Young Wild­cats rally for first win

Ken­tucky over­comes vet­eran SIU team to bounce back from loss

Albany Times Union - - COLLEGES - As­so­ci­ated Press

Kel­don John­son and Im­manuel Quick­ley each scored 15 points, Nick Richards grabbed a ca­reer-high 19 re­bounds and No. 2 Ken­tucky ral­lied in the sec­ond half to beat South­ern Illi­nois 71-59 on Fri­day night.

The Wild­cats (1-1) bounced back from Tuesday’s 118-84 shel­lack­ing by No. 4 Duke, but had to work hard in the sec­ond half to over­come the vet­eran Salukis. They trailed 44-37 be­fore Quade Green (14 points) scored five points dur­ing a 10-2 run for a 47-46 lead with 12:19 left. SIU didn’t quit, but the Wild­cats slowly ex­tended their lead to 61-52 on con­sec­u­tive three-point plays by John­son and Green. ten­nessee 87, louisianalafayette 65: Grant Wil­liams scored 31 points, pulled down 10 re­bounds and show­cased his new­found 3-point range as No. 6 Ten­nessee breezed to the vic­tory. Wil­liams shot 3 of 4 from be­yond the arc to match his 2017-18 sea­son to­tal for 3-point­ers. The 6-foot-7 for­ward was 3 of 25 on 3-point at­tempts last sea­son, though he still av­er­aged 15.2 points and was se­lected by South­east­ern Con­fer­ence coaches as the league’s player of the year. north car­ol­lina 116, elon 67: Cameron John­son and fresh­man Nas­sir Lit­tle scored 21 points apiece, and No. 8 North Carolina routed Elon. Fresh­man Coby White added 14 points to help the Tar Heels (2-0) sweep their two-game, sea­son-open­ing barn­storm­ing tour of re­gional mid-ma­jors. They beat Wof­ford 78-67 on Tuesday night in Spartanburg, South Carolina, be­fore hav­ing a much eas­ier time against the Phoenix, who chris­tened their new $40 mil­lion on-cam­pus arena. auburn 88, Washington 66: Chuma Okeke had 19 points and 10 re­bounds and Samir Doughty scored 18 to lead No. 11 Auburn over No. 25 Washington. The Tigers (2-0) raced to an 18-point half­time lead and pushed it to 30 in their first home win over a ranked non­con­fer­ence team in nearly 48 years. Jared Harper and Bryce Brown both scored 13 points for the Tigers. Harper also had five as­sists. Kansas state 56, Ken­ne­saw state 41: Barry Brown and Makol Maw­ien each scored 15 points, Dean Waded added 13 and No. 12 Kansas State stum­bled through a sea­son-open­ing vic­tory over Ken­ne­saw State. Austin Trice added 12 re­bounds in his de­but for the Wild­cats, who led just 31-27 at half­time be­fore lean­ing on their stingy de­fense to em­bark on a late run for a com­fort­able fi­nal mar­gin. buf­falo 99, West Vir­ginia 94 (ot): CJ Mass­in­burg had 43 points and 14 re­bounds as Buf­falo pulled off an­other big up­set against a power pro­gram, stun­ning No. 13 West Vir­ginia in over­time. Jeremy Har­ris added 16 points and nine re­bounds for the Bulls in the sea­son opener for both teams. Buf­falo grabbed at­ten­tion last March when the 13th-seeded Bulls blew out No. 4 seed Ari­zona 89-68 in the first round of the NCAA Tour­na­ment. ore­gon 81, eastern Washington 47: Fresh­man Bol Bol had 23 points and 12 re­bounds as No. 14 Ore­gon rode its sti­fling de­fense to a vic­tory over Eastern Washington. Bol’s dou­ble-dou­ble, his sec­ond for the Ducks (2-0), was capped by a spin­ning drive from the left wing that sent his de­fender sprawl­ing and led to a rim-hang­ing, two-hand dunk for a tech­ni­cal foul.

Vir­ginia tech 87, Gard­ner­webb 59: Nick­eil Alexan­der­walker and Isa­iah Wilkins scored 21 points apiece, and No. 15 Vir­ginia Tech opened its sea­son with a win over Gard­ner-webb. Kerry Black­s­hear Jr. added 12 points for the Hok­ies, who al­lowed Gard­ner-webb to keep it close un­til af­ter half­time. mis­sis­sippi state 95, austin peay 67: Quin­ndary Weather­spoon scored 21 points, Nick Weather­spoon added 19 and No. 18 Mis­sis­sippi State beat Austin Peay. Quin­ndary Weather­spoon shot 10 of 15 from the field dur­ing the first game of his se­nior sea­son and also grabbed five re­bounds. He’s been the Bull­dogs’ best al­laround player the past three years and now has 1,404 ca­reer points, which is 16th in school his­tory. clem­son 71, north carolina cen­tral 51: David Skara scored 16 points and No. 22 Clem­son opened a large early lead in cruis­ing to a vic­tory over North Carolina Cen­tral. It was a matchup of NCAA Tour­na­ment teams from a year ago. While the Tigers reached the Sweet 16, Mid-eastern Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Tour­na­ment cham­pion North Carolina Cen­tral lost to Texas South­ern in a First Four matchup. lsu 97, north car­oli­na­greens­boro 91: Naz Reid scored 29 points and Tre­mont Waters had 21 points and 10 as­sists as No. 23 LSU beat North Car­oli­na­greens­boro. The Tigers (2-0) led by 16 points with seven min­utes re­main­ing in the game, but they needed to with­stand a late rally by the Spar­tans. Unc-greens­boro went on a 22-11 run to pull to 9388 with 13 sec­onds to play.

Ti­mothy D. Easley / As­so­ci­ated Press

Ken­tucky guard Kel­don John­son (3) dunks dur­ing the sec­ond half against South­ern Illi­nois on Fri­day. John­son scored 15 points.

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