Sunday, January 14, 2001

Kentucky 82, Notre Dame 71


Prince plays best game of season

The Associated Press

        LEXINGTON, Ky. — Tayshaun Prince couldn't hide an ear-to-ear grin as he dribbled across the frontcourt with time ticking down Saturday in Kentucky's 82-71 victory over No.25 Notre Dame.

        He had been called passive during Kentucky's uncharacteristic 3-5 start, then was overshadowed by younger teammates during the Wildcats' recent five-game winning streak.

        But the lanky swingman put together his best all-around game of the season Saturday with 19 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots as he and his teammates muscled past the Irish.

        “I think I had a great game both offensively and defensively,” Prince said. “I really wanted to attack the offensive glass and get inside and get some shots in the paint instead of settling for outside jump shots.

        “I knew if I wanted to perform the way I did today, I'd have to go in there upbeat and with some intensity.”

        Keith Bogans had 14 points, and freshmen Gerald Fitch and Erik Daniels had 13 and 10 for Kentucky (9-5).

        The victory was the sixth straight for the Wildcats, who next are home vs. No.4 Tennessee, then travel to No.20 Ole Miss and No.16 Alabama.

        “We've got to keep winning,” Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. “We've got five losses, so we've got to stay very focused.”

        Troy Murphy scored a season-low 14 points to lead five players in double figures for Notre Dame (9-5). Mur phy, who came in averaging 24 points, made only six of 15 shots, but pulled down 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.

        David Graves had 13 points, Ryan Humphrey and Martin Ingelsby 12 each, and Matt Carroll 11 for Notre Dame, which has lost three of its last four games.

        “I think we came in here very ready to play, which wasn't the case at Syracuse and Seton Hall,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “At this point, I'm a little concerned, but we've had a tough road stretch by anyone's terms.”

        Both teams shot less than 41 percent from the floor and less than 33 percent from behind the 3-point line as bodies flew at every loose ball. Prince was in the thick of it all, showing an aggressiveness and an emotional intensity rarely seen this season.

        He battled inside for rebounds at both ends of the floor, many times tapping the ball to himself or an open teammate. He knifed down the lane to tap in several missed shots. He used his long arms and wiry frame to harass Murphy every time he touched the ball.

        “Tayshaun is a gamer and a multitalented player,” Smith said. “Today, I was most impressed with his defensive effort. He can guard anyone, from the point guard to the center, with some degree of success.

        “He's really maturing. You can tell by his attitude and his demeanor. He's been more aggressive and more physical lately.”

        The Wildcats missed their first six shots as Notre Dame took a 14-4 lead.

        But Kentucky's second team of Daniels, J.P. Blevins, Cliff Hawkins, Marquis Estill and Marvin Stone then forced seven consecutive turnovers and held the Irish scoreless on 11 straight possessions during a 13-0 run to give the Wildcats a 17-14 lead.

        Back-to-back 3-pointers by Graves gave Notre Dame a 24-21 lead with 4:30 remaining. Kentucky then closed out the half with a 12-2 run, capped by 3-pointers by Prince and Fitch, to take a 33-26 lead.

        “Their pressure put us on our heels,” Brey said. “They stepped it up in that first half and really rattled us.”

        Notre Dame pulled within five points down the stretch but got no closer as Kentucky hit 11 of 12 free throws in the final three minutes. “Kentucky has a lot of weapons,” Humphrey said. “They have the luxury of having a lot of guys who can step up.”


NOTRE DAME (71)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Murphy          36  6-15   2-2  7-11  2  4   14
Humphrey        28  6-14   0-2  6-13  1  2   12
Graves          37  4-15   2-3   1-3  2  3   13
Carroll         36  5-15   0-0   2-6  1  4   11
Ingelsby        40   3-8   4-4   0-3  4  3   12
Jones            8   1-2   0-0   0-0  0  1    2
Swanagan        15   1-1   5-6   1-3  1  3    7
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 26-70 13-17 17-39 11 20   71
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.371, FT-.765. 3-Point Goals:
6-24, .250 (Murphy 0-1, Graves 3-8, Carroll 1-9,
Ingelsby 2-6). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 3
(Humphrey 3). Turnovers: 16 (Graves 5, Humphrey
3, Ingelsby 3, Murphy 3, Carroll, Jones). Steals:
4 (Graves 2, Murphy, Swanagan).


KENTUCKY (82)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Prince          34  7-14   3-4   4-8  2  1   19
Parker          17   3-7   1-2   1-4  1  4    7
Fitch           24   3-8   4-4   2-4  2  0   13
Bogans          23   4-9   5-6   3-6  1  3   14
Smith           23   1-5   0-0   0-3  3  1    3
Hawkins         17   3-6   1-1   0-1  1  2    7
Blevins         16   1-2   0-0   0-1  1  2    3
Daniels         17   3-6   4-4   2-4  2  2   10
Stone           11   0-1   0-0   0-3  1  3    0
Estill          18   2-8   2-2   2-4  1  1    6
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 27-66 20-23 14-38 15 19   82
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.409, FT-.870. 3-Point Goals:
8-24, .333 (Prince 2-6, Fitch 3-6, Bogans 1-5,
Smith 1-5, Blevins 1-1, Daniels 0-1). Team
rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 6 (Prince 2, Estill
2, Bogans, Parker). Turnovers: 12 (Parker 3,
Bogans 2, Estill 2, Stone 2, Blevins, Fitch).
Steals: 6 (Hawkins 3, Estill, Fitch, Smith).
__________________________________
Notre Dame         26   45  -   71
Kentucky           33   49  -   82
__________________________________
Technical fouls: Notre Dame 1 (Swanagan). 
Kentucky 2 (Bogans, Stone).  A: 23,018.
Officials: Curtis Shaw, Tim Higgins, Carl Hess.


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