NO. 8 KENTUCKY 63, NO. 15 ALABAMA 46

Tide's offensive problems continue


Published: Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 12:59 a.m.
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Alabama's Emmett Thomas has his shot blocked by Kentucky's Jules Camara.

(NYT Regional Newspapers)
TUSCALOOSA - Gerald Fitch scored 16 points and No. 8 Kentucky kept No. 15 Alabama in a freefall, beating the Crimson Tide 63-46 on Saturday night and ending its school-record 28-game home winning streak.
The Wildcats (15-3, 5-0 SEC) shut down Alabama (12-5, 2-4) for their ninth consecutive win. It's Kentucky's longest winning streak since winning the final 13 games and the national title in 1998 and the first four games of the following season.
Alabama, which shot 10-of-42 (23.8 percent), was ranked No. 1 just four weeks ago and has lost four of its last five, including three straight.
By the end, Kentucky was getting uncontested shots nearly every time down the court.
Marquis Estill and Keith Bogans scored 12 points apiece, with all of Bogans' points coming in the second half.
Alabama's stars, meanwhile, were non-factors. Erwin Dudley and Kenny Walker were a combined 0-for-13 shooting for nine points inside. Leading scorer Mo Williams was 2-for-9 for eight points.
Emmett Thomas led the Tide with 13 points. Dudley and Walker did have success on the boards, getting 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively.
Alabama committed 15 turnovers and forced only seven, and was saved from an even bigger losing margin only by a 22-of-30 performance at the free-throw line.
The Tide cut it to 34-29 on Antoine Pettway's layup with 16:15 left. Alabama missed its next 10 shots and managed one point in a span of 13 possessions before Pettway's 3-pointer with 7:12 to play.
The Tide's only other field goal the rest of the way was Williams' layup with 1:40 left with the game already out of reach.
Alabama had a similar stretch of offensive futility in the first half.
The Tide went nearly 12 minutes without a field goal.
but still trailed only 26-21 at halftime.
The Tide finally found a way to score, hitting six straight free throws in the final 2:43 after missing a dozen shots in a row. Alabama shot 5-for-22 in the half - even with Winston making both his shots off the bench - and was outscored 16-4 in the paint.

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