Bama shames UK, 68-64


Alabama's Jermareo Davidson goes inside Kentucky's Randolph Morris for two of his game-high 28 points during the second half on Saturday in Lexington, Ky. Davidson added eight rebounds in the 68-64 win, while Morris led Kentucky with 19 points.

The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, January 15, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 15, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Jermareo Davidson is quickly helping Alabama adjust to life without Chuck Davis.
The junior center had 18 of his career-high 28 points in the second half to lead the Crimson Tide to a 68-64 victory Saturday over Kentucky, whose free fall continued with a third straight loss - the last two at home.
It is the first time Kentucky lost two straight in Rupp Arena since 1989. The Wildcats were blown out a week ago at Kansas in the worst loss in coach Tubby Smith's nine seasons, then lost Tuesday in Vanderbilt's only win ever at Rupp Arena. Kentucky dropped out of the Top 25 last week, snapping the nation's second-longest current streak of poll appearances.
"Its a gut-wrenching thing and it will continue to snowball if we don't get it under control," Smith said.
Davidson's play provided a major boost for Alabama (9-6, 2-1 Southeastern Conference), which will have to play the rest of the season without Davis, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament last Saturday against Mississippi. The senior foward was a candidate for national player of the year honors, and without him the Crimson Tide lost to Ole Miss before bouncing back to defeat archrival Auburn on Sunday.
"We just wanted to come out and play hard for him," Davidson said. "We realized that it can be over any day now, so we feed off him."
The victory was only the 10th by Alabama in 60 meetings with the Wildcats in Lexington. Kentucky (10-6, 0-2) hadn't lost three straight since 1999.
"I'm proud of our guys," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "I think our players just decided to rally, play hard and do everything they can to give themselves a chance to win."
Davidson dominated a late 12-0 run for the Tide, and both teams had 10-0 runs earlier. There were 12 lead changes.
Smith, concerned about Alabama's size advantage, started a bigger lineup that out-rebounded the Tide 32-21. But in the end, there was no answer for Davidson, who seemed to make every big shot and gave Alabama its lead for good with a minute left, scoring on a three-point play.
  • GEORGIA 64, SOUTH CAROLINA 61, OT: Levi Stukes's 3-pointer as time expired in overtime lifted Georgia on the road.
    Stukes led the Bulldogs (11-5, 1-2) with 20 points, including six of 14 3-pointers.
    The Gamecocks (9-7, 0-3) led by two before Mike Mercer's baseline jumper as the shot clock expired with 47.3 seconds to go tied it up.
    Mercer then knocked the ball away from Tre Kelley at halfcourt, setting up the final possession for Georgia.
    Sundiata Gaines then penetrated and kicked it back out to Stukes, who hit nothing but net over an onrushing Renaldo Balkman as the Bulldogs snapped a four-game losing streak to the Gamecocks.
    South Carolina was led by Balkman, who came off the bench to score 14 points.
    The Bulldogs scored 11 straight points early in the second half behind a trio of 3-pointers - two by Stukes - to erase a four-point halftime deficit and go up 39-34.
    But Balkman scored seven points to spark a 9-0 run that gave the Gamecocks a 43-41 lead with 12:37 remaining on Balkman's layup off an inbounds play. After that, there were seven lead changes and three ties as the teams headed into overtime.
    Brandon Wallace's three-point play with 1:17 remaining in regulation gave South Carolina a 55-54 advantage, but Gaines hit one of two foul shots 12 seconds later to tie it.
    Both teams had a chance to win at the end of the second half. But Gaines missed a jumper just inside the top of the key with about five seconds left and Tre Kelley missed desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.
    Georgia ran out to a 15-7 lead as the Gamecocks committed eight turnovers in the first 9 minutes. But South Carolina committed just two turnovers the rest of the first half and put together an 18-5 run to grab a 32-28 halftime lead.
  • LSU 88, TENNESSEE 74: Glen Davis had 24 points and Tyrus Thomas was one rebound and one blocked shot shy of a triple double as host LSU defeated Tennessee.
    Davis, who also grabbed 10 rebounds, scored 18 of his points in the second half.
    Thomas made all seven of his shots from the floor and all three of his free throw attempts to score 17 points in addition to his nine rebounds and nine blocked shots. Tasmin Mitchell had 13 points, while Darrel Mitchell had 11 and Darnell Lazare had 10. The Tigers (10-5, 2-0 SEC) shot a season-best 65 percent from the field.
    C.J. Watson led Tennessee (11-2, 2-1) with 16 points, but his backcourt mate Chris Lofton scored just two - 15 points below his per game average. Stanley Asumnu had 15 points for the Vols, while Major Wingate had 13 and Andre Patterson had 10.
  • ARKANSAS 78, VANDERBILT 66: Jonathon Modica scored 19 points, and Arkansas pulled away late in the second half at home.
    The Commodores (11-3, 2-1) trailed by 11 at halftime, but rallied to tie it at 55 with just over 7 minutes remaining, on Derrick Byars' 3-pointer. Arkansas answered with an 11-2 run.
    Darian Townes made two free throws, a dunk and a shot from the low post, putting the Razorbacks ahead 61-57. Modica's 3-point play with 4:31 remaining made it 64-57, and Modica added a transition layup on Arkansas' next possession to push the lead to nine.
    Shan Foster scored 22 points for Vanderbilt, 17 in the second half. Byars had 17 points and six assists.
    Reserve Charles Thomas scored 15 points for the Razorbacks, and Ronnie Brewer added nine points and 11 rebounds. Arkansas (12-4, 1-2) outrebounded Vanderbilt 39-20.The Razorbacks led 34-23 after an inspired first half in which they held Vanderbilt to 9-of-24 shooting.
  • MISSISSIPPI 75, MISSISSIPPI ST. 65: Todd Abernethy scored nine of his 22 points in the final minutes to help Mississippi snap an eight-game losing streak to the Bulldogs.
    Dwayne Curtis added 17 points and eight rebounds for Ole Miss (13-3, 3-0), which extended its best start since 2001-02, when the Rebels earned their most recent NCAA tournament berth.
    Charles Rhodes had 24 points to lead Mississippi State (11-5, 1-2), which lost its second straight. Jamont Gordon added 11 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
    Ronald Steele had 14 points and Brandon Hollinger added 10 for the Crimson Tide.
    The Wildcats had led 64-63 on consecutive 3-pointers by Ramel Bradley and Ravi Moss and a driving layup by Rajon Rondo. Bradley later missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game and Kentucky was called for a shot-clock violation on another key possession.
    "I think we're playing better, we just need to focus at the end of the game," Kentucky guard Joe Crawford said. "I don't think we're as aggressive as we are in the first half. We were attacking the basket more."
    Most of the first-half offense came from Randolph Morris, who was suspended for the first 14 games of the season because of his association with a sports agency. He made his first start and led Kentucky with 19 points.
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