All season long, the defending national champion Kentucky Wildcats have struggled and looked for a signature win this season. Things looked bleak as the Wildcats, down two players (Willie Cauley-Stein and Twany Beckham), travelled to Oxford, Mississippi to take on the white-hot Ole Miss Rebels and their leading scorer Marshall Henderson. But that is why they play the games. Freshman Nerlens Noel set a school record with 12 blocks and Kyle Wiltjer scored a career high 26 points as Kentucky upset Ole Miss 87-74. The odd stat of the night is that despite his heroics on defense, Noel did not hit a field goal and took just one shot all night and finished with just 2 points. The scoring slack for Kentucky was filled by Archie Goodwin, who also added 24. Kentucky improved to 14-6 on the season and 5-2 in the SEC.
Kentucky actually held a 17 point lead when Noel picked up his fourth foul. The Rebels went on a furious 16-0 run, cutting the lead to 73-72 at the 4:29 mark. Noel picked up his game and had four blocks the rest of the way as UK pulled away. Ole Miss falls to 17-3 and 6-1 in the SEC. The Rebels were led by Ladarius White’s 22 points and Henderson’s 21.