'Cats Looking For Consistency

No one's going to confuse this season's Kentucky team with the 1997-98 "Comeback Cats" national championship squad. Some similarities, however, are starting to emerge.

After overcoming another big deficit to win their last game, the No. 8 Wildcats (13-2, 4-0 SEC) go for their fourth straight victory when they take on LSU at Rupp Arena.

Kentucky pulled off yet another stunning comeback road win Wednesday night, rallying from a 15-point deficit to beat Mississippi 53-50.

Freshman Rajon Rondo scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half of a game reminiscent of Kentucky's 60-58 win last month at Louisville in which the Wildcats trailed by 16.

"The only similarity I can draw is, we weren't focused early," said coach Tubby Smith, who guided the Wildcats to numerous comeback victories en route to that '98 national title in his first season at Kentucky. "It's a sign of a team with heart, when you can win like we did."

Kelenna Azubuike had 11 points and Chuck Hayes added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats, who trailed most of the way against Ole Miss 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. Patrick Sparks, whose three free throws in the final second against Louisville capped that win, hit two foul shots Wednesday to provide the final scoring.

"We knew we were OK (that) we were capable of getting back in the game," guard Ravi Moss said. "It was just time to step up and play."

Kentucky's rally kept it one game ahead of Florida for sole possession of the top spot in the SEC East Division. The Wildcats, who have bounced back nicely since suffering their first home loss of the season to No. 2 Kansas on Jan. 9, will be playing their only home contest in a six-game stretch. They defeated Georgia and Ole Miss away from Lexington, and following Saturday's game hit the road for matchups with Tennessee, Arkansas and Vanderbilt.

First up is Saturday's nationally televised meeting with LSU (9-5, 2-1), a team Kentucky has dominated. The Wildcats have won 12 of the last 13 meetings overall, and are 37-4 against the Tigers in Lexington. Kentucky leads the all-time series 74-21.

LSU also comes in looking for its fourth straight victory after a controversial 66-63 overtime win over Arkansas on Wednesday night. Officials changed a 3-point basket by the Razorbacks' Michael Jones to a 2-pointer, a decision that prevented an apparent 59-58 Arkansas victory in regulation.

LSU, which had missed a desperation shot at the buzzer, took advantage, as Glen Davis scored six points and the only field goal in overtime and delivered a crucial block to lift the Tigers.

The SEC said Thursday it would review the call.

The controversy overshadowed the performance by Davis, who finished with 26 points and 18 rebounds. The 6-foot-9, 310-pound freshman blocked a shot from Arkansas' Eric Ferguson with five seconds left.

Davis averages 14.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game for LSU, while Brandon Bass leads the team with 17.1 points per game and also averages 8.4 boards

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