Saturday , Dec , 17 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Kentucky hands fourth-ranked Louisville first loss of season

=== Kentucky hands fourth-ranked Louisville first loss of season ===

Lexington, KY (Sports Network) – Rajon Rondo poured in a career-high 25
points and dished out seven assists, leading 23rd-ranked Kentucky to a 73-61
win over No. 4 Louisville at Rupp Arena.

Sheray Thomas had 11 points and Joe Crawford added nine for the Wildcats
(7-3), who have won five of their last seven games.

Kentucky holds a 25-12 lead over Louisville in the all-time series, including
a 60-58 triumph over the Cardinals a year ago.

“It was a great college basketball game today,’ said Wildcats head coach Tubby
Smith. “It was certainly a great atmosphere – the fans were all revved up
because it’s always a big rivalry. We haven’t been playing well, but I thought
that this was our best all-around effort this season. We were very pleased to
get the win against a very good Cardinal team.”

Juan Palacios led Louisville (6-1) with 15 points, while Taquan Dean chipped
in 14 in the loss.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 13-3 lead on Shagari’s Alleyne’s basket minutes
into the contest. Thomas later staked Kentucky to a 30-17 advantage with a
three-pointer and the Wildcats headed to the break with a 39-24 lead.

Rondo led all scorers at the break with 13 points, while Dean paced Louisville
with seven points. Thomas had nine points for the Wildcats.

“We played with intensity,” said Rondo. “We had nothing to lose. We went out
there and we played hard. Thats how we need to play all year.’

Dean knocked down a three-pointer minutes into the second half, but the
Cardinals trailed by a 49-30 score. With about nine minutes left in the game,
Palacios hit a three to make it a 55-39 game.

Ravi Moss got into the action with a three-pointer and Kentucky owned a
commanding 62-42 lead with less than seven minutes to go in the game.

Louisville was out of sync in this one and never threatened the rest of the
way, suffering the 12-point loss.

Game Notes

Kentucky shot 47 percent for the game, while Louisville made 35 percent of its
shots…The Wildcats had a 36-35 edge on the boards…Moss had five points.