LEXINGTON, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Antwain Barbour kept Kentucky afloat until it finally got things going.
Barbour scored a career-high 23 points as the eighth-ranked Wildcats shook off a sluggish start to post a 66-55 Southeastern Conference victory over Alabama.
Kentucky (17-3, 7-2 SEC East) played its second straight game without leading scorer Gerald Fitch, who was out with a sprained right index finger. The Wildcats were struggling in the beginning, but Barbour kept things close by scoring the team's first 13 points.
The Wildcats finally took the lead for good, 25-22, on Chuck Hayes' three-point play with 3:07 left before halftime. Barbour scored six points in an 11-2 tear that opened a 45-34 cushion with just under 12 minutes to go.
Alabama (11-9, 3-6 West) dropped its fifth straight game, further hampering its chances for an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. Earnest Shelton led the Crimson Tide with 13 points.