LEXINGTON, Ky. — A little offense went a long way for Kentucky's Cedric Jenkins.
Jenkins' tip-in as time expired--his only points of the game--lifted No. 1 Kentucky to a 76-75 victory over Louisville Saturday.
"Definitely, I'd have to say it was one of my greatest moments," Jenkins said. "I'm not one to concentrate on offense too much. I'm in there to shut my man down and get rebounds."
Louisville, which trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half, took a 75-74 lead on Pervis Ellison's baseline jumper with 40 seconds to go.
Kentucky worked 29 seconds off the clock before calling a timeout to set up final strategy. The ball went to guard Ed Davender, who drove to the right baseline and misfired on a 12-footer.
After one unsuccessful tip-in the frantic final seconds, Jenkins slipped in on the right side of the basket to score just before the horn sounded.
"Rob (Lock) and I got a hand on it (first tip) and it came back to me," Jenkins said. "I just crashed the boards. It was an open lane and I just tipped it in."
It didn't surprise Kentucky Coach Eddie Sutton that his team had a struggle with its in-state rival.
"I knew it would be a tough game," said Sutton, whose team blew a 13-point halftime lead. "Louisville is a good team. I knew if we didn't play as well as we can play it would be close."
And Louisville Coach Denny Crum, whose team fell, 69-54, to Notre Dame in its season opener a week earlier, was elated that his team rebounded with the near-victory effort.
"At year end, we could have a chance to be a very good basketball team," he said. "To come in here and play the No.1 team and have a chance to take the lead with 11 seconds left, I couldn't be prouder of my team."
Guard Rex Chapman scored 21 points to lead Kentucky to its fourth victory in four games. Davender followed with 20 points, and forward Winston Bennett added 14.
Forward Herbert Crook scored 24 points to pace Louisville (0-2). Ellison contributed 20 points, and forward Kenny Payne added 10.
Kentucky has a 14-5 series lead, including victories in the past three meetings. Louisville is winless in four meetings at Rupp Arena.