Thursday, January 03, 2002

UK washes over Wave

Cats make 16 3s, overpower Tulane

The Associated Press

Jules Camara shoots a jumper over the defense of Tulane's Brandon Brown.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
        LOUISVILLE — Kentucky coach Tubby Smith wasn't about to take it easy on Tulane and former assistant coach Shawn Finney.

        The sixth-ranked Wildcats (9-2) opened the game with a 19-4 run and ended it with a 15-3 spurt to beat the Green Wave 101-67 Wednesday night in their annual game in Freedom Hall, home of archrival Louisville.

        Tayshaun Prince scored 22 points and Keith Bogans and Gerald Fitch each had 16 as Kentucky won its third straight since an overtime loss to top-ranked Duke on Dec.18.

        “We were very active and got off to a fast start,” said Smith, who had Finney on his staff for nine years at Tulsa, Georgia and Kentucky before he left to take over the Tulane program two years ago.

        “Shawn has done a good job and has a good team. But our depth and talent just wore them down.”

        Rashaad Carruth had 11 points and Cliff Hawkins had 10 points and five assists for the Wildcats, who shot 50 percent overall and made a season-high 16 3-pointers.

        “The guys are coming together and starting to play unselfishly,” said Smith, who beat his own mentor — Louisville coach Rick Pitino — for the first time in six tries last weekend. “The chemistry is good and that's a good sign.”

        Waitari Marsh had 12 points and Brandon Brown and Brandon Spann each had 11 for the Green Wave (8-3), who have dropped two straight and remain one victory away from last season's total.

        Kentucky shot 50 percent to Tulane's 41 percent and outrebounded the smaller Green Wave 44-32, including a 23-15 margin at the offensive end. The Wildcats also scored 31 points off 18 turnovers.

        “Kentucky is by far the best team we've played this season,” said Finney, whose squad lost 81-65 to No.3 Florida last month. “They definitely are a top-five team that has a chance at being the best in the country.”

        Tulane made only two of its first nine shots as Kentucky took an 11-2 lead with 15:30 to play in the first half.

        The Wildcats extended their lead to 21-9 at the 12-minute mark before the Green Wave finally found their range from the perimeter.

        Tulane cut the lead to eight on several occasions — including 35-27 with 3:57 remaining — but Kentucky outscored the Green Wave 12-3 down the stretch to take the 47-30 halftime lead.

        Kentucky opened the second half with an 18-3 run to go up 65-33 with 15 minutes left.

        Tulane countered with a 17-2 run against Kentucky's reserves to cut the margin to 71-52 with 10 minutes to play but never got within 20 the rest of the way.

        “They were just on, both offensively and defensively,” Finney said. “We fought back and got it down to 18 or 20 but, for whatever reason, relaxed and they popped it back up to 30.”

        Carruth hit three 3-pointers over the final 90 seconds as Kentucky finished with a 15-3 run to reach the 100-point plateau for the second time this season.

        “We're getting better each game, and we know we can't afford to take a night off,” said Bogans, who added five rebounds and three assists. “When we play like we played tonight, it's going to be tough for anyone to beat us.”

        Tulane 3037— 67Kentucky 4754—101

        Attendance—16,101. 3-point goals— Tulane 6-20 (Br. Brown 0-1, Spann 2-8, Marsh 2-2, Pjevcevic 1-3, Kinzer 0-3, Johnson 0-2, Parker 1-1), Kentucky 16-32 (Prince 2-3, Hawkins 2-3, Fitch 2-4, Bogans 3-6, Carruth 3-6, Carrier 1-3, Daniels 0-1, Chiles 0-2, Hayes 1-2, Estill 1-1, Heissenbuttel 1-1). Technical fouls— None. Officials—John Clougherty, J.B. Caldwell, Mike Thibodeaux.


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