Wiltjer pushes Wildcats past Rebels

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Updated: January 30, 2013

Kyle Wiltjer scored a career-high 26 points and
nailed five 3-pointers and Archie Goodwin added 24 points, as Kentucky held
off 16th-ranked Ole Miss, 87-74, Tuesday in an SEC offensive battle.

Nerlens Noel nearly recorded a double-double with a school-record 12 blocks
and seven rebounds for the Wildcats (14-6, 5-2 SEC), who picked up their first
win over a ranked opponent this season and now have found victory in four of
their last five contests. Alex Poythress contributed 15 points and seven
rebounds in the win.

LaDarius White led Ole Miss with 22 points and Marshall Henderson added 21
for the Rebels (17-3, 6-1), who shot a mere 32.9 percent from the floor
in ending a nine-game winning streak.

It was the first time the schools had met with the Rebels ranked and Kentucky
outside the Top 25 since Jan. 20, 2001.

Both teams opened up the second half shooting on point, but it was Wiltjer,
who’s dunk just under four minutes into the action, gave UK a 53-46 lead.

The Wildcats increased their advantage to 71-56 on Poythress’ monster slam
with 11:31 remaining, but they also benefited from some solid defense, as the
Rebels missed seven shots during the 18-10 surge.

Ole Miss, though, had its own answer, as Jarvis Summers’ crafty crossover
froze two Kentucky defenders for an easy layup, bringing the home team within
73-66.

On the next possession, Murphy Holloway added to the 13-0 run with a three-
point play making it 73-69 with just over six minutes remaining. The surge
extended to 16-0 as White nailed a 3-pointer brining Ole Miss all the way back
within one-point, 73-72. That was the closest it be for the home team,
however, for the remainder of the contest.

Kentucky and Noel finally woke up out of its slumber, and changed the outlook
of the game in a matter of minutes. Ryan Harrow’s 3-pointer, followed by a
sensational Noel blocked shot on Holloway’s dunk attempt, which led to
two Goodwin free throws, quickly made it 78-72 with under four minutes left.

The damage had been done and the Wildcats ended the game on a 14-2 run
following Ole Miss’ valiant surge. Noel finished with five of his blocks alone
in the final 5:28 of the game.

After both teams stayed even for the majority of the first half — the highest
lead for either squad was two points — White changed that with a three-point
play which made it 26-22 with 5:16 left in the stanza.

Henderson turned a one-point, 30-29 lead into a five-point swing, with a
jumper and a trey, which gave Ole Miss a 35-30 advantage.

Ole Miss led 38-37 after 20 minutes of play.

Game Notes

Ole Miss lost for the first time this season when holding a lead at halftime
… In the Jan. 20, 2001 contest between ranked Ole Miss and un-ranked
Kentucky, the Rebels picked up a 65-55 home victory … Ole Miss is now 11-1
at Tad Smith Coliseum this season … Kentucky’s bench outscored Ole Miss’,
28-6 … The Wildcats shot 50 percent (28-of-56) from the floor … Harrow
added 13 points, while Noel finished with just two points.