(7) Kentucky 68

(16-2, 7-0 SEC)

Arkansas 67

(14-6, 2-5 SEC)

    3:30 PM ET, January 29, 2005

    Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville, Arkansas

    1 2 T
    #7UK 32 3668
    ARK 33 3467

    Top Performers

    Kentucky: K. Azubuike 13 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast

    Arkansas: D. Townes 16 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Last-minute shot lifts Wildcats past Razorbacks

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Kentucky players held their breath Saturday as they waited to see whether Eric Ferguson's 3-point attempt at the game's end would fall for an Arkansas victory. But the shot missed, and the Wildcats (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today; No. 7 AP) survived for a 68-67 victory.

    Kentucky's Kelenna Azubuike scored 13 points, Rajon Rondo added 12 and Patrick Sparks added a key basket with 24.2 seconds left that turned out to be the winning shot.

    Eric Ferguson countered Sparks' field goal with a 3-pointer, pulling Arkansas within a point. The Wildcats' Chuck Hayes missed a free-throw try, and Ferguson got the rebound but missed a 3-point try as time ran out.

    The Wildcats have showed again they can escape a close road game with a victory. They pulled out a 53-50 victory at Mississippi on Jan. 19. As the Razorbacks enter the second half of their Southeastern Conference season, they are showing signs they could get the wins they need to qualify for an NCAA Tournament bid.

    Bobby Perry came off the bench to score nine for the Wildcats (16-2, 7-0 Southeastern Conference).

    Ronnie Brewer scored 18 points, Darian Townes added 16 and Olu Famutimi finished with 13 points for Arkansas (14-6, 2-5).

    Kentucky was able to keep fresh legs rotating into the game as Arkansas players became winded.

    "We have a good, deep bench and that helps us control the tempo of the game and keep the pressure on people," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. We are a physical team and we wanted to trap Brewer and defend him hard. We let Brewer off the hook early in the game by fouling. Our game was to be physical with him and wear him down."

    The Razorbacks, lacking a true point guard, relied on Brewer to direct the offense. But Brewer landed awkwardly on his left ankle and went to the sideline at the 10:42 of the second half with the score tied 46-all. By the time he returned, Arkansas trailed 55-50.

    Brewer clearly favored his ankle when he returned, but wasn't a factor. He had just one field goal and four free throws in the second half.

    "A play here and a play there," Arkansas coach Stan Heath said. "It just didn't fall today, for whatever reason."

    Famutimi hit two free throws to make it 55-52.

    Kentucky put together a 9-3 run to take a 64-57 lead with 3:01 left. Rondo hit the last field goal of the run, leaping for an uncontested lay-in.

    Brewer missed underneath, but Famutimi hit a 3-pointer to make it 64-61.

    Perry scored to make it 66-61, but Jonathan Modica converted a three-point play, making it 66-64 with 53.2 seconds left.

    "We made some clutch plays at the end of the game," Smith said. "We had some big stops on the defensive end of the floor. Ferguson had a great look at the basket at the end, but the ball fell just off the rim."

    Heath said Brewer still has some work to do on defense, but credited his effort.

    "Ronnie [Brewer] did well in spots. Because of his ankle injury he wasn't as aggressive when he came back. He still put us in the position we were in too get the win," Heath said.

    Chuck Hayes, the Wildcats' leading rebounder played only five minutes in the first period, wearing a mask to protect a broken nose sustained the previous Tuesday against Tennessee. He had one rebound and two points in the period and finished with four points and two rebounds in 20 minutes.

    Michael Jones went down 50 seconds into the game after scoring the Razorbacks second basket. He didn't return in the period. Heath said Jones suffered a groin injury that needs more evaluation. Heath said Brewer would remain day to day.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 68 67
    FG Made-Attempted 26-46 (.565) 24-66 (.364)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-13 (.385) 3-16 (.188)
    FT Made-Attempted 11-16 (.688) 16-21 (.762)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 14 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 7 4

    2004-05 Season

    » Jan 29, 2005 UK 68, @ARK 67Recap