CRAWFORD | Kentucky fades late, falls to Auburn 76-66 for fourth - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Kentucky fades late, falls to Auburn 76-66 for fourth straight loss

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John Calipari motions to his team in the first half. (WDRB photo by Eric Crawford) John Calipari motions to his team in the first half. (WDRB photo by Eric Crawford)

AUBURN, Ala. (WDRB) – It wasn't a surprise. Auburn was a 9-point favorite over Kentucky by the time the teams tipped off in Auburn Arena Wednesday night.

Still, some things you have to see to believe. And one of them is a full-strength John Calipari team stocked with McDonald's All-Americans dropping four straight games in SEC play, to fall to 17-9, 6-7 in the SEC.

Auburn didn't play pretty basketball in Wednesday's 76-66 victory. But it was the tougher team in the final minutes, wresting control of the game after Kentucky had built a four-point lead with seven minutes to play, and holding the Wildcats without a field goal for the game's final 5:01.

It was the first time Kentucky had lost four straight games since the year before Calipari arrived in Lexington in 2009, and Calipari's first four-game losing streak since 2005, when he was coach at Memphis.

It wasn’t a must win for Kentucky, but it sure was a better-win. The Wildcats outshot Auburn 46.6 percent to 36.7. But Auburn outscored Kentucky 13-6 off turnovers and 24-9 from the three-point line.

Kentucky grabbed what passed for momentum in this game with a 59-55 lead with just over seven minutes left, but Auburn hung tough and seven quick points put the Tigers back in front with just under 6 minutes left. That little spurt was enough to spark the Tigers. Bruce Pearl's team scored six quick points in a 41-second span to go up seven with 3:57 left, and pushed its lead to 10 in the closing minutes to improve to 23-3, 11-2 in the SEC.

Kentucky was led by Kevin Knox with 19 points and P.J. Washington with 13. Auburn got 18 points each from Jared Harper and Bryce Brown.

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