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No. 8 Kentucky’s 55-game home winning streak snapped with loss to Baylor

Dec 1, 2012, 2:43 PM EST

John Calipari

Kentucky has the athleticism. Kentucky has the raw talent. But the Wildcats’ cold shooting and inability to find the right fit for all its different pieces led to a second-straight loss, 64-55, to Baylor at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Saturday afternoon.

The loss was momentous for John Calipari’s Kentucky program for a number of reasons, each of which speaks to what UK has been able to accomplish in Calipari’s tenure.

To put it in perspective, Kentucky had not lost at home since March 9, 2009, when the Wildcats, then coached by Billy Gillispie, lost to Georgia.

Since that loss, Kentucky had won 55 consecutive games at home, by far the longest active streak in Division I. The record now belongs to Kansas and Syracuse, who have both won 25 straight, according to ESPN.

Previous to Saturday’s loss to Baylor, Calipari had never lost a game at Rupp Arena during his time with the Wildcats.

Before this 2012-13 ensemble that Calipari put together, he had not lost two games in the month of November while in Lexington. Losses to Duke and Notre Dame have changed that.

Not only did Kentucky lose two games in November, but they lose their first game of December, marking the first time the Wildcats have lost two straight games since February 2011. At that time, UK lost to Ole Miss on Feb. 1, then again to No. 23 Florida on Feb. 5.

On Saturday afternoon, Kentucky shot just 21-of-70 from the field, including 2-of-9 from senior Julius Mays, 1-of-9 from sophomore Kyle Wiltjer, and 3-of-15 from freshman Nerlens Noel. The team collectively missed 10 of its last 11 shots on the game.

Some of the blame certainly falls on shot selection, but many good shots also simply weren’t falling for Kentucky. The Wildcats shot 4-of-21 from three-point range, failing to extend the Baylor defense away from the basket.

Kentucky had chances to make a push and, at times, did so. After Baylor ballooned the lead to nine points with just under 11 minutes remaining, Kentucky worked its way back and a Mays three pulled the Wildcats to within three.

But inexperience showed itself again, as Baylor guard Pierre Jackson pulled up for a mid-range jump shot and knocked it down while getting fouled. His free throw stretched the lead back to six.

Foul trouble thinned out Kentucky’s frontcourt in the second half, with Willie Cauley-Stein sitting with four fouls and Noel picking up his third foul with 18 minutes still left to play.

Noel finished with just one block, but grabbed 15 rebounds.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

  1. ukraiders - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    got to stop with all the too young excuses. Archie isn’t a PG. He makes bad decisions and forces alot. We need Harrow to be the PG. they also don’t have a big that can make you guard a jumper. Plus the transition D is bad. To me its a matter of just playing smarter. Wiltjer also might as well not be on the floor if he isn’t making a 3 ball

  2. arlingtonsynn - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    UK needs this.

    Their ‘model’ will see the start of each season feature a group of individuals. Their success will be driven by how well they turn into a team. They just do not have it figured out yet.

    Also… the UK home streak has lasted so long because the SEC has been down the past few years and UK hasn’t scheduled tough ‘home and homes’.

  3. 93warchant - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    as I was saying a week ago the excuses have got to stop. their young, by the tournament …… yeah ok they just wont be playing for a final 4 this season period. now before all of you UK fans get your panties in a bunch I have respect for UK basketball. before anyone starts talking …. ish … remember they are the national champs. but this season its not happening.

  4. atwatercrushesokoye - Dec 1, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    But I thought all of the pundits said that UK would win another national championship with ease because that’s what coach Cal does?….even though he’s won once in his entire coaching career. If you really want to know what Coach Cal does just wait until the NCAA investigations start, with the Kentucky fans still love him after they vacate a bunch of wins?

  5. metalhead65 - Dec 1, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    how soon before calpari finds an excuse not to play baylor or the teams he has lost to anymore?

  6. florida727 - Dec 1, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    I’m a diehard Florida fan and I’m glad we’re playing good ball right now, but I still see Kentucky as a genuinely dangerous team. They’ll figure it out. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Harrow needs to get healthy, because he really is their point guard, Goodwin’s playing out of position. The bigs will get better as they acclimate to not only the college game but the travel, etc., as will the rest of the team. One criticism I will level is this: WiItjer needs to start acting like an upperclassman. They need leadership other than from the coaching staff. But, I wouldn’t write them off quite yet.

  7. tbird10 - Dec 1, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    I like Kentucky basketball and I love Ashley Judd but Cal is a crook and the Kentucky faithful should be prepared for the day when the NCAA walks through the door. It will happen and it will be ugly.

  8. imforbigblue - Dec 2, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    Your a lying asshole you Don’t love UK basketball because you wouldn’t be bad mouthing them if you did troll. Yes UK is off to a bad start Cal can’t win the title or go to a FF every year. The season is young still They can turn it around in time for March. Next year we have studs coming in plus we will have a better bench next year to so go away you loserville fan

    • dexterismyhero - Dec 2, 2012 at 10:32 AM

      easy blue. studs next year?

  9. prov1x - Dec 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    how old are you, blue? like 15 or so?

    live by the freshman, die by the freshman.

  10. eprobono - Dec 2, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    Having grown up in Louisville, my favorite team is any team that beats Kentucky — in anything.

    So today I’m a Baylor fan.

    Sic ‘em, Bears!

  11. gatordontplay - Dec 2, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Hahahahaha loserville? Great comeback big blue nothing like elementary trash talk on sports blog. Real mature a least we know how old you are or your mental capacity

  12. cranespy - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    We all know of Coach Cal’s ability to recruit and provide the path to the Association but what about his ability to coach?? While we hear quite a bit about his Blue Chippers…how many times has he taken the best to the dance and brought home an NCAA Championship?? Only ONCE! Hmmmm…..will BBN be patient through the obvious growing pains of this crop?? If you recall….John Wall and his batch of future NBA ers were knocked out by Bob Huggins and his overachieving Mountaineers! Time will tell…..this is worth watching….particularly with Conference match ups against Missouri and Florida on the horizon.

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