The Wildcats (19-8, 8-5 Southeastern Conference) came back from a 16-point deficit to avert their first four-game losing streak since the 1990 season when they lost five in a row.
LSU (14-13, 3-10) dropped its 11th straight at Rupp Arena and almost certainly must win the SEC tournament to advance to the NCAA tourney a year after making the Final Four.
However, the last-place team in the
SEC West certainly gave the Wildcats a scare, even without its leading scorer.
didn't make the trip to
jumper tied the game at 58 with five minutes left, but Ramel Bradley followed
with an underhanded layup to put
Morris got his ninth double-double
of the year, adding 10 rebounds. His point total also made him the 53rd player
to score at least 1,000 points in his
Meeks was 3-of-5 from 3-point
range, all momentum changers in a game that started off dangerously for
The Wildcats scored from the field only once in the opening eight minutes, missing 11 of their first 12 shots before Morris banked in a second-chance layup.
LSU wasn't much better but used a 10-0 run to build an early 13-4 lead. The Tigers would stretch the lead to 16 points with just over seven minutes left, but the Wildcats chipped away - and got a big boost from a technical foul on LSU coach John Brady.
Brady's technical, assessed for
arguing a five-second call, resulted in five quick points for Meeks, who made
both free throws and hit a 3-pointer on
Bobby Perry opened the second half
with a 3 to give
LSU Head Coach John Brady
"I thought our team played hard and
played with some heart. We just didn't execute down the stretch. Our team has
some depth issues, and we got into some foul trouble. I thought our guys played
well. We had a great start. I thought we gave ourselves a chance, even when
On why his team is struggling this
"Well, the only thing you can say is that I haven't coached them well enough. You can write a column on what you think, but that's all I'm going to say. I'm not going to go into a dissertation about this or that. The bottom line is I haven't given them (his team) what they need to finish a game. Last year, we won every close game. I've never been in this situation. We've watched more game film, taught them more than I can ever remember. I'm not saying we don't have deficiencies, but it's up to the coach to overcome those deficiencies in situations to help his team. We just haven't been able to make the big play, or the critical play or the big shot to win a game like this on the road. They went 11-of-11 at the free-throw line in the second half, and for some reason we couldn't get to the line. Our team, for where we are and what we've gone through I thought our team competed tonight and had an opportunity to win at the end. That's where we want to be, but we just can't win any of them."
#1 Tasmin Mitchell, F
On being intimidated playing
"We weren't really intimidated at all. We just wanted to come in here and play together, and play hard. We did play hard, but we just weren't lucky enough to get the win."
#13 Terry Martin, G
On the atmosphere in Rupp
"Yeah it was loud. We came in here to win. It was tough at times to tone out the crowd which you need to do, but I tried not to let it affect me. I don't think it affected us as much as they (the crowd) just helped them (
On the name
"I was actually thinking about that before the game. I think it is a little bit. When you step on the court, you know the tradition and stuff, but you need to block it out and just do what you need to do to run the offense. We just need to keep in our mind it's just another 5 guys out there."
Kentucky Head Coach Tubby Smith
"We got to playing the type of basketball we want to as far as defending in both halves. They really made shots and we shot the ball poorly. I was really impressed with LSU, especially without Glen Davis. They were able to execute and get things done the way they wanted to get them done. I thought Randolph [Morris] had an outstanding game. He was very active on the boards as well as posting up strong. We found him inside for some shots and he got to the free-throw line. I like the way he shot the ball in the second half from the free-throw line. We did some good things there. I thought Jodie [Meeks] played well tonight. Ramel [Bradley] was very aggressive in taking the ball to the basket. Again, we took care of the ball better than we had in the last few games. We shot the ball better in the second half and that's what helped us with the comeback. It's going to take a much better effort at Vanderbilt. They're playing extremely well. It was a good win to get back on the winning track and back in Rupp Arena with a crowd that really gave us a big lift."
On the team's slow start to begin
"We did some of the things we wanted to do. We got the ball inside early on, but we just missed some easy shots inside."
On whether he thought that the team
looked lethargic in the early minutes...
"No, I thought we played hard. When you aren't making shots, that makes you look lethargic. It's hard dealing with the press. I thought we played pretty hard. I thought Joe [Crawford] had a very good game. I thought everybody else was really up-beat."
On the play of freshman Jodie Meeks...
"He's active and he's always on the move. He did a good job of making his free throws. He's always good off the ball. Again, he's very athletic and I think the players trust in him that he's going to make something good happen."
#3 Ramel Bradley
On the importance of the team's win over LSU...
"It's very important. We lost three in a row and I felt that it was crucial to come in and get the win tonight."
On the key to the
"I think it was the intensity we had on defense and our pressure in the backcourt. We were forcing [LSU] to commit turnovers and we were forcing them to call time outs."
On the team's remaining three
"We have a great opportunity in front of us. It can be hard when you want to do well and you feel that pressure. It can make you get a bit down."
On being behind early in the game...
"I really didn't notice that we were down by 16. We don't let it affect how we played. Eventually our shots started falling and we made a run."
On the play of freshman Jodie
"He gave us a big lift that we needed. Some players were having a tough game offensively, and he came in and picked up the slack."
On becoming the 53rd member of the
school's 1,000-point club...
"It's obviously a great honor to be the 53rd person to do that. I'm personally honored and happy I could do that.
On the difference in the
"I think we wore them down. They didn't have as many subs as other teams we've played. I think that was a big part of us wearing them down."
On the spark he provided off the bench...
"At that point, we needed a little bit of energy. We were taking good shots, they just weren't falling. When I came in, I hit a few shots to give us a spark. I'm confident in our team's shooting. Hitting shots gets our confidence going."
On the momentum of the
"We never get down on ourselves. We have confidence the confidence to come back. The momentum we gained right before the half gave us our confidence back for the second half."
On snapping a three-game losing
streak with the win...
"Nobody likes losing. You have to forget about the losses and go to practice to get ready for the next game."
On Coach Tubby Smith's half-time advice...
"Coach [Tubby Smith] told us not to rush the game and to let the game come to us. That's what we did in the second half. If we play tough defense, we're a tough team to beat. We definitely brought the intensity the second half."
On the play of freshman Jodie
"Jodie is a gifted person and blessed with athletic ability. He's smart in the classroom and when he brings his smarts and skills to the court, he's a strong, productive player."
On the team's game against
Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. EST Sunday...
"This week we are going to get our legs back, get focused and practice hard so we can go down and compete with a strong Vandy team. They just came off the win against
On the intensity of the
"The key is to continue the intensity. Ramel [Bradley] stuck with it through the whole game. Randolph [Morris] played strong tonight too. Everybody was ready and willing to play strong defensively and offensively."