Sunday, January 4, 2004

Unlikely duo helps seal win

UK notebook: Reserves Moss, Cote step up

By John Erardi
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEXINGTON - Playing huge in Kentucky's 61-56 victory Saturday afternoon over North Carolina were Ravi Moss, a sophomore walk-on guard from Hopkinsville who came into the game with two total points in 29 minutes, and Bernard Cote, a sophomore backup post player from Quebec, Canada, who came in with 11 points and two rebounds, in his 38 minutes.

They played beyond themselves - but not beyond their coach's game plan - to assure the victory.

As to why UK coach Tubby Smith went to Moss early, Smith said: "Ravi plays better position defense, he's more aggressive, and he's more physical."

In 10 minutes on the floor, Moss had four points, three rebounds and an assist. By contrast, in his nearly 34 minutes, starting guard Cliff Hawkins had three points (1-of-13 from the field), four rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks.

"Ravi did exactly what we wanted him to do and gave us a plus by scoring some buckets, and that was even better," Smith said.

In 17 minutes, backup post player Cote had two boards, two assists and a block. He also helped defend wide body Sean May.

"Cote came in and played relaxed," Smith said.

GERONIMOOOO: UNC coach Roy Williams was asked after the game if he is interested in extending the current series with UK. The Wildcats swept it, four games to none. UNC is up 16-10, overall, in the rivalry.

"I don't have the vaguest idea," Williams answered. "I'm worried about whether I'm going to jump out of the plane on the way back. I don't know if I'm going to be alive in two years. ... You saw us play defense. I'm sure as (heck) not going to worry about what's going to happen two years from now."

STATS 'R' US: UK had 10 turnovers in the first half (and trailed 28-20) but went 13 1/2 minutes into the second half without another turnover (and led 55-53). ... UK outscored UNC in the paint 36-24. ... The Tar Heels shot only 40.7 percent from the field; they came in averaging 48.4 percent. ... The Tar Heels perimeter players had a combined 13 turnovers of the team's 20. UK had 13 turnovers, three in the second half.

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