Top-ranked Wildcats set sights on Rebels

Published February 18, 2012

| Sports Network

The top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats put a couple of lengthy win streaks on the line this afternoon, as they play host to the Ole Miss Rebels in SEC action at Rupp Arena.

John Calipari's Wildcats are sporting the nation's longest current win streak at 17 games and the longest homecourt winning streak at 49 games. Kentucky's lone loss came by one point on the road at Indiana back on December 10th. The Wildcats are 11-0 in SEC play, their best start in-conference since 2003. UK kept its unblemished mark in the league going with last weekend's 69-63 road win at Vanderbilt.

Andy Kennedy's Rebels are five games over .500 overall this season. The conference slate has presented problems however, as the team is one game under that mark at 5-6. Ole Miss has dropped three of its last four outings, including a 102-76 blasting at the hands of Vanderbilt on Thursday.

This marks the 112th all-time meeting in this series. Kentucky holds a sizeable 98-13 edge all-time and is 46-2 when the series is played in Rupp Arena. The two teams split a pair of meetings last year.

The Commodores just proved to be too much for the Rebels to contend with on Thursday night, fueled by a 31-7 first half run that gave Vandy a 25-point lead at the break. Jarvis Summers scored a team-high 14 points in the humbling loss, while Murphy Holloway and Nick Williams chimed in with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Terrance Henry and Reginald Buckner finished with nine points apiece in the losing effort.

Ole Miss isn't the most efficient offensive squad around, putting up a modest 66.1 ppg on .428 shooting. The team has actually struggled from all over the floor, converting just .297 from behind the arc and .596 from the free-throw line. Still, four of the team's five starters are averaging double figures, led by Henry's 11.5 ppg. Holloway gives the team a presence in the paint with 10.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Summers and Williams tack on 10.2 and 10.1 ppg for good measure. Buckner provides limited offensive support at 7.2 ppg, but makes his mark on the glass, where he is hauling in 8.3 caroms per game.

It didn't come easy, but Kentucky kept its winning ways going with a hard- fought road victory at Vanderbilt last weekend. The Wildcats knocked down 48.3 percent of their shots, despite a poor showing from long range (3-of-14). Doron Lamb led four 'Cats in double figures with 16 points. Freshman phenom Anthony Davis finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks. Terrence Jones just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine boards, while Marquis Teague finished with 13 points and eight assists.

The Wildcats are one of the youngest teams in the country, but lethal nonetheless. The team leads the nation in scoring margin (+19.9) and field- goal percentage defense (.358), while ranking 21st in scoring (77.8 ppg) and 10th in scoring defense (57.9 ppg). The 6-10 Davis has been unstoppable from day on. He is shooting .651 from the floor, averaging a near double-double with team-highs of 14.0 points and 9.9 rebounds per game and leads the entire country in blocked shots (4.9 bpg). Lamb is next in the scoring column at 13.7 ppg, followed by Michael Kiddd-Gilchrist (12.3 ppg) and Jones (12.2 ppg). Further depth comes in the form of Teague (9.8 ppg, 4.7 apg) and Darius Miller (9.7 ppg).

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/02/18/top-ranked-wildcats-set-sights-on-rebels/