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 on Tuesday night 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 3-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 º 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,” said McCarty, who once played for the Boston Celtics and other NBA teams. “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.”

Kentucky trailed 34-30 at halftime. In the first two games of the season, UK trailed for only 38 seconds, and not since about six minutes remained in the opener against then-No. 1 Michigan State.

(2) DUKE 105, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 54: Freshman Matthew Hurt scored a season-high 19 points to help second-ranked Duke beat Central Arkansas at Durham, N.C.

Fellow freshman Vernon Carey Jr. added season highs of 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (3-0), who played much of the night without starting point guard Tre Jones after he was shaken up during a first-half collision.

U. OF NEW ENGLAND 81, SOUTHERN MAINE 73:  Alex Kravchuk scored 16 of his 24 points in the first half, including an acrobatic 3-pointer at the buzzer, as the Nor’easters (1-1) took a 43-38 lead and pulled away from the Huskies (0-1) in non-conference action in Biddeford.

Ric Castillo had 11 points for UNE, while Ray Evans added 10.

Jacobe Thomas had 15 points for Southern Maine. DJ Anderson chipped in with 12 points, while Derek Haney and Keenan Hendrick had 11 apiece.


UNIV. OF NEW ENGLAND 71, SOUTHERN MAINE 65: Abby Cavallaro sank three free throws in the final 17 seconds of regulation and the Nor’easters (2-0) held off Southern Maine (1-1) in Biddeford.

UNE used a 21-0 run to open a 28-10 lead three minutes into the second quarter. Kaylee Beyor, who ignited the run with a pair of field goals, scored eight during the rally. The Nor’easters led 67-47 with seven minutes left before the Huskies, behind eight points from Jackie Luckhardt – scored the next 18 points to pull within 67-65 with 1:40 left.

Cavallaro was fouled and made both free throws for a 70-65 lead with 17 seconds to go, then then added a final free throw with 10 seconds to play. Cavallaro finished with 24 points. Jocelyn Chaput added 16 for the Nor’easters, Sadie Nelson 11 and Beyor 10.

Victoria Harris had 15 points for USM, Kristen Curley 14 and Luckhardt 11.

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