Kentucky survives Louisville, 72-61

Louisville appeared to have Kentucky on the ropes when they took a 42-41 lead midway through the second half. The Cats came roaring back behind John Wall to reclaim the lead and held on down the stretch to take down in-state rival Louisville 72-61.

Kentucky trailed only one time during the game, but charged back to take the lead in Kentucky's young team appeared to be on the ropes as the Cards went on what appeared to be a game changing run. The Cards cut a 41-33 Kentucky lead in half when Jared Swopshire hit a short baseline jumper and Peyton Siva stole the inbounds pass under basket for an easy score. Edgar Sosa then tied the game at 41 on a driving layup and a pullup jumper. UL then took a one-point lead on a charity toss by Terrence Jennings.

John Wall answered for Kentucky giving them a 43-42 on a driving off balance layup. After a defensive stop and double dead wall technical fouls on Wall and Jerry Smith it was Wall againi scoring for the Cats, this time on a midrange baseline jumper. After a defensive stop Wall was fouled and hit both charity tosses to give UK the lead at 47-42.

Another Kentucky defensive stop, this one leading to a Smith turnover, led to a Perry Stevenson reverse layup to add two to the Kentucky lead, 49-42.

A pair of Reginald Delk free throws at 7:12 stopped the UK 8-0 run, and cut the lead to 49-44. UL cut the lead to four again as Samardo Samuals hit the first of two free throws, but then missed the second.

Ramon Harris came up big by hitting a three off a Patrick Patterson assist for the Cats to stretch the lead to 52-45, then a Kentucky stop led to a Patrick Patterson basket and one to give the Cat a tenpoint lead 55-45.

Swopshire answered with a three to cut the lead bak to seven on UL's next possession. Wall was knocked tothe floor to earn a trip to the charity stripe, where he hit one of two to give Kentucky an eight point lead, 56-48.

Cousins went to the charity stripe when fouoled while shootinig following a missed Louisville three. Cousins made the first, missed the second, but the miss was nullified by a lane violation. Big Cuz hit the second chance charity toss to stretch the lead back to ten. Frosh Eric Bledsoe then hit a pair of charity tosses to stretch the lead to twelve, 60-48.

Louisville's Jerry Smith scored the next five points, but Cousins answerered in the paint. Samuals countered with a reverse jump hook. Bledsoe was sent to the line by UL at 1:13 and hit both freebies to stretch the lead back to nine. Sosa failed to give up, immediately hitting a drive to the basket to cut the lead to seven, 64-57 with 1:04 left.

Forced to foul the Cards sent Wall to the line, where he hit both attempts to nullify the Sosa layup. A Kentucky stop led to Bledsoe hitting a wide open Cousins running the floor for the dunk. Sosa was then fouled with 31.5 left, hitting both attempts. Bledsoe was fouled on the inbounds pass, he cooly stepped to the line and drained a pair. Sosa was fouled again on a drive, this time by Wall, and hit both attempts. Harris then turned the ball over while inbounding the ball and gave Louisville hope, down nine with 26 seconds remaining.

Sosa shot an airball off the inbounds play.

Kentucky was again sent to the line when Wall was fouled on a Kentucky fast break. Wall, who had earlier left the game with leg cramps in his left calf missed both. Louisville missed several attempts at the basket before was fouled by Harris on a loose ball with 6.1 seconds remaining. Louisville fouled Wall again, the freshman sensation missed the first and hit the second giving Kentucky a 71-62 lead. Sosa then missed a desperation long three as time ran out.

The first half of the game was defensive affair, with baskets for both teams being hard to come by. With 45 seconds gone in the game Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins drew first blood hitting two charity tosses after a skirmish led to a technical foul on Louisville's Jared Swopshire and Reginald Delks and Kentucky's Cousins.

Kentucky jumped out to an 11-1 lead and had a 15-3 lead before Louisville scored on a Samardo Samuals tip at 10:53 for their first field goal of the game.

Jerry Smith hit UL's second FG at around 5:50, and third at 4:48 to pull UL to within 8 at 18-10. This would begin a 7-0 spurt for Louisville, which DeMarcus Cousins ended witha put back dunk to make it 20-12. A wall spinmove layup that resulted in an old fashioned three point play and a DeAndre Liggins tip to Patrick Patterson for a dunk pushed the Cat's lead to 25-12. Jennings answered for the Cards, but Patterson countered with a baseline jumper.

Reginald Delk, Tony Delk's nephew, hit two charity tosses with 7.7 to go, then Kentucky turned the ball over and fouled Preston Knowles as he shot a three with 3.9 to go to allow the Cardinals to score the final five points of the half and pull to within eight points at 27-19.

Louisville came out shooting better in the second half, and trimmed the lead to four less than three and a half minutes into the second half, but back-to-back hoops by Patterson and Wall pushed the lead back to eight at 37-29. A UL timeout set up a play for Samardo Samuals that led to an and-one three point play. The Cats immediately answered with a Cousins dunk and then scored again in the paint on a faseaway following an Edgar Sosa free throw to give the Cats a 41-33 lead.

Kentucky was led in scoring and rebounding by Cousins, who had a game high 18 points and amatching game high 18 boards. Wall and Patterson added 17 points each. Bledsoe rounded out the double figure scorers for the Cats with 12.

Smith and Sosa scored 11 points each, and Swopshire added ten for the Cards. Samuals pulled down nine rebounds for Lousville.

Each team blocked five shots, pulled down 36 rebounds and committed eighteen turnovers.

Kentucky moved to 15-0 and Louisville fell to 10-4 on the season. Kentucky will next take the floor one week from today when they take on the Georgia Bulldogs in Rupp Arena.

The game was played before the largest single game crowd in the history of Rupp Arena.

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