Monday, November 17, 2014

Kentucky Overcomes Bad First Half to Take Care of Buffalo

(1) Kentucky 71
Buffalo 52

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

Game recap by UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - For 20 minutes Buffalo staggered No. 1 Kentucky with the smashmouth aggression that coach John Calipari wanted for his young, talented team.

To his delight, the Wildcats opened the second half with a quick flurry of blows that helped seize a hard-fought victory.

Trey Lyles lifted Kentucky out of a funk with five straight points to begin a 9-0 second-half run, and Tyler Ulis scored 12 points on four 3-pointers to help the Wildcats rally for a 71-52 victory over Buffalo on Sunday.

Trailing 38-33 at halftime, Kentucky used a 3-pointer and subsequent steal and dunk by Lyles to get back on track. The 6-foot-10 freshman forward finished with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting as the Wildcats pulled away from the stubborn Bulls (1-1) in the final 20 minutes.

"The opportunity presented itself and I took it," said Lyles, who finished with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting and 4 rebounds.

The Wildcats (2-0) shot 41 percent (25 for 61) from the field. But they clamped down on Buffalo down the stretch, holding the Bulls to 4-of-19 shooting in the second half and 35 percent overall.

"It seemed like our shots in the second half were a lot more contested and a lot more difficult to find," second-year Buffalo coach Bobby Hurley said.

Playing their second game in 40 hours and seeking a strong tuneup with No. 5 Kansas awaiting Tuesday in Indianapolis, the Wildcats instead got the adversity that Calipari sought after Friday's 40-point blowout win over Grand Canyon.

"Now we go (play) Kansas and it's the same thing," Calipari said. "We probably need another hit in the mouth to see where we are."

Buffalo got off to a nice start in the program's first game against a No. 1 team.

Complete Recap

Box Score (click to enlarge):

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