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Sat March 17, 2012
Teague's 24 Leads Kentucky Past Iowa State
LOUISVILLE, Ky. Freshman Marquis Teague is taking Kentucky to the South Regional semifinals in Atlanta. And maybe a lot farther than that.
Teague scored a career-high 24 points and top seed Kentucky put together another complete performance with a dominating second-half run in an 87-71 victory over Iowa State in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday night.
Freshman Anthony Davis had 15 points and 12 rebounds, senior Darius Miller added 19 points and Doron Lamb finished with 16. The Wildcats (34-2) used a 20-2 burst to break away from a tie and will next face fourth-seeded Indiana on Friday.
The Wildcats have plenty of weapons and Teague's role as point guard has been one of the hardest. He's had to learn under coach John Calipari and acknowledged earlier this year he worried so much about it he has had sleepless nights.
Now he and his teammates will get another crack at the Hoosiers, who beat Kentucky on a last-second shot in December when the young 'Cats committed a defensive lapse that cost them on the final play.
Among the players who've improved the most since then is Teague, often overshadowed and compared to Calipari's former point guards at Kentucky and Memphis, including John Wall, Brandon Knight, Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans.
Royce White, who almost transferred to Kentucky, scored 23 points and had nine rebounds before fouling out with 4:32 left for Iowa State (23-11), which beat defending national champion Connecticut on Thursday night.
But the Cyclones couldn't contend with Kentucky's overwhelming offense and smothering defense after rallying from a 12-point halftime deficit to tie at 42-all with 16:23 left.
Teague and Kentucky turned up the pressure with their big burst.
Terrence Jones hit a basket, Miller added another and Jones flipped an alley-oop to Davis. After two free throws by Scott Christopherson, the Wildcats ran off 16 straight points that made it 62-42.
Jones finished with eight points and 11 rebounds as Kentucky led by as many as 24 with 6:27 left while shooting 55.4 percent from the field on the night.
Chris Allen scored 16 points and Christopherson finished with 15 for the Cyclones, who went 3 of 22 from 3-point range.
In this tournament, Kentucky has remained the mark of consistency and made the most of its two games in its own state, just 75 miles from campus. Seemingly every member of Big Blue Nation attended, including actress Ashley Judd, who was stationed just behind the bench with Calipari's family.
Teague and the rest of the Wildcats made sure the show was worth it.