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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chris Warren 3-Pointer Buries No. 10 Kentucky at Mississippi

Chris Warren hit a deep, contested three with 2.9 seconds remaining to lift Ole Miss to a huge upset win over visiting Kentucky, 71-69.

Warren's three came after Kentucky took a brief one-point lead after trailing by as many as 11 in the second half. He took a ball screen, went left and fired the shot over the outstretched arm of Terrence Jones.

A 13-0 Ole Miss run gave the Rebels a nice cushion early in the second half, but a run led by Kentucky's trio of freshmen pulled the 'Cats back into it. Two free throws from Jones gave Kentucky a brief lead with just over a minute to play.

Ole Miss (14-8, 2-5) has had trouble in conference play so far, but it will have a significantly easier schedule in the second half of the season.

Warren led the Rebels with 22 points and fellow senior Zach Graham added 16, including a perfect 7-for-7 from the line.

No. 10 Kentucky (16-5, 4-3) was led by Jones with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Doron Lamb added 20 and Brandon Knight had 15.

How it was won: Execution. Not only did Ole Miss shoot the ball well, it also forced several turnovers and got the short-benched Wildcats into early foul trouble. In addition, the Rebels were able to stay afloat after Warren went to the bench early with foul trouble.

How it was lost: It would be easy to hang this one on UK's turnovers, but it lay more in the play of Kentucky's upperclassmen. Earlier this week, John Calipari called on Darius Miller, DeAndre Liggins and Josh Harrellson to guide the young Wildcats on the road. Tuesday night, the three freshmen combined for 57 of UK's 69 points.

Botched late possession: After Kentucky took the one-point lead, the Wildcats were able to get the ball back after stopping the Rebels on the other end. Late in UK's possession, Miller seemed to have a wide-open look at a three but he passed it up, penetrated and finally kicked it out to Liggins, who didn't realize the shot clock was winding down. He was forced to hoist a wild three which didn't hit the rim, setting up Ole Miss for the game winner.

Where to from now: Just as Ole Miss' schedule lightens, Kentucky's gets much tougher -- which is bad news for the Wildcats, seeing as how they have not been good on the road. They play at Florida Saturday night before getting Tennessee at home and then another tough road game to Vanderbilt.

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