Wiltjer Leads Second Half Surge in Win at Auburn
Jan. 19, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Kyle Wiltjer scored 17 points for the second straight game and Kentucky held Auburn without a 3-pointer in a 75-53 victory on Saturday night.
The Wildcats (12-5, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) turned a five-point halftime game into a rout for their 14th consecutive win over the Tigers (8-9, 2-2) and 28th in 29 meetings.
Kentucky made 18 of 27 shots (67 percent) in its second straight hot-shooting performance after halftime.
The Tigers missed all 15 3-point attempts, making it only the third time they've been held without a 3. It was the first since going 0 for 14 at Mississippi on March 1, 1997.
Nerlens Noel made sure things weren't much easier inside. Noel had 10 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks
Rob Chubb had 14 points and seven rebounds for Auburn. Frankie Sullivan scored 12 but was just 5-of-16 shooting and missed all six 3-point attempts. Allen Payne added 11 and Asauhn Dixon-Tatum 10.
The Wildcats had shot 65 percent after the half against Tennessee in a 75-65 win.
Wiltjer's 17 points in those games is a career-high in SEC games for the sophomore. He made 3 of 6 from 3-point range against Auburn and hit both his long-range attempts in the second half.
His hot streak started after the key off-the-bench performer managed two points combined in the previous two games.
The Wildcats also outrebounded Auburn 43-30.
The Tigers' ice cold shooting came three days after they made 11 3s in a double-overtime loss at Arkansas that snapped a three-game win streak.
They made 3 of their first 20 shots and hit 23 of 66 (35 percent) in the game. Kentucky started with a 2-of-14 shooting stretch but, unlike Auburn, eventually warmed up.
Wiltjer opened and closed a 14-4 run that gave Kentucky a 53-37 lead in the final 13 minutes. He started it with a 3-pointer and then hit a basket inside after waiting for an Auburn defender to sail by.
The Tigers, who trailed just 30-25 at halftime, never challenged again.
Kentucky eventually went ahead by as many as 27 points in the final minutes.
Chants of "Go Big Blue" then took over Auburn Arena as the defending national champions won for the third time in four games.
Auburn's No. 2 scorer, Chris Denson, played for the first time in four games after recovering from a foot injury. He missed all four attempts and didn't score in 13 minutes.