The Wildcats regrouped to take a 21-20 lead on a free throw by Willie Cauley-Stein, an aspect that helped them trail just 28-25 at halftime despite 6-of-25 shooting. Kentucky took 15 free throws, three times as many as Alabama, making 11.
The Wildcats followed with the energy and ball movement Calipari had waited for all game at a time they seemed resigned to just stay close. Trailing 32-28, Randle made consecutive baskets, the Harrisons added consecutive 3-pointers and Johnson sandwiched dunks around a free throw by Young.
The big run over 4:57 provided Kentucky’s biggest lead at 43-34. Alabama got within 48-47 on Randolph’s jumper with 5:11 left but only added a free throw by Releford after that.