Alabama Knocks Off Kentucky, 59-55

01/22/2013 09:15 PM

John Calipari said after his team beat Tennessee a week ago that they were a group that was going to have to learn how to withstand a dogfight and that’s exactly what they got in Tuscaloosa Tuesday night. After controlling the first half and entering the break with a nine-point lead, Kentucky’s offense went dry in the second half, scoring only 22 points and eventually falling to Alabama, 59-55.

Sophomore forward Kyle Wiltjer was the early star offensively and would finish with a team-high 14 points, but it was freshman Nerlens Noel that emerged as the team’s most consistent player. Noel finished the game 8 points, 13 rebounds and 7 blocks and set the tone early with an emphatic dunk over Alabama’s seven-foot center Moussa Gueye.

But it was the struggles in the backcourt that again seemed to doom the Cats as Ryan Harrow and Archie Goodwin combined to shoot 5-24 from the field and Goodwin’s decision-making in the second half seemed to leave Kentucky hung out to dry offensively. The freshman shooting guard failed to reach double-digits for the second time in three games and his 2-12 effort left him shooting only 33.8% from the field in SEC play.

The Cats return to action Saturday at home against the SEC’s lone winless team, LSU.

Be sure to watch KSTV Wednesday for a full recap and reaction from UK’s loss in Tuscaloosa.

Thomas Beisner

TJ is an Anchor for Spectrum News. You can catch his work on KSTV, the only nightly show in the state focusing on UK Sports. When it comes to UK Basketball, TJ covers recruiting, the NCAA tournament and everything in between. During March TJ probably sees the players more than he sees his family but he’s able to provide Spectrum News viewers the unique insight that only a lifelong fan can give. He’s also taken on several special programs including “Wildcat Forever: The John Stewart Story.” KSTV airs weeknights at 7:30 and 11pm on Spectrum News. You can also catch podcasts of the show as well as bonus podcasts, just find KSTV on Itunes. For the latest on everything going on with UK Athletics, recruiting or if you just need some hilarious parenting anecdotes follow TJ on Twitter @tjbeisner.

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