Knight, Miller make clutch plays in win



Brandon Knight’s shot had been broke all game. UK’s leading scorer was having trouble finding points.

“He came out a little sluggish, a little slow,” senior Josh Harrellson said. “But that’s expected, first game in the SEC Tournament.”

By the end of that first game, Knight was anything but sluggish and slow. He scored 14 of UK’s last 20 points in the Cats’ 75-66 win over Ole Miss.

It wasn’t just points that were clutch plays. Earlier in the game, Calipari had sank to his knees when UK failed to come up with a loose ball, and yelled at Knight from the sideline to “just go get it!” By game’s end, Knight did. He grabbed two rebounds on the last two shots and made three of four free throws at the end to close the game.

“I told Brandon at the end, those rebounds down the stretch were critical and he chased them down to help us win,” head coach John Calipari said.

Knight wasn’t the only one stepping up at the end. Darius Miller had two huge plays, back-to-back. With UK leading by three and Ole Miss with the ball, Miller drew a charge when Terrance Henry, who finished with 17 points, posted up.

“The last time he had scored on me doing the same thing, lowered his shoulder and got me off balance,” Miller said. “He did it once, I knew he was going to do it again, so I just took the charge.”

On the ensuing offensive possession, Miller made a shot in the post that gave UK a five-point lead.

“What he’s done the last three weeks, you think of the big shots we have made, he’s probably made half,” Calipari said. “Threes, layups, and-ones, one-on-ones, he’s made them.”

Ole Miss cut an 11-point UK lead to two late in the second half. The lead was built by Doron Lamb and Josh Harrellson, who combined for 22 points in the first half. Lamb hit all five shots in the opening 20 minutes.

“What happened was Doron Lamb, offensively, kept us in the game,” Calipari said.

The late lead held up, as Ole Miss missed its last three 3-pointers. The Rebels finished 8-for-30 behind the arc, including Chris Warren’s 4-for-15.

Whereas Mississippi missed those late shots, Knight was hitting them.

“He knows he’ll make the shots when it counts,” Terrence Jones said.