A Rekalin Sims free throw with 2:32 remaining completed an old-fashioned three-point play to give Kentucky a 60-59 lead over the Ohio Bobcats. The lead was Kentucky's first since the 9:53 mark of the first half. After Ohio's Leon Williams missed the front end of a one-and-one Joe Crawford used a Sims screen to get an open lane to the hoop for a 62-59 lead with 1:40 remaining.
In the final minute of play Ohio fired blanks on its field goal attempts and was forced to foul in order to regain possession of the ball. The Wildcats capitalized by hitting seven of eight free throws down the stretch. An overplaying Ohio defense allowed Rajon Rondo to get one of his few open looks at the basket, as the UK sophomore point guard slipped behind the Bobcat defense for a rim-rattling dunk that set the final score, 71-63.
Kentucky was led in scoring by a pair of sophomore guards, Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley, both registered career highs as they stepped up to fill the offensive voids left by Rondo and a poor shooting night by Patrick Sparks. Crawford finished the game with 23 points, and Bradley contributed 18. Sims joined the duo in double-figures with 11.
Ohio led 40-37 at the half, and looked to have control the game when they took a 54-45 lead with 12:25 remaining on a Fears dunk off a Sparks turnover. Kentucky began the 26-9 run moments later when a Bobby Perry tip cut the lead to 54-47. A fastbreak dunk by a trailing Perry, off a nifty Sparks pass pulled Kentucky to within 54-49. Crawford was fouled on a putback and hit the free throw to pull Kentucky to within two points at 52-54.
Ohio appeared to stop the bleeding with a Johnnie Jackson layup, but Bradley answered with a three to cut the lead to 56-55. Once again Ohio answered with a Whitney Davis field goal. Davis hit the second of two free throws to push the lead back to three at 59-55. A foul saddled Sims then went to work with a tip off a miss that pulled the Cats to within two at 59-57. On the next possession Crawford drove and found Sims to setup the play that gave Kentucky the lead.
Ohio was led in scoring by Mychal Green with 16, all in the first half of play when he nailed four of five shots from behind the arc. Point guard Jeremy Fears scored 14, and Williams added 11.
The Cats won the battle of the boards 35-30, Rondo snared seven rebounds. Sims and Perry each grabbed six rebounds for the Cats, five of Perry's boards and all of Sims' board came off the offensive glass. Ohio's Williams took game high rebounding honors with nine.
Kentucky improved its record to 9-3 on the season, while Ohio falls to 6-2. The game was number 2,500 all time for the Wildcats, who have won 1,912 of those contests.
Crawford leads Cats to victory
AllWildcats Top Stories
RECAP: No. 11 UCLA 97, No. 1 Kentucky 92LEXINGTON, Ky. -- To solidify their early-season reputation as one of the fastest teams in college basketball, UCLA had to visit the thoroughbred racing capital of the world on…
AllWildcatsYesterday at 1:16 PM
Bluebloods Ready To RunOne school leads the nation in all-time wins at 2,212. The other leads in national championships at 11. They've got 34 Final Four appearances between them, split down the middle at…
AllWildcatsFriday at 4:31 PM
A Flurry Of Offers for 2019 CB D.J. Turner IID.J. Turner II has emerged as one of the top defensive backs in Georgia for 2019. He has picked up half a dozen offers and you can get the latest here...
Scout FootballThursday at 12:31 PM
Three-Point Arc: Top Performances in Cal EraKentucky's awe-inspiring performance in a 115-69 romp over Arizona State on Monday night in the Bahamas left Big Blue Nation with a burning question: Where did the No. 1 Wildcats'…
AllWildcatsTuesday at 11:50 AM
Sports Illustrated Now Included in MembershipScout and Sports Illustrated have partnered to give All Wildcats annual subscribers a tremendous offer that brings our readers the best of UK, national and world sports.