Kentucky holds on to get past Arkansas

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 30, 2005

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Kelenna Azubuike scored 13 points, Rajon Rondo added 12 and Patrick Sparks added a key basket with 24.2 seconds left, helping No. 7 Kentucky hold off Arkansas 68-67 on Saturday.

Eric Ferguson countered Sparks' shot with a 3-pointer, pulling Arkansas within a point. The Wildcats' Chuck Hayes missed a free-throw try, and Ferguson got the rebound but missed a 3-point try.

Bobby Perry also scored nine for the Wildcats (16-2, 7-0 Southeastern Conference).

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Ronnie Brewer scored 18 points, Darian Townes added 16 and Olu Famutimi finished with 13 points for Arkansas (14-6, 2-5).

The Razorbacks, lacking a true point guard, relied on Brewer to direct the offense. But Brewer landed awkwardly on his left ankle and went to the sideline at the 10:42 of the second half with the score tied 46-all. By the time he returned, Arkansas trailed 55-50.

Brewer clearly favored his ankle when he returned, but wasn't a factor. He had just one field goal and four free throws in the second half.

Famutimi hit two free throws to make it 55-52.

Kentucky put together a 9-3 run to take a 64-57 lead with 3:01 left. Rondo hit the last field goal of the run, leaping for an uncontested lay-in.

Brewer missed underneath, but Famutimi hit a 3-pointer to make it 64-61.

Perry scored to make it 66-61, but Jonathan Modica converted a three-point play, making it 66-64 with 53.2 seconds left.

Chuck Hayes, the Wildcats' leading rebounder played only five minutes in the first period, wearing a mask to protect a broken nose sustained the previous Tuesday against Tennessee. He had one rebound and two points in the period and finished with four points and two rebounds in 20 minutes.

Michael Jones went down 50 seconds into the game after scoring the Razorbacks second basket. He didn't return in the period.