Saturday, December 18, 2004


MSNBC - No. 9 Kentucky steals one from Louisville

MSNBC - No. 9 Kentucky steals one from Louisville: "LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Patrick Sparks sank three free throws with less than a second left to cap his 25-point performance and complete ninth-ranked Kentucky's big comeback for a 60-58 win over No. 13 Louisville and Rick Pitino on Saturday.

The Wildcats (7-1) trailed 32-16 at halftime and were down 58-57 after Larry O'Bannon hit two free throws for Louisville with 15.2 seconds to go.
Kentucky coach Tubby Smith called timeout with 4.8 seconds left to set up the decisive play. Sparks inbounded the ball, then received a pass in the corner. He pump-faked, then jumped into airborne Louisville forward Ellis Myles to draw a whistle from referee J.B. Caldwell.
The buzzer sounded an instant later. But after Caldwell and referee Gerald Boudreaux checked a TV replay, Sparks stepped to the free-throw line with 0.6 seconds on the clock.

Sparks, a 71 percent career shooter from the line, cooly swished all three shots. O'Bannon's desperation heave from half-court wasn't close, and the Wildcats snapped a two-game losing streak to their archrivals and former coach Pitino.
Pitino coached Kentucky from 1989-97, winning the 1996 NCAA championship. After a stint with the NBA's Boston Celtics, he took over at Louisville in 2001."

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