Spartans Upset No. 12 Kentucky, 71-67
Dec 14, 2002
By CHRIS DUNCAN
But the 6-foot-2 sophomore guard sank an open 3-pointer with 49.2 seconds left that gave the No. 21 Spartans the lead for good in a 71-67 victory over No. 12 Kentucky.
It was the only 3-point attempt of the game for Bograkos, who averages 1.7 points.
"I said, 'Are you kidding me?' I guess it was just our day," Izzo said. "I could lie to you and tell you I set that up. But in all honesty, he was the sixth option out of five guys."
Chris Hill, Izzo's real go-to guy, made two free throws with 13.6 seconds remaining to seal the victory. Hill scored 16 to lead the Spartans (5-2), who were playing their first game this season on an opponents' home court.
Michigan State was outrebounded for the first time this season - 34-30 - but went 8-of-15 from 3-point range.
"We all have confidence and we've got a lot of confidence in everybody," Hill said. "It's a big confidence boost for everybody to come into an environment in a place like this and win."
Keith Bogans scored 23 to lead the Wildcats (5-2), who had won four straight. Bogans was 11-of-17 from 3-point range in Kentucky's last three games, but he was 3-of-8 on Saturday.
The Wildcats trailed 69-67 after Bograkos' shot and Bogans couldn't knock down an answering 3-pointer from the top of the key with 21 seconds left.
Marquis Estill and Erik Daniels had 12 points each for the Wildcats, who shot 46 percent, their worst effort in four games.
"It hurts a lot," said Bogans, who reached 20 points for the fifth time this season. "It's our home court and we let them come in here and steal one away."
Kentucky had averaged 59 percent shooting over its last three games, but the Wildcats started 2-of-10 against Michigan State. Hill sank two 3-pointers in the first three minutes as Michigan State jumped to a 12-4 lead.
Bogans hit consecutive 3-pointers from the top to trigger an 18-4 run that put the Wildcats in front. The Spartans started 4-of-7 from the field, then missed eight of their next nine shots during Kentucky's spurt.
Aloysius Anagonye's basket in the lane ended a three-minute scoring drought for Michigan State and trimmed its deficit to three, at 22-19.
Kentucky freshman Kelenna Azubuike hit a 3-pointer and Daniels made a steal and converted a breakaway layup to give the Wildcats a 27-19 lead, their biggest of the game.
Adam Ballinger, Michigan State's second-leading scorer, picked up his third foul with 5:51 left in the first half and went to the bench.
The Spartans still managed to take a 34-31 lead as Kentucky went more than five minutes without scoring.
"We didn't shoot the ball well, but we were still in the ballgame," Bogans said. "We were still playing good defense, we didn't ever let them outrebound us. We did everything else, the ball just wouldn't fall."
The teams were tied 40-40 at halftime, but the Spartans surged ahead 50-44. The lead shrank to three near the seven-minute mark when Kentucky point guard Gerald Fitch fell awkwardly and cut his chin after missing a layup.
Fitch left the game and returned with 4:58 left, a bandage spread across his right jaw. He immediately threw an assist to Daniels, whose layup cut Michigan State's lead to 63-61.
Fitch had three stitches put on the injury after the game. He finished with only three points and two assists.
"Gerald is not really a penetrator," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "Tonight, he couldn't really turn the corner and when he tried to penetrate a couple of times, he got his shot blocked. We just need to get him back doing what he does best."
Estill had an over-the-shoulder tip-in with 3:55 remaining to tie the game. Hill answered with a 3-pointer with 3:38 to go, but Estill scored again at the three-minute mark to keep Michigan State's lead at one.
Each team committed a turnover before Bogans scored on a drive with 1:23 left to put Kentucky up 67-66, its first lead of the second half.
The capacity crowd stood and cheered as the clock went under a minute. Bogans ran to double-team Hill, but Hill passed to Bograkos, who silenced the fans with his 3-pointer from the corner.
"That's the biggest shot I've ever hit," Bograkos said. "I don't look to shoot a lot, but I was open and fortunately, the ball went in."
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