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Kentucky escapes with last second win over Princeton

Mar 17, 2011 - 10:45 PM Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Brandon Knight picked an ideal time to convert his only shot of the game, sinking a layup with two seconds remaining to lift Kentucky to a 59-57 win over Princeton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Dan Mavraides hit a fadeaway jumper in the lane to pull the Tigers even at 57 with 38 seconds remaining. After Kentucky called a timeout, Knight drove to the hoop and put the Wildcats ahead with a layup high off the glass. Princeton failed to get a potential game-winning shot off as Kentucky, seeded fourth in the East Region, survived to face West Virginia in the third round on Saturday.

"It was a tough, tough shot by a kid that we had bottled up pretty much the whole game," said Princeton head coach Sydney Johnson about Knight's driving layup.

Knight, who entered Thursday having scored in double-digits in 28 straight games, finished 1-of-8 from the field.

"He's not afraid to make a play. Guys like him aren't afraid to miss," Kentucky head coach John Calipari said of Knight.

Darius Miller scored 17 points and Josh Harrellson added 15 with 10 rebounds for the Wildcats (26-8), who are making their record 51st appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Mavraides had 14 points to pace Princeton (25-7), which earned the Ivy League's automatic bid by edging Harvard on a buzzer-beater in a playoff game. The Tigers were in the tourney for the first time since 2004.

The Wildcats, who beat Florida to claim the SEC championship, were down by five points in the second half before they erased a 44-39 deficit with an 8-0 surge. DeAndre Liggins hit a three-pointer to push Kentucky's lead to 53-48 with about 6:30 to go.

Princeton closed to within 57-55 with 1:35 left on a Kareem Maddox jumper, setting up the thrilling finish.

Kentucky built an early nine-point lead before Princeton rallied to pull even at 20 on a three-pointer by Douglas Davis, who hit the game-winning shot to secure the Ivy League crown. The junior guard nailed another jumper to give the Tigers their first lead at 24-22 with 4:24 remaining.

The teams traded baskets for the rest of the frame, and Liggins knocked down a trey to give the Wildcats a 34-33 halftime lead.

Game Notes

Terrence Jones supplied 10 points for Kentucky...Davis and Maddox registered 13 and 12 points, respectively...Kentucky notched its 102nd tournament win, tying North Carolina for the most in the event's history...The Wildcats played an Ivy League team in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. Kentucky defeated Cornell last season in the Sweet 16...The Wildcats improved to 3-1 all-time against Princeton...The Tigers haven't won in the tournament since 1998.