Nerlens Noel set a Kentucky record with 12 blocks Tuesday, helping the Wildcats fend off Mississippi in a game that was exciting for only a few minutes in the second half. Kentucky scored 37 points in the first half, then 36 in the next 10 minutes. John Calipari’s team led by 17, and appeared to have its first Top 50 RPI win of the season locked up. Then, as foul trouble mounted, the Rebels peeled off a 16-0 run and closed within 73-72 with four minutes left.
That’s when Noel, playing with four fouls, took over. He blocked back-to-back dunk attempts and the Wildcats pulled away.
:33 mark: Noel thwarts a dunk-attempt with the Wildcats leading by four. That has to be a candidate for block of the year.
:39 mark: Noel rejects another dunk-attempt, this time with Kentucky up six.
:47, :52: Noel’s out there playing volleyball.
Noel almost seemed to use some face-to-face jawing with Reginald Buckner as a spark for his dominant play down the stretch.
[Video compilation via Michael Shamburger]