Here in Oxford for tonight’s Kentucky-Ole Miss matchup. Tipoff is 9 p.m. on ESPN. Follow my twitter updates at @johnclayiv.
Final: Kentucky 87, Ole Miss 74
– 2H-2:25: Kentucky now up 80-74. Noel has nine blocked shots. Wiltjer leads UK with 26 points. Goodwin has 22.
– 2H-3:50: Great block by Noel after Harrow hit a three to put UK up 76-72.
– 2H-4:22: Ole Miss is on a 16-0 run and has cut UK lead to 73-72. Cats have gone nearly six minutes without a point.
– At 6:40 mark, Noel has 4 fouls. Polson, Mays and Harrow each have 3. Cats have gone 3:36 without scoring a point.
– 2H-7:32: Ole Miss scores six straight points to cut the lead to 73-62 and Calipari calls time. Buckner and Holloway starting to become more active. UK has gone nearly three minutes without a point.
– 2H-11:27: Kentucky has zoomed out to a 71-56 lead with a terrific second half so far. UK has made 13 of 18 shots this half and has outscored the Rebels 34-18. Wiltjer leads Kentucky with 26 points. Goodwin has 16. Kentucky is shooting 58.1 percent for the game at this point.
– At 15:59 mark, Henderson is 5-of-15.
– 2H-16:41: Good start to second half as Kentucky now up 51-46. After scoring 17 points in first half, Kyle Wiltjer has already scored 7 points this half. Hit a pair of three-pointers. Mays just scored on a drive to the basket. Ole Miss’ shooting percentage is up to 32 percent.
– Ole Miss shot 29.5 percent from the floor in the first half but took a one-point lead to intermission. Part of that was UK’s terrible foul shooting. The Cats were 10-of-20 from the foul line in the first 20 minutes. Plus, Kentucky battled foul trouble. Polson has three fouls. Poythress, Harrow and Mays each picked up two fouls in the first half.
Meanwhile, Ole Miss gunner Marshall Henderson made just four of 14 shots in the first half. The junior was one-of-seven from three-point range. He did make seven of nine free throws and has 16 points. LaDarius White scored 15 for the Rebels.
Kyle Wiltjer was UK’s best player in the first half. Wiltjer had 17 points in the first half. But Kentucky is getting killed on the boards. Ole Miss had 14 offensive rebounds to 19 defensive rebounds for the Cats.
– Halftime: Ole Miss 38, Kentucky 37
– 1H-2:35: Kentucky is shooting 42 percent. Ole Miss is shooting 28 percent. And Ole Miss is up 32-29. UK is nine of 18 from the foul line.
– 1H-7:48 – Game tied 19-19. Ole Miss has made just five of 24 shots for 20.8 percent. Kentucky is six-of-17 for 35 percent. Jarrod Polson has given UK an early lift. Kentucky is 1-of-8 on 3s. Ole Miss is 1-of-5.
– 1H-11:53: Ole Miss up 12-10 on foul-plagued Kentucky. The Cats have already been called for nine team fouls. Several players have two fouls. In fact, Calipari put Poythress back in the game with two fouls. Ole Miss has made just three of 14 shots to this point.
– 1H-15:15: Ole Miss up 7-6 as White hits a three to put the Rebels up. Kentucky had a 6-4 lead even though Alex Poythress picked up two fouls in first two minutes. Archie Goodwin started out guarding Marshall Henderson, who picked up a foul from Poythress while throwing up a three-pointer. Henderson hit two of three free throws for game’s first points. Remember, Ole Miss made just four of 17 free throws in win at Auburn on Saturday.
– Ole Miss students barely made it through National Anthem. Much hotting and hollering. Can barely contain themselves.
– UK starters Noel, Goodwin, Poythress, Harrow and Mays.
– Pre-game highlight music is Gary Clark, Jr. “You’re going to know my name by the end of the night.” Nice touch.
– Kentucky has lost two straight here in Oxford. UK lost 71-69 here in 2011, the game in which Darius Miller passed up a late open shot. And UK lost here in 2009, the infamous Billy Gillispie/Jeannine Edwards “bad question” game. The last UK coach to win in Oxford was Tubby Smith, who coached UK to a 68-58 win here in 2007.
– Video board is showing fans that have not put on their “Rebels Hoops” t-shirt and other fans are booing them in hopes of getting them to put shirts on.
– Told that approximately 4,000 Ole Miss students lined up hoping to get into tonight, but only 1,800 were admitted.
– If you have not heard, UK fan extraordinare Ashley Judd and her husband are splitting.
– Willie Cauley-Stein is not playing tonight. He did make the trip and participated in shootaround earlier today, but will not play, according to UK.
– Officials for tonight are Joe Lindsay, Michael Roberts and Jim Burr.