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Bradley’s Second-Half Surge Lifts Kentucky to 82-74 Win

Bradley’s Second-Half Surge Lifts Kentucky to 82-74 Win

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -Ramel Bradley scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half, and Kentucky rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat Arkansas 82-74 Saturday.

The Wildcats have now won seven straight in the series. They came from 18 down last season to beat the Razorbacks.

Arkansas led 45-31 in the second half and 49-41 after Sonny Weems finished a fast break with a thunderous two-handed dunk. But Kentucky (17-5, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) was relentless, consistently beating Arkansas (14-8, 3-5) to rebounds and loose balls.

The Wildcats took a 54-53 lead on Jodie Meeks’ transition layup after Randolph Morris blocked a shot. They eventually pushed the lead to eight at 63-55.

The Razorbacks scored the next five points, but Bradley answered with a 3-pointer and Meeks stole a pass and went for a one-handed dunk to make it 68-60 with 3:12 remaining.

The Wildcats didn’t flinch down the stretch, and Bradley dribbled out the final few seconds. He then taunted the Arkansas fans by holding his hands up behind his ears as if straining to hear them.

Freshman Patrick Beverley led the Razorbacks with 25 points.

Bradley’s 24 points were a career high, and he added six rebounds and five assists. Meeks finished with 15 points, and Morris added 14.

Weems scored 14 for Arkansas, and Steven Hill and freshman Stefan Welsh had 13 each. Gary Ervin had six assists for the Razorbacks but was held scoreless. Darian Townes had nine points and 10 rebounds.

Arkansas shot 54 percent from the field, but Kentucky shot 53 percent. The Wildcats had 11 offensive rebounds, nine in the second half.

The Razorbacks have struggled with turnovers all season, and this game was no exception. They finished with 19.

Arkansas forward Charles Thomas, who is averaging 11.9 points, sat out with a strained right shoulder.

Arkansas had trouble with Kentucky’s press early and looked stagnant against a zone defense. At one point, the Razorbacks became so bogged down Hill had to try his first career 3-point attempt with the shot clock running down. The 7-footer missed, and Joe Crawford dunked at the other end to put Kentucky ahead 21-15.

But Arkansas went on a 17-2 run over a span of about five minutes, taking a 35-28 lead on Welsh’s 3-pointer with 1:02 remaining.

The Razorbacks led 35-30 at the half, then Hill scored the first two baskets of the second. His alley-oop dunk from Ervin made it 39-30.

Kentucky has won 33 of its last 35 against the SEC West, including a 4-0 mark this season. Arkansas is 0-4 against the East.

All three of Arkansas’ SEC wins this season were against ranked teams.

Arkansas’ Vincent Hunter was called for an intentional foul against Bobby Perry under the basket early in the first half.

Download: uk box.pdf

Sports Category : Basketball (M)