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Sports Notes: Impressive win over No. 25 Tigers not enough to break Cats into rankings

Freshman Ethan Thomas rushed for 59 yards against Austin Peay and caught three passes for 30 yards (EKU Athletics Photo)

Freshman Ethan Thomas rushed for 59 yards against Austin Peay and caught three passes for 30 yards (EKU Athletics Photo)


Kentucky’s encouraging win over No. 25 Missouri Saturday was the first for the Wildcats over a ranked team since 2010, a span that covered 19 tries.

Yet that 24-13 confidence-building performance wasn’t enough to break coach Mark Stoops’ troops into the national rankings and if fact the Wildcats didn’t draw a single vote in either the media or coaches polls. And that’s not likely to change next week, even if Kentucky turns in an impressive performance against in-state FCS rival Eastern Kentucky.

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But just because the Cats are stepping down a level in competition, don’t be surprised if coach Dean Hood’s Colonels put up a stout performance, particularly in the early going. The 2-1 Colonels are coming off a 51-13 pounding of Austin Peay, an overpowering showing that came despite the absence of All-American running back Dy’Shawn Mobley, the UK transfer and candidate for Player of the Year.

Without Mobley, Adam Lane and Ethan Thomas, a freshman, combined to rush for 118 yards and three touchdowns. EKU quarterback Bennie Coney completed 28 of his 35 passes for a season-best 261 yards and a score. Eastern never trailed in the game.

Kentucky should come into Saturday’s game feeling pretty good about itself after turning in its most consistent performance of the year against Missouri. Quarterback Patrick Towles righted the ship after his hapless game against Florida, completing 22 of 27 passes for 249 yards. He threw for two scores and ran for another and had one stretch of the game that saw him complete 11 passes in a row.

That resulted in UK’s first win over a ranked opponent since No. 10 South Carolina went down during the 2010 campaign. It was also Stoops’ first win over a ranked team in his three years in Lexington.

With the victory over the two-time defending SEC East Division champions, the Wildcats are 3-1 for the second year in a row, a feat last accomplished in 2007-08.

EKU’s most recent appearance in Lexington came in 2009, when the Wildcats posted a 37-12 decision.

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Heading into Week 5 of the season, two SEC East Division teams — Georgia and Florida — remain unbeaten with Kentucky and Missouri one game back. In the West Division, LSU, Mississippi and Texas A&M still have unblemished records with Mississippi State and Alabama holding at one loss.

Among the top games set for this week: Ole Miss travels to Florida, Alabama is at Georgia and Texas A&M entertains Mississippi State.

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Former EKU men’s basketball standout Corey Walden has been added to the final training camp roster of the Boston Celtics.

Walden was one of four players the Celtics signed late last week, joining guard Levi Randolph and forwards Coty Clark and Malcom Miller. The 6-2 guard from Daytona Beach, Florida made an impact defensively for the Celtics at the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 3.5 steals in 16.5 minutes-per-game. He also averaged 2.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists-per-game.

Walden put up 18.6 points-per-game as a senior in 2014-15 and was chosen as a Lou Henson All-American, a Lefty Driesell Defensive All-American, first team All-Ohio Valley Conference, OVC Defensive Player of the Year and first team All-District 19 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

In just three years as a Colonel, he scored 1,518 points, eighth on the school’s all-time list. The two-time OVC Defensive Player of the Year also broke the EKU career and single season records for steals. His 236 career steals broke Jamie Ross’ mark of 221 and is the fifth most-ever in OVC history.

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Former Kentucky All-American A.J. Reed has been named the Houston Astros’ Minor League Player of the Year after a season that saw him lead all leagues in home runs, runs batted in, runs scored, slugging percentage and on-base plus slugging percentage.

Reed, who compiled 34 homers, 127 RBI and 113 runs, split his first complete minor league season between Class A Lancaster and Double A Corpus Christi.

“It’s been a great year,” Reed said on MiB.com. “I’ve had so much fun. For me, the best part about it is getting to share it with those guys and the coaches and the people around it who are involved.”

Reed was also named the Class A California League’s MVP and he is ranked as the Astros’ No. 5 overall prospect.

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For the first time in Breeders’ Cup history, a local television affiliate will provide coverage of races on the undercard as well as broadcast an original production when WKYT teams up with Keeneland the last week of October.

WKYT’s CW Lexington will televise live five of the undercard races on the first day of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Friday, Oct. 30, from noon-3 p.m. On Saturday, CW Lexington will be on the air from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will televise four races beginning with the $100,000 Perryville, for 3-year-olds at 6 furlongs, and the $100,000 Juvenile Dirt Sprint for 2-year-olds at 6 furlongs.

CW Lexington will then televise the first two Breeders’ Cup World Championships races. Those races will be determined when the final race order for both days of the Championships is announced on Oct. 22.

In addition to the live telecasts Breeders’ Cup on Friday and Saturday, WKYT’s CW Lexington will provide comprehensive Keeneland and Breeders’ Cup programming beginning Sept. 26 with “Keeneland Magazine.”

The Keeneland Fall Meet opens Friday and CW Lexington will televise “Today at Keeneland” at 10 p.m. on all race days. On Thursday, Prelude to the Cup Day at Keeneland, through Saturday, Oct. 29-31, the evening program will be titled “Today at the Breeders’ Cup.”

WKYT’s CW Lexington will be live at Keeneland for “Breakfast at the Breeders’ Cup” on Monday, Oct. 26 through Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 7-10 a.m., featuring live workouts of Breeders’ Cup horses and interviews with key personalities participating in the Championships.

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