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Noel's record-setting defensive night and a 14-2 run to close the game secured a big road victory for UK.
The Kentucky Wildcats picked up one of their biggest wins of the year on Tuesday night. On the road and facing a capacity crowd decked in white at the "Tad Pad" in Oxford, the young Wildcats knocked off Ole Miss by a score of 87-74.
The two SEC foes were pretty evenly matched throughout the first half. UK moved out to a 17-point lead midway through the second half, but a furious 16-0 run from Ole Miss brought them within one point of the defending national champions. Kentucky responded, though, battling back with a 14-2 run of their own to close out the game.
Nerlens Noel dominated the paint on the defensive end, blocking 12 shots and altering many, many more. The 12 blocks is a Kentucky record. Noel finished with just two points and seven rebounds, but his impact was felt throughout.
Ladarius White had 22 points to lead Ole Miss. Marshall Henderson had 21, although he shot just 5-for-19 from the field and 2-for-11 from behind the three-point arc. As a team, the Rebels hit just 33 percent of their shots and missed seven of their 20 free-throw attempts.