LSU no match for Cats

Kentucky bounced back from its tough loss at Tennessee with a solid win over LSU...

BATON ROUGE, La. --- Tayshaun Prince scored a team-high 18 points and erased a potential 12 points by LSU with a career-high six blocked shots in Kentucky's 68-56 victory over the Tigers.

The Wildcats' senior forward was 4-for-4 from 3-point range in the first half as Kentucky raced to an 18-point lead and was never seriously challenged the rest of the day.

"Prince is an outstanding player," LSU coach John Brady said. "If I would have been his agent, he would have gone pro last year."

"It was just one of those days," said Prince, who also added five rebounds and three assist to his productive stat line. "Shots were falling at the beginning of the game. I thought that, when they went zone, we knocked our shots down and got it inside so they had to change defense."

Nothing worked for the struggling Tigers (12-11, 2-8 SEC), who have lost six straight and seven of the last eight. Seventh-ranked Kentucky (16-6, 6-4 SEC) bounced back from a disappointing overtime loss on Wednesday at Tennessee.

The Cats also got 12 points and six rebounds from junior forward Jules Camara off the bench, and 11 points and eight rebounds from sophomore guard Gerald Fitch. Sophomore point guard Cliff Hawkins came within one of his career high with nine of UK's 18 assists.

"When Cliff handles himself well and plays in control of this team, we usually look pretty good," Smith said.

Defense, however, paved the way to the victory. LSU shot only 33 percent (19 of 57) from the field, marking the 11th time this season the Cats have held an opponent under 40 percent.

"We did some good things," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "We had some stretches where we played very well.

"I was pleased with our effort. I thought Tayshaun got off to a good start and I thought Gerald played a real solid ballgame."

Kentucky hit seven 3-pointers in the first half and posted a 13-2 assist-to-turnover ratio on its way to a 42-38 halftime lead.

Said Brady: "In the first 12 minutes, I thought that Kentucky really scored as they wished."

LSU pulled within nine in the early moments of the second half, but the Cats put the game away with a 17-6 run that included scoring by six different players --- Prince, Fitch, Camara, Marquis Estill, Erik Daniels and Chuck Hayes. Fitch and Hayes hit treys in the decisive spurt.

The lead peaked at 68-47 on a Camara jump hook with 4:29 to play before LSU closed with a 9-0 run against the UK reserves.

Ronald Dupree led the Tigers with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Torris Bright added 17, but no other LSU player reached double figures.

"We need to find someone who can score the ball other than Ronald Dupree and Torris Bright," said Brady, whose team was without its second-leading scorer, Collis Temple III (14.6 ppg), due to injury.

"I know LSU was a little short-handed," Smith said. "Without Collis, they're not the same team."


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