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Cat Attack 2-24-10

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Kentucky Finally Ends Memorial’s Magic

By Brian Melton

Well our Kentucky Wildcats definitely had a knack for the dramatic this week, following up their come from behind victory at Mississippi State Tuesday night with an unbelievable finish in Nashville Saturday night.  Vanderbilt had a chance to pull into a first place tie in the SEC East with a victory and had dominated the Cats at home over the last several seasons.  This year’s edition of Cats had a different idea in mind though and with the victory finally have a little breathing room in the SEC East race with only four regular season games left to play.  

From the opening tip the intensity level in Memorial Gymnasium was absolutely through the roof.  The noise was deafening and to say the play was physical might be the understatement of the season.  Both teams struggled mightily shooting the basketball throughout with Vanderbilt doing most of their damage on offensive rebounds and at the free throw stripe.  Kentucky’s biggest lead of the game was six early in the first half and neither team lead by more than four for the remainder of the game.  

The play of the night belonged to John Wall.  With the Cats clinging to a one point lead after two missed free throws by Bledsoe, Vandy’s John Jenkins appeared ready to take what initially seemed like a wide open three point attempt.  Wall timed his jump perfectly, blocking the shot and coming down with the basketball.  Wall made one of two free throws to give Kentucky a two point lead with only 2.5 seconds on the clock.  A. J. Ogilvy’s wide open last second shot clanged off the rim as time expired and the Cats held on for the 58-56 victory.  

Next up for the Cats is a rematch with Devan Downey and the South Carolina Gamecocks who handed Kentucky their lone loss of the season back on January 26th.  This is a big time payback game for the Cats, but if they are going to win they will have to do a much better job of defending Downey and rebounding the basketball.