|Forget about partying like it’s 1999; DeMarcus Cousins and his teammates celebrated the 2,000th win for Kentucky. (John Sommers Ii/Reuters)|
Wildcats claim 2,000th win
Kentucky reaches milestone in style
Kentucky’s 2,000th victory looked awfully familiar.
DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson scored 18 points apiece and the third-ranked Wildcats became the first team in NCAA history to reach the 2,000-win plateau with an 88-44 romp over visiting Drexel last night.
Kentucky improved to 2,000-635-1 in 107 seasons. North Carolina is next with 1,992 wins, while Kansas has 1,980.
“We weren’t a part of many of those 2,000 wins and we had a job to do and that was drag us across the line before that other blue team got there,’’ coach John Calipari said. “This is a special moment for this program and this state.’’
The Wildcats did it in style, taking control early behind the play of Cousins, Patterson, and John Wall to improve to 12-0.
Samme Givens led Drexel (6-6) with 11 points, but the Dragons shot just 31 percent from the field and spent most of the game as invited guests to Kentucky’s celebration.
The first win was an 11-10 squeaker over the Lexington YMCA Feb. 18, 1903. It took Kentucky 66 years to reach 1,000 victories. Students celebrated the milestone with cake alongside legendary coach Adolph Rupp at Memorial Coliseum in 1969.
This party was a little bigger. Confetti showered the court moments after the final buzzer while players donned black T-shirts commemorating the occasion.
The Wildcats needed just 40 years to reach the next millennium, a ride that included three national titles and a recruiting scandal under Eddie Sutton.
Kansas St. 90, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 76 - Jacob Pullen had 18 points and the 12th-ranked Wildcats (11-1) responded to their highest ranking in 36 years with a home victory over the winless Golden Lions (0-10).
Providence 87, Yale 78 - Jamine Peterson had a double-double with 25 points and 13 rebounds to help the host Friars rally past the Bulldogs.
Providence (8-4) pulled away down the stretch despite trailing most of the way against Yale (4-6), which was playing a major-conference team for the first time this season.
Alex Zampier scored 25 points for the Bulldogs, who led, 40-36, at halftime.
Before the game, McCallie received a standing ovation from the crowd of more than 3,700 and was lauded for her time with Maine, an eight-year stretch highlighted by six straight NCAA Tournament appearances (1995-2000), four conference crowns, and a 167-73 record.
Vermont 66, Providence 57 - May Kotsopoulos scored 18 points and led a key 13-4 run midway through the second half, helping the visiting Catamounts (7-2) beat the Friars (8-3) and continue the school’s best start since the 2002-03 season.
Trojans tailback Joe McKnight did not travel with the team to the Bay Area.
“He has some paperwork he needs to do and it’s best for him to stay in LA so he can be available to finish it,’’ Trojans coach Pete Carroll said.
Carroll did not have a timetable for McKnight’s return. USC has previously said it was investigating whether McKnight used an SUV registered to a Los Angeles businessman.