(8) Kentucky 78

(4-1, 0-1 away)

(9) North Carolina 91

(6-1, 4-0 home)

    12:00 PM ET, December 4, 2004

    Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    1 2 T
    #8UK 32 4678
    #9UNC 47 4491

    Top Performers

    Kentucky: K. Azubuike 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 5 Stl

    North Carolina: R. McCants 28 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    UNC rolls to its first win over UK since 1995

    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Jawad Williams found himself in the right place at the right time, with a stern message from assistant coach Steve Robinson fresh in his mind.

    "Coach Robinson cussed me out for not playing hard," Williams said with a smile. "He gave me a little extra motivation."

    Soon after the tongue-lashing, Williams tipped in a miss to thwart a second-half rally by Kentucky, helping North Carolina (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today; No. 9 AP) beat the No. 8 Wildcats 91-78 Saturday in a game between the two winningest programs in college basketball history.

    Rashad McCants had 20 of his 28 points in the first half and Sean May scored 11 of his 14 in the first eight minutes of the second, but Williams' basket was equally clutch. The Wildcats had trimmed what was a 17-point deficit to seven on a 3-pointer by Bobby Perry with about 4 minutes left.

    Raymond Felton missed a 3 for the Tar Heels, and Williams timed his leap perfectly to give North Carolina (6-1) an 81-72 lead. May made a free throw and McCants added two, and Kentucky never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

    Williams scored 19 points and May had 19 rebounds for the Tar Heels, who outrebounded Kentucky 51-30.

    "I can't say enough about Sean May," Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said. "You know, he had nine rebounds in the first half, just dominating on the boards, and then he turned around in the second half and got 10."

    Kelenna Azubuike had 24 points for the Wildcats (4-1), and Joe Crawford finished with 11. Leading scorer Chuck Hayes, saddled with foul trouble, didn't score until the second half and had only four points.

    "They dominated us in every phase," Hayes said. "They played great, and we didn't."

    These two powers have played since 1923-24 -- Kentucky leads the career victory list 1,880-1,833 -- and the recent history has belonged to the Wildcats. They have won four straight since the series was revived in 2000, including a 61-56 decision last season in Lexington.

    The game was fast-paced from the beginning, with North Carolina scoring the first eight points in less than 2 minutes to force a timeout by Kentucky coach Tubby Smith. The Tar Heels' lead reached 24-6 and 36-19 before the Wildcats recovered, but North Carolina still had a 15-point margin at the break.

    "Our goal was to get the ball out and get running again," May said. "That's what we wanted to do to them."

    Azubuike led a 9-0 run to start the second half, but May then took over. His spurt included three dunks, two layups and a free throw to complete a three-point play, giving the Tar Heels a 65-51 lead. A 3-pointer by McCants made it 71-54 with about 9 minutes left.

    "I liked the way that our guys didn't lose their poise," Roy Williams said. "We kept attacking."

    With two freshmen starters and two more freshmen who feature prominently in the rotation, Kentucky got back in the game from long range. Crawford made a 3-pointer, then Ravi Moss and Perry added two more on consecutive possessions to get Kentucky within 79-72.

    It could have gotten even closer after the Wildcats forced a shot clock violation, but Perry shot an air ball on a leaner from the baseline and Williams responded with his putback to seal it.

    Kentucky won its first four games against mostly overmatched opponents by an average of nearly 25 points, and Smith knew his team would face its first real challenge.

    "I talked about being tested and we failed this test," he said. "A lot of it has to do with UNC. We allowed them to control the tempo from the start. North Carolina was ready."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 78 91
    FG Made-Attempted 30-70 (.429) 29-59 (.492)
    3P Made-Attempted 10-25 (.400) 6-13 (.462)
    FT Made-Attempted 8-16 (.500) 27-40 (.675)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 31 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 18

    2004-05 Season

    » Dec 4, 2004 @UNC 91, UK 78Recap