'Cats Survive Ole Miss, 53-50

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Freshman Rajon Rondo scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, and No. 8 Kentucky rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Mississippi 53-50 on Wednesday night.

Ole Miss had the ball trailing 51-50 in the final moments, but Kendrick Fox missed a 3-pointer with 19 seconds to play and Kentucky's Patrick Sparks hit two free throws to extend the Wildcats' lead to three.

Londrick Nolen's desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced harmlessly off the back iron, giving the Wildcats their second big come-from-behind victory of the season and ninth victory in 10 games.

Kelenna Azubuike had 11 points and Chuck Hayes added 10 for the Wildcats (13-2, 4-0 Southeastern Conference), who trailed most of the way and were held to their lowest point total of the season.

Kentucky took its first lead of the game when Rondo's three-point play made it 49-48 with 3:02 remaining. That came as part of an 11-2 run which pushed the Wildcats' lead to three.

Kentucky opened the second half with 10 straight points and pulled to within 31-29 with 14:02 remaining.

Tommie Eddie had 12 of his 14 points in the second half, and Nolen added 12 for the Rebels (11-7, 2-3), who in the first half successfully lulled the Wildcats into a grind-it-out game.

Kentucky went scoreless over the first six minutes, started just 1-of-11 from the floor and shot just 20 percent in tying their least productive first half of the season.

Ole Miss' largest lead was 29-14 on Todd Abernethy's three-point play with 15.4 seconds left in the half.

Kentucky's 16 points and 5-for-24 shooting at halftime matched season lows set in December against Louisville. The Wildcats rallied from a 16-point halftime deficit to beat the Cardinals 60-58.

Kentucky improved its edge in the series with Ole Miss to a remarkable 92-10, and has won five straight against the Rebels.

The Wildcats played without freshman Joe Crawford, who didn't make the trip to Oxford. He returned to the team Monday after spending a week at home after a dispute over playing time.

The game also was something of a family reunion for Tubby Smith. His son, Brian, is a reserve guard for the Rebels who did not play against the Wildcats but with the two met near midcourt before the game.

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