With Bogans on, Ky. shuts off Valparaiso

Coming off 2-for-24 stretch from 3-point range, guard hits 4 of 5 in 83-68 victory

East Regional

Ncca Tournament

March 15, 2002|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

ST. LOUIS -- In many ways, Keith Bogans has typified what had been a disappointing regular season for Kentucky. After nearly leaving for the NBA after his sophomore year, Bogans figured to be one of the top players in the country. But the former DeMatha High School star struggled with his shot, his confidence and sometimes with his coach.

Bogans got off to a good start yesterday, and so did the Wildcats. He scored a team-high 21 points in Kentucky's 83-68 victory over Valparaiso in the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

A three-pointer late in the first half by Bogans gave fourth seed Kentucky (21-9) a 41-21 lead. After 13th seed Valparaiso (25-8) cut its deficit to 13 early in the second half, Bogans hit two straight threes. The junior guard finished 4-for-5 from three-point range and 6-for-10 overall.

"I always go into games thinking I'm going to have a good shooting game," said Bogans, who had missed 22 of his past 24 threes. "Most of the time this year it didn't happen. But today they fell."

Though senior forward Tayshaun Prince struggled with his shot, he was able to shut down Valparaiso's leading scorer, Lubos Barton. The two time Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Year failed to score a point or grab a rebound in the first half, finishing with 10 points. Center Raitis Grafs led the Crusaders with 21 points.

The performance by Kentucky was one of its best of the season. The Wildcats were efficient on offense and intense on defense, something they hadn't been in finishing out the regular season with a road loss at Vanderbilt and a loss to South Carolina in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

"This shows what type of team we can be when we show up for 40 minutes," Bogans said.

Kentucky advanced to play 12th seed Tulsa, a 71-69 winner over No. 5 Marquette, in the East Regional second round.

VALPARAISO--Barton 2-9 4-4 10, Gomes 1-3 0-0 3, Grafs 9-16 3-3 21, Stovall 4-11 1-2 10, Nuness 3-6 0-0 9, Nelke 1-2 0-0 3, Ortiz 2-7 5-8 10, Berdiel 1-4 0-0 2, Nikkila 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-58 13-17 68.

KENTUCKY--Prince 5-14 3-3 13, Hayes 2-4 1-2 5, Camara 4-7 3-4 11, C.Hawkins 1-4 4-5 7, Bogans 6-10 5-6 21, Carruth 1-3 0-0 2, Blevins 0-0 0-0 0, Fitch 1-5 4-5 6, Daniels 3-4 0-0 6, Estill 5-6 2-4 12. Totals 28-57 22-29 83. Halftime--Kentucky 41-23. 3-point goals--Valparaiso 9-24 (Nuness 3-5, Barton 2-6, Gomes 1-2, Nelke 1-2, Ortiz 1-4, Stovall 1-4, Berdiel 0-1), Kentucky 5-16 (Bogans 4-5, C.Hawkins 1-1, Carruth 0-2, Fitch 0-2, Prince 0-6). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--Valparaiso 32 (Grafs 8), Kentucky 40 (Bogans 6). Assists--Valparaiso 13 (Barton 3), Kentucky 17 (C.Hawkins 4). Total fouls--Valparaiso 23, Kentucky 20.

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