Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Wall, Cousins lead No. 3 UK over Bama, 66-55


LEXINGTON, Ky. – John Wall had 22 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double, and fellow freshman DeMarcus Cousins got his seventh in a row, as No. 3 Kentucky outmuscled Alabama 66-55 on Tuesday night.

With 16 points and 13 rebounds, Cousins extended his UK freshman record with 15 double-doubles. The last Kentucky player to get seven in a row was Jim Andrews, who had a team-record 10 straight in 1973.

Five of Cousins’ rebounds were on the offensive end, while all of Wall’s career-high 10 were on defense.

With the victory, Kentucky (23-1, 8-1) remained in first place in the Southeastern Conference East Division, one game ahead of Vanderbilt, which beat Tennessee on Tuesday.

Tony Mitchell had 13 points for Alabama (13-11, 3-7).

Cousins got his 10th and 11th points on a one-handed heave in traffic midway through the second half that gave the Wildcats their biggest lead at 46-32.

He got his 10th rebound the next trip down the court, then scored again off Eric Bledsoe’s missed 3.

Alabama chipped away at the lead and cut it to 51-45 with 8 minutes left on a jumper by JaMychal Green. The Tide matched that six-point deficit with under a minute left on Anthony Brock’s 3-pointer but got no closer as two free throws by Wall and a dunk by Patrick Patterson helped seal the victory for the Wildcats.

Cousins, who grew up in Mobile, Ala., has acknowledged a sometimes-rocky high school career there, and was heavily recruited by former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried. Instead, he opted to sign the first letter of intent under coach John Calipari at Kentucky.

The 6-foot-11, 260-pound center claimed Monday that the game against the Crimson Tide was “just another game,” although he had assigned it far more weight in past statements to the media.

Although Wall lit up the scoreboard at the end, the game started ugly for UK’s other freshman phenom. While he came in ranked second in the country in assists, he only managed two in this game — both in the second half. By then, he had racked up six turnovers — many of them sloppy ones.

He also gave the Wildcats a scoring boost, especially in the first half when they needed it most. Other than a wide-open 3 that gave Kentucky its first lead at 15-13, the rest of Wall’s first-half points came under tight pressure from the stingy Alabama defense.

First, Wall faked a pass, drove to the basket and drew Charvez Davis’ first foul. A few minutes later came another three-point play on a similar drive, this one sending Davis to the bench with his third foul.

With Alabama up 11-4 early, Kentucky scored 13 of the next 15 points. The Wildcats took the lead for good with 5:45 before halftime on Patrick Patterson’s dunk off a steal by Bledsoe. Patterson added a 3-pointer seconds before halftime — just Kentucky’s second in 11 first-half attempts — to give Kentucky a 31-24 lead.

Although Alabama’s defense was tough, Kentucky’s was better — and seldom gave the Crimson Tide the benefit of foul shots.

Alabama made 9 of 10 free throws in the game, but didn’t manage their first until the second half. Kentucky, meanwhile connected on just 61 percent from the line, going 19 for 31.

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