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NCAA Game Summary - Kentucky vs. Wichita State



(Sunday, March 23rd)

Final Score: Kentucky 78, Wichita State 76

St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Wichita State is no longer unbeaten.

Andrew Harrison converted 3-of-4 foul shots down the stretch and Fred VanVleet's contested 3-pointer fell short just prior to the buzzer, allowing Kentucky to reach the Sweet 16 by knocking off the Shockers, 78-76, in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Harrison ended up with 20 points for the Wildcats (26-10), who advance to take on Louisville next Friday in Indianapolis in the Midwest Region semifinals. Aaron Harrison added 19 points, with James Young and Julius Randle contributing 13 apiece for the victors.

Cleanthony Early totaled a game-high 31 points for the Shockers (35-1), who set an NCAA record for most wins in one season without suffering a loss, but ultimately failed in their bid to reach the Final Four for the second straight year.

"The joy that they brought us all year long will live with me forever," said Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall.

"I thought it was a great game the whole time it was going on. It was back and forth ... I told (Kentucky) coach (John) Calipari that, I told their players that. I told our team that. Certainly there are things I wish I could have done to help these guys one more play, one more basket, a different defense, a different call. But their run ended up being two points better than ours at the end of 40 minutes."

Ron Baker converted 4-of-6 shots from long range en route to 20 points, but VanVleet was held to four points on 1-of-6 shooting, including 0-for-4 from beyond the arc.

A long two by Early put WSU up 71-70 with 2:16 remaining, but Young countered with a triple from the top of the key and Kentucky took a 73-71 edge on the next possession. A trey from Tekele Cotton then rolled in and out, and Andrew Harrison made two at the line with 42.6 showing for a four-point Wildcats spread.

Baker hit a banked three from the left side to bring the Shockers within 75-74, before Randle drained both of his free throws to push his club's edge back to three.

Baker was called upon again from the left wing, but his next long-range attempt fell short. Early, however, was fouled on the offensive board and made two at the line with 9.8 to play for a 77-76 score.

Andrew Harrison earned his second chance at the charity stripe, making the first and missing the second. Early picked up the ball, flew up court and Wichita State called timeout with 3.2 seconds to go.

VanVleet let fly from 25 feet away, but the shot was just off the mark, hitting the rim and backboard.

"Heck of a game," said Calipari. "Really proud of our guys hanging in there and fighting. They never gave up. Wichita State never gave up and had their last chance to win the game."

Andrew Harrison's triple gave the Wildcats some separation prior to the midway point of the opening 20 minutes at 19-15, but the edge was short lived. Kentucky was forced to call a timeout after a runner from Early made it 30-23.

Cotton began the eventual 17-4 surge with the first five, while VanVleet contributed all four of his points -- including two closing free throws -- for a 32-23 spread with 4:37 left in the half. Wichita State went to intermission ahead 37-31 after a triple by Jarrod Polson reduced Kentucky's gap.

Early's three to kick off the second half was countered by 10 in a row from Kentucky, which took a 41-40 lead after Alex Poythress converted a layup.

Baker followed with six in a row on a trey and a three-point play and WSU held a 46-43 lead, then the Wildcats struck back for seven straight and Willie Cauley-Stein's slam put them up 50-46.

Momentum shifted once more, as the Shockers embarked on a 12-5 run ending just after the midway point of the half to take a 58-55 advantage on the second of Early's back-to-back buckets.

Wichita State held Kentucky at arm's length until a roller from Young put the Wildcats up 70-69 with 2:49 to play.

Game Notes

These programs met for the first time on Sunday ... Early shot 12-of-17 from the field and made 4-of-6 shots from distance ... Randle led all players with 10 rebounds and dished out a team-high six assists ... Cotton finished with only five points, five assists and three rebounds in 31 minutes ... Wichita State committed only nine turnovers and forced Kentucky to cough up the ball 11 times.

03/23 20:54:28 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
5th
SFG 2
KAN 4
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
 
4th
CLEM 16
SYR 6
 
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
 
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
 
4th
COLST 45
WYO 17
 
4th
LSU 3
MISS 7
 
3rd
TENN 17
ALA 34
 
4th
AUB 35
SCAR 35
 
3rd
PSU 7
OSU 17
 
1st
UTAH 0
USC 0
 
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
 
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
 
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
 
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
 
2nd Intermission
STL 3
CHI 1
 
3rd
NAS 0
PIT 3
 
3rd
MIN 6
TAM 2
 
2nd
ARI 0
FLA 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14