took charge in the third quarter. The starters for the Bulldogs (21-6, 8-5) combined to shoot 6-of-26.

No. 24 Tennessee 57, Ole Miss 51: Kortney Dunbar, who didn't play until just over three minutes remained, made two critical shots as the host Vols (16-10, 7-6 SEC) rallied after blowing a nine-point, fourth-quarter lead. Dunbar's layup put Tennessee ahead for good with 1:36 left, and she made a 3-pointer on the next possession. The Vols have won 28 straight over the Rebels.

No. 25 Mich. St. 70, Rutgers 67: Aerial Powers had 27 points and 14 rebounds, going 15-for-17 on free throws, for the visiting Spartans (19-7, 10-5 Big Ten).

Kentucky wins fourth straight 02/18/16 [Last modified: Thursday, February 18, 2016 10:31pm]
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