LEX 18 True Blue Coverage

Feb 12, 2014 11:01 PM

Kentucky Pulls Away From Auburn In 64-56 Win

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Andrew Harrison scored 16 points to help No. 14 Kentucky overcome shooting struggles and hold on for a 64-56 victory over Auburn on Wednesday night.

The Wildcats (19-5, 9-2 Southeastern Conference) won their fourth consecutive game despite making just 17 of 55 shots (30.8 percent).

They made 9 of 12 free throws over the final 2 minutes to put away the Tigers (11-11, 3-8) while scoring 16 points below their season average.

Julius Randle had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Kentucky, which held a commanding 49-36 advantage in rebounding. Aaron Harrison scored 10 points.

Chris Denson, the SEC's leading scorer, led Auburn with 26 points, including 17 in the second half. KT Harrell was 2-of-15 shooting and missed all seven 3-point attempts to finish with seven points, 12 below his average.

Harrell had made at least one 3-pointer in every game coming in. Shot-blocking center Asauhn Dixon-Tatum fouled out after playing just 12 minutes, failing to score and managing two rebounds.

Auburn has dropped two straight since a three-game winning streak.

The Wildcats didn't take control until the final 8 minutes when they started getting the ball inside and were able to keep possessions alive with rebounds.

Kentucky grabbed 22 offensive boards. The Wildcats also attempted 40 free throws, making 25.

The Harrison brothers combined to score the last seven points of a 9-0 run that put the Wildcats ahead 50-42.

Auburn came as close as five points when Denson hit a basket and free throw to snap a field goal drought of 4:31 for the Tigers.

Auburn had trailed by nine points early in the second half before going on a 16-4 run. Allen Payne's putback with 11:29 left gave the Tigers a 38-35 lead.

The Wildcats, who came in averaging 79.5 points per game, didn't make a field goal in the final seven minutes of the opening half. They still led 28-22 over Auburn, which couldn't sink a basket over the final four minutes.

Both teams had their offensive struggles.

Kentucky held Auburn to 2-of-16 shooting from 3-point range after holding Mississippi State to just one over the weekend.

The Tigers were 0 of 15 in last season's meeting.

Calipari turned to seniors Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson for a spark against Mississippi State, saying most of the Wildcats "just went through the motions of playing."

This time Polson played 11 minutes and hit a timely 3-pointer. Hood didn't see action.

Calipari started five freshmen for the fourth straight game, all wins. This was the second straight when Kentucky failed to reach 70 points.

James Young made 1 of 10 shots for four points but also had six rebounds.

Auburn backup center Matthew Atewe had six points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots. He also fouled out after getting called for a late technical.

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