Kentucky slips past UAB in NCAA first round
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Bobby Perry was the only Kentucky player
in double figures with 25 points, as the Wildcats overcame a horrendous night
shooting, but advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 69-64
victory over UAB at the Wachovia Center.
The eighth-seeded Wildcats (22-12) shot just 31.1 percent from the field, but
made 26-of-30 free throws to earn a matchup against the top-seeded Connecticut
Huskies on Sunday in the second round of the Washington D.C. bracket.
Rajon Rondo contributed eight points and 10 rebounds for Kentucky, which was
just 5-of-25 from three-point territory.
Paul Delaney III had 13 points and Marvett McDonald added 10 for the Blazers
(24-7), who weren’t much better from long distance, going 5-for-24. However,
UAB did shoot 43.1 percent, but failed to advance as Kentucky took care of the
ball with just eight turnovers.
It was some revenge for the Wildcats against UAB at the NCAA Tournament. Two
years ago, UAB knocked out top-seeded Kentucky in the second round.
UAB pulled within 61-58 with 5:17 left following a short jumper from Wen
Mukubu, but the Blazers were unable to convert some key chances down the
Trailing 63-59, Mukubu missed a three-point try with under two minutes left.
Randolph Morris pulled down the rebound and sank two free throws.
A three by McDonald had UAB within 67-64 with 19.2 seconds to go, but Rondo
hit one free throw, Kentucky’s 15th straight made chance at the stripe. Rondo
missed the second attempt, but McDonald missed another three-point try with
10.9 seconds left.
Joe Crawford added one free throw for the final margin.
A three-pointer by Richard Jones expanded UAB’s first-half lead to 16-10.
Kentucky rallied to lead by as many as four later in the half at 25-21
following a Morris layup with 6:15 remaining. However, UAB scored the final
six points of the half to lead 33-30.
A jumper by Ramel Bradley boosted Kentucky to a 52-47 lead halfway through the
final period and the Wildcats were in front the rest of the way. Bradley’s
jumper capped five straight points by the Wildcats.
The Blazers were 9-of-17 at the foul line…Perry made all 10 of his foul
shots and was 6-of-10 from the field.