Date story was published: Sunday, February 9, 1986
OXFORD, Miss. - Richard Madison tied a season high with 13 points, helping Kentucky hold off repeated Mississippi charges and post a 62-58 victory last night.
UK is 20-3 overall and 11-1 in the Southeastern Conference.
Ole Miss is 3-9 in the SEC and 10-11 overall.
Ole Miss's final run at Kentucky came with a little more than three minutes remaining.
UK was nursing a 56-48 lead when the Rebels scored four straight points. Curtis Ritchwood, a 37-percent free-throw shooter, made two free throws to cut the lead to 56-50.
After Roger Harden missed from the top of the key with the shot clock running down, Eric Smith dunked on the fast break to cut the lead to 56-52.
Then UK called time out with 3:04 remaining.
After the timeout, Harden was again forced to take a top-of-the-key jumper with the shot clock inside five seconds. He missed again.
However, Ole Miss couldn't cut into the lead because Ritchwood missed the front end of a one-and-one with 2:34 left. It was Ritchwood's sixth miss from the free-throw line in the second half and the second time he'd missed the front end of a one-and-one down the stretch.
After Ritchwood's miss with 2:34 left, Walker hit a layup to pull Kentucky out of danger.
UK couldn't seal the victory, however, until Harden hit two free throws with 18 seconds remaining. The shots, which came after UK had missed the front end of two one-and-ones in the final minute, put the Cats ahead 60-54 with 31 seconds remaining.
An eight-point Kentucky lead (48-40) was cut to two when the Cats called time with 6:53 remaining.
The Wildcats missed three straight shots in the span and their only basket - a Walker spin in the lane - came only because Madison fought for a long rebound. Walker's shot put UK ahead 50-45.
However, Ole Miss closed to within two (50-48) when center Derek Horne tucked home a rebound while being fouled by Ed Davender.
Then Madison came to the fore following a UK timeout with 6:53 left.
Davender hit an 18-footer to up Kentucky's lead to 52-48.
Then, after Ole Miss missed a jumper, Madison hit from the baseline, a shot that curled on the rim, hanging dramatically for seconds before falling through.
After Ole Miss missed twice, Madison took a fast-break outlet pass from Walker and majestically rose for a running one-hand slam to put UK ahead 56-48.
Kentucky opened up a nine-point lead in the early minutes of the second half. After Rod Barnes hit a jumper to cut Kentucky's lead to 35-30, Harden hit from the top of the key.
Then, Walker deflected a pass and roared to a two-hand stuff to put UK ahead 39-30 with 18:06 remaining.
However, UK let Ole Miss back into the game with turnovers. The Wildcats committed just two in the first half, but three straight following Walker's slam allowed the Rebels to cut UK's lead to 39-36 with 14:43 remaining.
However, a lift from Madison pushed Kentucky comfortably ahead again. Madison's layup, which came when UK beat a Ole Miss press, increased the Wildcats' lead to 46-40.
Then, after another substitute, Cedric Jenkins, blocked a shot, Madison got another layup. This time, Walker retrieved the blocked shot and fed Harden, who in turn passed to Jenkins.
Jenkins flipped a touch pass to Madison for the layup that put Kentucky ahead 48-40 with 10:25 left.
Mississippi took away much of Kentucky's inside game in the first half, but the Wildcats were still able to take a 35-28 lead at intermission.
The Wildcats were able to get a lead because they shot 51.7 percent from the field and committed just two turnovers.
UK's inside attack was canceled with a stratagy familiar to Wildcat fans. Ole Miss collapsed a zone around Kenny Walker and it paid big dividends.
Except for a dunk and three-point play off a fast break, Walker did not have a basket in the inside. His only other two baskets of the half came on perimeter jumpers down the stretch.
Walker's dunk was part of a 13-0 string that enabled Kentucky to erase its largest deficit (22-16) and take a 29-22 lead with 3:15 remaining in the half.
The dunk was notable for several reasons. First, it was Walker's first points of the game and came with 5:21 remaining in the half. Second, the slam and resulting free throw gave UK the lead for good at 24-22.
Last, but not least, the three-point play was greeted with a virtual cascade of ice and cups thrown from the Ole Miss student section. The students, part of the school's only basketball sellout of the season, were outraged because Rebel Eric Smith seemed to be roughed up on a dunk attempt seconds before Walker's play.
Smith missed after apparently being bumped by Harden. The UK point guard came up with the loose ball and fed Walker for the dunk. Walker was fouled by Smith on the play.
The play was part of a five-minute span that saw everything go UK's way.
Ole Miss went scoreless from the 8:03 mark, when the Rebels had their largest lead, until Smith canned a baseline shot with 3:03 remaining. Even that shot, which cut UK's lead to 29-24, was a gift. Smith picked up a loose ball after Rod Barnes was stripped on a jump-shot attempt.
In the preceeding five minutes, Ole Miss got off only three shots - missing all three - and committed five turnovers.
UK, meanwhile, was living and dying with the jump shot. Ole Miss surrounded Walker with as many as four players every time he touched the ball inside.
Consequently, Walker got off only two shots in the opening 10 minutes. He missed both. He didn't really get going offensively until being moved to the perimeter in the final six minutes.
UK was able to forge an early four-point lead with outside shooting. The Cats held a 12-8 lead on the strength of making five of seven perimeter shots in the early going.
However, when those shots began missing, Ole Miss took control.
UK missed four straight attempts from outside in a two-mintue stretch that saw Ole Miss score eight straight and take a 16-12 lead.
Winston Bennett stopped the streak at the 9:52 mark with a turnaround inside. It was UK's first basket inside other than a fast-break slam by James Blackmon.
UK's next inside shots also could be credited to the fast break.
Madison ricocheted a fast-break shot off the glass and had a three-point play to cut Ole Miss' lead to 22-21.
Walker's fast-break dunk and the ice shower followed on the next trip downcourt.