Cats bounce back with win over Marshall

Keith Bogans and Marquis Estill scored 22 and 21 points, respectively, in leading Kentucky past Marshall in the consolation game of the NABC Classic...

LEXINGTON, Ky. --- For perhaps the first time in his Kentucky career, Keith Bogans wanted to withdraw from it all following Thursday's stunning loss to Western Kentucky in the Wildcats' season opener.

The usually unflappable junior guard said he wanted no part of any basketball discussion as he ventured back to his dorm room at Wildcat Den for the night. Not even for dear old mom.

"I went home, cut my cell phone off, cut my room phone off," said Bogans, whose 3-for-10 shooting performance and eight total points were a key factor in the No. 4 Cats' 64-52 loss to the Hilltoppers. "I didn't want to answer no calls. My mom called, and I didn't even answer her call. I just kind of laid there and went to sleep.


Keith Bogans (10) grabs one of his eight rebounds.

"I woke up with it. Couldn't even look at (ESPN) SportsCenter, couldn't read the newspaper. I didn't do none of that today. I just went on about my day and got ready for this game tonight."

Bogans apparently kicked the 24-hour bug. His 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists helped Kentucky rebound from the tough defeat and send the Cats past Marshall with a 90-73 victory Friday in the NABC Classic consolation game at Rupp Arena.

With the exception of another "off" shooting night (33 of 82, 40 percent), it was an almost complete turnaround for UK. The Cats overcame Tayshaun Prince's foul trouble, which limited the senior All-American to just nine points in 14 minutes of action, as junior forward Marquis Estill delivered 21 points off the bench. Reserve forwards Erik Daniels and Chuck Hayes also played key roles, combining for 18 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three steals.

"We certainly rebounded the right way and came back and played a much better game tonight," UK coach Tubby Smith said. "... It was a good start after last night's debacle.

"Even though our kids didn't shoot the ball well again, we did a good job defensively, rebounding the ball, and we got some good play out of Keith Bogans. I thought we had some good individual efforts out of Erik Daniels, really passing the ball, and Chuck Hayes, I thought played a good all-around game, especially on the boards. Cliff (Hawkins) played better and more under control, and we got a big lift out of Marquis off the bench."


Adam Chiles (22) tries to steal the ball from Marshall's Tamar Slay.

What a difference a day makes.

"Tonight, we came to play," Bogans said. "That was the only difference."

"We were all embarrassed when we saw all the stuff we did wrong yesterday," Prince added. "We let everybody down. We let ourselves down. All we've worked for coming into this season, to come out and play like that, was hard to take.... We just didn't have it last night. Today, we did."

Western Kentucky (2-0) went on to win the tournament with a dominating 73-48 victory over George Washington (1-1) in the nightcap. Senior All-American center Chris Marcus turned in his second double-double to start the season and was named the tournament MVP with 32 points and 20 rebounds in two wins.

Marshall (0-2) got three double-double performances against the Cats --- 26 points and 10 rebounds by Tamar Slay, 16 points and 12 rebounds from former Paintsville star J.R. VanHoose, and 15 points and 11 rebounds by Latece Williams --- but depth problems haunted the Thundering Herd for the second night in a row.

Slay, VanHoose and Williams each played more than 38 minutes for the second straight night, and the Cats took advantage late in the first half.

With a sparse Rupp Arena crowd getting restless from a 28-all score, Kentucky went on a 18-2 run over the final five minutes of the half. Estill scored eight of his points during the span, and assisted a Bogans 3-pointer on a nice inside-out play to help the Cats take a 46-30 advantage into the locker room.


Marquis Estill (50) slams in two of his 21 points off the bench.

Kentucky maintained a margin between 17-20 points until midway through the second half when Slay scored 10 consecutive points, including a 4-point play, to pull Marshall within 13. His old-fashioned three-point play at the 9:07 mark cut the deficit to 69-57, but the Cats responded with a 3-pointer by Gerald Fitch, consecutive fast-break jams by Estill, and a 3-pointer by Bogans to blow the game open.

Turnovers plagued Marshall throughout. The Herd committed 23 miscues leading to 31 points by Kentucky. The Cats also enjoyed a 45-7 edge in bench scoring.

"I think a lot of it was Marshall being a little thin," Smith said. "They didn't have a very deep bench."

"We are a little out of sync with our guards, but I knew that coming in," Marshall coach Greg White said. "..."We just ran out of gas. We fought hard for 40 minutes and that is all I asked from my players. We just have to take this experience and build on it.

"Marshall normally opens with a lesser opponent and a win," White added. "This year we made a different decision. The fans at Marshall wanted a tougher schedule, and they got one."

The Herd was held to 39 percent (24 of 61) from the field and 4-for-16 from behind the arc.


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