February 9, 2003
OXFORD, Miss. -- If the pollsters are looking for a new No. 1 this week, they might want to consider No. 6 Kentucky.
Erik Daniels scored 20 on 10-for-12 shooting and the Wildcats, playing their 1,000th Southeastern Conference game, overwhelmed Mississippi 80-62 Saturday for their 12th straight victory.
Keith Bogans added 17 points and Gerald Fitch 14 for coach Tubby Smith, who won his 150th game in five-plus seasons at Kentucky.
The Wildcats are on their longest winning streak since 13 in a row in 1998. And they are drawing rave reviews from the competition.
After watching Kentucky blow out No. 1 Florida on Tuesday, Georgia coach Jim Harrick said the Wildcats reminded him of the great UNLV teams of the early 1990s.
Ole Miss coach Rod Barnes called them the best team the SEC has seen in the past two or three years.
Will all the accolades work against the Wildcats?
"I don't think it will give us a big head," Fitch said. "It can feed our confidence. As long as we don't get cocky with it."
Justin Reed scored 14 and David Sanders 13 for the Rebels, who have lost four straight. They have three SEC home losses in a season for the first time since 2000.
Ole Miss had won two of the past three against Kentucky in Oxford. But the Wildcats took the Tad Smith Coliseum crowd out of the game from the start, scoring the first 11. It looked like a continuation of their rout of the Gators in Lexington.
"After a big game we were kind of worried how well we'd respond," said Chuck Hayes, who scored 12 and had five assists. "But we prepared well."
Kentucky's stifling defense allowed Ole Miss to get off six shots in the first eight minutes. The Rebels were scoreless for more than four minutes, and six minutes in they had their top scorers, Aaron Harper and Reed, on the bench with two fouls each.
"They came out on us so good defensively in the first half, and we got in a hole," Sanders said.
NO. 2 ARIZONA 75, WASH. ST. 62: Jason Gardner scored 19 as the Wildcats beat the Cougars for the 36th straight time.
Arizona, which needed overtime to beat Washington on Thursday, remained unbeaten in six Pac-10 road games this season.
The Wildcats have not lost to Washington State since Jan. 30, 1986.
NO. 3 TEXAS 95, TEXAS A&M 87: T.J. Ford had 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and Sydmill Harris added 17 points as the Longhorns held off the Aggies.
Texas, coming off a surprising loss at Colorado last week, won its ninth straight at College Station dating to 1994.
Texas A&M senior guard Bernard King became the Big 12's career scoring leader when he hit a free throw with 11:48 left to give him 1,831 points, surpassing Marcus Fizer's total for Iowa State from 1997-2000.
But King struggled, going 1-of-12 from the field and blowing an open dunk that would have put the Aggies up by seven.
NO. 5 LOUISVILLE 81, HOUSTON 55: Marvin Stone led a balanced attack with 17 points as the visiting Cardinals extended their winning streak to 16.
Louisville (17-1) extended its best start since opening 19-1 in the 1955-56 season. The Cardinals have the nation's longest active winning streak and their longest since winning their final 17 games in 1986, ending with a national title.
Louisville started by pushing around the Cougars inside, then by hitting outside shots. Houston committed 22 turnovers and shot 26 percent from the field.
NO. 7 OKLAHOMA 91, BAYLOR 42: Hollis Price scored 17 and led five players in double figures as the Sooners made a season-high 13 3-pointers en route to their 34th straight home win.
Oklahoma showed no rust from a weeklong layoff, winning by its widest margin since 109-50 over Eastern Illinois in December 2001.
The loss was the Bears' worst since a 50-point romp by Clemson in December 1983.
The Sooners shot a season-best 58 percent in beating Baylor for the 18th straight time. The Bears lost their 22nd straight road game and their 18th straight on the road in Big 12 play.
NO. 12 KANSAS 82, KANSAS ST. 64: Kirk Hinrich scored 28 as the Jayhawks came back to win their 26th straight over their state rival.
Keith Langford had 18 and Aaron Miles 13 for Kansas, which has not lost to the Wildcats since Jan. 17, 1994. The Jayhawks have not lost in Manhattan since Jan. 29, 1983, a span of 20 games.
With 14:13 left and Kansas State leading 47-45, Kansas' Nick Collison picked up his fourth foul. The crowd of 13,340, the second sellout of the season, began to roar in anticipation of an end to the Jayhawks' dominance.
But the Wildcats added only two points to their lead before Miles hit a short jumper, then stole a pass and drove in for a layup to ignite a 14-2 run.
NO. 13 CREIGHTON 88, BRADLEY 65: Michael Lindeman scored a career-high 21 as the Bluejays won their fifth straight game and 13th in a row at home before a sellout crowd of 9,286 at the Civic Auditorium.
Bradley lost for the fourth time in five games.
Lindeman made all five of his 3-pointers, and Creighton finished 13-of-25 from long range.
UT 78, NO. 17 GEORGIA 72: Ron Slay scored 33 and Thaydeus Holden made six free throws down the stretch as the host Volunteers held off the Bulldogs.
Tennessee, now 1-4 against ranked teams, broke a tie and took the lead for good after Slay made the first of two free throws with 2:04 left.
The officiating crew had to cover extra ground late. Referee Bernard Clinton was injured with nine minutes left and limped off, leaving Tony Greene and Ed Corbett to call the game by themselves.
NO. 18 UCONN 84, PROVIDENCE 68: Emeka Okafor had 21 points, Ben Gordon added 20 and the visiting Huskies, playing without their coach and starting point guard, ended an ugly two-game losing streak.
Connecticut played its second game without coach Jim Calhoun, who had surgery to remove a cancerous prostate Thursday and is expected to miss three to four weeks. Associate coach George Blaney is running the team in Calhoun's absence.
It was its first without junior guard Taliek Brown, who had surgery Friday after breaking his left index finger and is expected to miss four to six weeks.
NO. 19 SYRACUSE 94, W.VA. 80: Carmelo Anthony scored a career-high 29 and had 12 rebounds for the visiting Orangemen.
Syracuse, coming off an 88-80 win over Georgetown on Monday, trailed by as many as 15 in the first half but outscored the Mountaineers 48-33 in the second.
NO. 20 XAVIER 85, DAYTON 77: David West's career-high 47 points and 18 rebounds helped the host Musketeers rally from a 15-point deficit.
Xavier's preseason All-American picked apart Dayton's sagging man-to-man defense. The 6-foot-9 forward went 15-of-26 from the field and 16-of-19 on free throws en route to the second-highest point total in school history.
NO. 23 MISS. ST. 84, ARKANSAS 54: Mario Austin had 19 points and 12 rebounds as the host Bulldogs earned their most lopsided win over the Razorbacks in more than 50 years.
Mississippi State, which has won five of its past six games, led by at least 26 points the entire second half. Arkansas shot 25 percent from the field.
MINNESOTA 90, NO. 24 PURDUE 68: Rick Rickert scored 26 and Michael Bauer added 17 to lead the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota, a starkly different team at home, beat the Big Ten's first-place team for the second straight Saturday. It knocked Michigan out of the top spot last weekend 87-80 at Williams Arena, where it is 12-2.