Rivalry battle goes to UK
Nick Richards had 13 points, including seven consecutive ones in overtime, and No. 19 Kentucky scored the final eight points for a 78-70 victory over No. 3 Louisville on Saturday in a thrilling Bluegrass rivalry showdown at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
Louisville led 68-65 on Jordan Nwora’s 3-pointer with 2:20 left before Richards converted a 3-point play to make it 70-68. The junior forward added another layup and two more foul shots before Immanuel Quickley and Tyrese Maxey provided a six-point cushion from the line. Ashton Hagans’ dunk with 4.9 seconds left sealed the tense win at Rupp Arena.
Maxey’s free throws capped a career-best 27point performance while Richards had 10 rebounds to end a two-game losing streak by the Wildcats (9-3).
Quickley had 18 points for Kentucky, which shot 46% for its 10 win over Louisville in 13 meetings.
Steven Enoch had 18 points and Dwayne Sutton for the Cardinals (11-2).
Memphis rolls: Precious Achiuwa had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Lester Quinones added 13 points as No. 9 Memphis built a first-half lead and easily beat New Orleans 97-55 in Memphis, Tenn.
Quinones, who returned after missing the previous five games with a broken right hand, made all three of his 3-point shots as Memphis (11-1) extended its winning streak to nine. Tyler Harris finished with 11 points, while DJ Jeffries and Isaiah Maurice added 10 points each.
Troy Green led the Privateers with 22 points, while Bryson Robinson added 15 as New Orleans (4-8) lost its third straight. Robinson and Green, the Privateers’ leading scorers, were a combined 8 of 21 from the field.
That was part of New Orleans shooting 29% for the game, including 3 of 17 from 3-point range (17.6%)
While Memphis was able to shoot 52% for the game, including 12 of 23 from outside the arc, the downside was 27 Tiger turnovers after committing 28 in their last game.
Duke’s Jones sits again: Sophomore point guard Tre Jones missed No. 4 Duke’s 75-70 victory over Brown with a mild left foot sprain and remains day to day.
Jones, who’s averaging 15.6 points and a team-high 7.1 assists and 2.1 steals, also sat out the Blue Devils’ victory over Wofford on Dec. 19.
Duke expects him to return to practice Sunday.
Michigan loses Livers: Michigan forward Isaiah Livers is out indefinitely with a left groin injury.
Livers was hurt during the 11th-ranked Wolverines’ win over Presbyterian last weekend. Michigan described the injury initially as a muscle strain.
Livers, a 6-foot-7 junior, is averaging a team-high 13.6 points.
EJ Montgomery celebrates after Kentucky’s 78-70 OT victory over in-state rival Louisville on Saturday.