University of Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel, continuing his recent trend, did the unthinkable again Tuesday night in the Wildcats’ biggest game of the season. On a night when teammates Kyle Wiltjer, Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress combined to score 65 points, grab 20 rebounds and sink 22 of 39 field-goal attempts in an 87-74 upset of 16th-ranked Mississippi, Noel managed to steal the show despite scoring just two points.
That happens when you block a school-record 12 shots and single handedly put a lid on the opponent’s goal in crunch time, swatting five shots in the final four minutes while playing with four fouls. UK clung to a four-point lead with 3:54 to go when Noel crammed Murphy Holloway’s dunk attempt back in his face. With the lead at six 19 seconds later, Noel denied Reginald Buckner’s slam.