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Alabama edges No. 12 Kentucky

Jan 19, 2011 - 6:44 AM Tuscaloosa, AL (Sports Network) - JaMychal Green went nose-to-nose with Kentucky star freshman Terrence Jones, scoring 18 points with 11 rebounds, as Alabama raced out to a large lead then held on down the stretch for a 68-66 victory over No. 12 Kentucky.

Green grabbed seven offensive boards, part of a 19-rebound effort on the offensive glass for the Crimson Tide (11-7, 3-1 SEC), who staked claim to the top spot in the SEC West at this early stage of conference play. Tony Mitchell added 15 points and seven rebounds for the victors.

"It was great to see our guys make the stops and pull out the victory," said Alabama head coach Anthony Grant.

Jones totaled 17 points with nine rebounds, Doron Lamb added 16 points, Brandon Knight chipped in with 14 points and Darius Miller donated 12 for the Wildcats (14-4, 2-2), who saw their two-game winning streak come to an end.

"Obviously they manhandled us in the first 25 minutes and the last 10 minutes I thought we got after them and played the aggressive way we have to play," said Kentucky head coach John Calipari.

Kentucky raced out to a 12-6 edge, but quickly saw itself in a 19-15 hole behind a 13-3 scoring stretch capped by Senario Hillman's layup. Alabama took a 37-30 lead into the locker room and came out with all of the energy and momentum in the second half, scoring 15 of the first 17 points to take control.

Mitchell scored the final five points of the burst with his layup opening a 52-32 lead with just over 15 1/2 minutes to play. The Wildcats slowly cut into the lead, capitalizing off sloppy Alabama ball-handling and finishing near the rim.

Alabama went almost five minutes without scoring as Kentucky ran off 10 straight points capped by Knight's three-pointer for a 59-53 game with just over 7 1/2 minutes on the clock. The Crimson Tide recorded five turnovers during that time.

Jones made two free throws about four minutes later to make the deficit just one point at 62-61, but Green kept the visitors at bay with a tip-in off his own miss with just over three minutes remaining. Jones answered the Alabama big man with a bucket of his own then Green made 1-of-2 foul shots.

Lamb couldn't convert from long distance and Mitchell calmly sank two free throws for a 67-63 lead. Knight gave the Wildcats hope with the last of his three treys for a 67-66 game. After a turnover, Kentucky had a chance to tie the game but Knight lost control of the basketball as he turned off a high screen, and Ben Eblen was fouled with 2.8 seconds left.

The little-used guard made the first, but missed the second, giving Kentucky one last chance. After a timeout, it was forced to settle for Jones' contested half court heave that only touched backboard.

Game Notes

Kentucky scored 24 points off 19 Alabama turnovers...Kentucky made 37.7 percent of its shots, while Alabama converted on 44.6 percent of its shot attempts...Kentucky leads the all-time series, 100-36.