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It's another miracle for McCarty as Evansville stuns No. 1 Kentucky

Jerry Tipton, Lexington Herald-Leader on

Published in Basketball

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Evansville Coach Walter McCarty, the former Kentucky player who hit a key basket in the Mardi Gras Miracle, can say after Tuesday's game that he has been part of two enduring basketball memories.

Evansville's 67-64 victory over No. 1 Kentucky was a November upset to remember.

It was no fluke. Unranked Evansville led for 29 minutes and 31 seconds.

With UK and the Rupp Arena crowd trying to shake Evansville, Sam Cunliffe made two free throws with 6.8 seconds left to set the final score. He finished with 17 points.

Tyrese Maxey's rushed three-pointer in the final seconds was an air ball.

The upset breathed life into something freshman Kahlil Whitney said Monday about the No. 1 ranking announced earlier that day inspiring opponents.

 

"I think people are trying to take our heads off," he said. "We have to watch our P's and Q's."

Kentucky, 2-1, did not shoot well and committed a lot of turnovers.

Meanwhile, Evansville -- picked to finish ninth in the Missouri Valley Conference by Blue Ribbon yearbook -- took the lead for good with 7:13 left. The Purple Aces did not wilt down the stretch.

"We're a tough team," McCarty said. "They won't back down. That's not to say whether it'll be a close game or if we'll get blown out. We're just a really good team that enjoys the game (and) that competes."

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