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Kentucky maintains its mastery over Tar Heels

©Associated Press

December 8, 2002


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- There still appears to be a wide gap between the winningest programs in college basketball.

Gerald Fitch and Marquis Estill scored all Kentucky's points during an 18-2 run to start the second half as the 18th-ranked Wildcats defeated No. 12 North Carolina 98-81 Saturday.

Kentucky have beaten the Tar Heels, programs that have combined for 3,615 wins, for three straight seasons by 17, 20 and 17.

"They have a couple of things we don't have," said North Carolina coach Matt Doherty, 0-3 against the Wildcats. "They have talented big guys who can score."

Fitch finished with a career-high 25 points, and Estill and Keith Bogans added 20 each for the Wildcats, who made 10 of 16 3-pointers to beat the young Tar Heels.

"We take pride in this, especially when you beat North Carolina in North Carolina; that's huge," said Fitch, who was 7-for-10 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.

"In the second half we went down low and they lost their confidence," Fitch said. "When we took the lead they weren't attacking as much and they weren't as aggressive."

North Carolina lost its second straight since jumping into the Top 25. The Tar Heels, who won eight last season, lost to Illinois by 27 Tuesday night.

"It's better to learn from a win than a loss, but these two games helped us," said freshman Sean May, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds. "We've just got to keep fighting."

NO. 1 ARIZONA 89, SAN DIEGO ST. 81: Will Bynum scored 19 and Rick Anderson had 17 points and 10 rebounds as the visiting Wildcats held on for their narrowest victory margin this season.

Arizona, which won its first three by an average of 36 points, beat the Aztecs even though its best players, Luke Walton and Jason Gardner, had off nights. Gardner, who averages 17.3 points, scored nine. Walton scored seven, three more than his average this season but well below the 15.7 he averaged last season.

NO. 2 TEXAS 100, GW 92: James Thomas had a career-high 26 points, added 10 rebounds and led two second-half runs as the visiting Longhorns advanced to today's championship of the BB&T Classic against Notre Dame.

Texas led 76-73 before Brian Boddicker scored on a tip-in and Thomas followed with a three-point play to make it 81-73 with 3:52 left, effectively ending the Colonials' upset bid.

NO. 3 ALABAMA 77, ST. B'VENTURE 68: Erwin Dudley tied a career high with 28 points and had 17 rebounds to lead the Crimson Tide to a school-record 23rd straight home victory.

Alabama has not lost at Coleman Coliseum since the end of the 2001 season, eclipsing its 22-game streak starting in 1971. The Tide outrebounded the undersized Bonnies 62-39 and scored 40 in the paint.

NO. 4 DUKE 81, MICHIGAN 59: Daniel Ewing and Dahntay Jones had 17 points each as the host Blue Devils beat the Wolverines for the fifth straight time. Duke converted 25 turnovers into 26 points with a suffocating defense that made up for 3-for-18 3-point shooting.

It was the second matchup between Michigan coach Tommy Amaker and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski. Amaker was a starter for Krzyzewski from 1983-87 and spent nine years as an assistant coach at Duke before going to Seton Hall in 1997.

NO. 5 PITT 82, PENN ST. 60: Donatas Zavackas hit three unguarded 3-pointers early in the second half to give the visiting Panthers a comfortable lead, and Pittsburgh extended the Nittany Lions' worst start in 71 years to 0-5.

NO. 6 OKLAHOMA 92, HARTFORD 52: Ebi Ere scored a career-high 33 and Hollis Price had 17 to lead the host Sooners. Oklahoma bounced back from a lackluster 75-63 victory over Prairie View last week, taking control with an 11-3 run midway through the first half.

NO. 7 OREGON 84, NO. 14 KANSAS 78: Luke Ridnour had 25 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds as the host Ducks avenged last season's NCAA Tournament loss. Fellow guard Luke Jackson had 26 points and nine rebounds for Oregon, which fought off a second-half rally.

NO. 10 INDIANA 91, ILL.-CHICAGO 62: Jeff Newton had a career-high 25 points and 12 rebounds, and the host Hoosiers blocked eight shots. Bracey Wright scored 16 and Tom Coverdale added 14 as Indiana overcame 8-for-25 3-point shooting.

NO. 11 UCONN 97, WAGNER 85: Emeka Okafor had 23 points and a career-high 19 rebounds to lead the host Huskies. Okafor also had eight blocks for Connecticut, which outrebounded the Seahawks 55-33 and scored 27 off second chances.

NO. 13 MARQUETTE 101, APPY ST. 78: Dwyane Wade scored 31 for the host Golden Eagles, which used a 27-3 run to pull away.

NO. 15 MISSOURI 78, USC 72: Arthur Johnson had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and the Tigers overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half in the John Wooden Classic in Anaheim, Calif.

NO. 16 XAVIER 50, CINCINNATI 44: David West scored 23 as the visiting Musketeers held on. Xavier has won five of the past seven games in the crosstown series.

NO. 23 WISCONSIN 91, UNLV 74: Freshman Alando Tucker made the most of his first career start with 24 points and 18 rebounds as the host Badgers handed the Rebels their first loss.

NO. 24 MISS. ST. 78, LA. TECH 38: Michael Ignerski had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the host Bulldogs, who held the Techsters scoreless for nearly 11 minutes.

NO. 25 ILLINOIS 62, ARKANSAS 58: Razorbacks point guard Eric Ferguson's turnover with 2.9 seconds left allowed the visiting Illini to escape.

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