Monday, December 8, 2014

Kentucky Blows by Eastern Kentucky, Survives Three-Point Scare

(1) Kentucky 82
Eastern Kentucky 49

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

The top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats had their stamp on a lopsided win early in the first half against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, but there was still a high level of anxiety in Rupp Arena during the last media timeout of the game.

With three minutes to go in the game, the Wildcats led 69-43, but still had not connected on a three-point attempt. Of course, Kentucky has made a three-point basket in every game since 1988 - a streak of 908 consecutive games.

Finally, with 2:57 remaining in the game, Aaron Harrison nailed a three-pointer from the wing to extend the streak to 909 games.

The Wildcats (9-0) cruised to the finish line to earn an 82-49 victory.

Freshman Karl Towns led Kentucky with 19 points on 8-for-9 shooting. He also pulled down 9 rebounds and blocked 4 shots.

Willie Cauley-Stein added 11 points and 5 boards. Marcus Lee and Trey Lyles added 10 points, each. Lyles also tallied his first career double-double with 10 rebounds.

Eastern (4-3), which played without senior big man Eric Stutz, was dominated in the paint. Kentucky out-rebounded the Colonels 48-28. The Wildcats totaled 52 points in the paint compared to only 20 for Eastern Kentucky.

Denzel Richardson led the way for EKU with 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting.

After the game, Richardson created controversy by stating that Kentucky's defense was not all that impressive to him individually.

"They really wasn't that good of defenders to me," Richardson said after the game.

Corey Walden chipped in 12 points for the Colonels.

Kentucky returns to action Wednesday when they host Columbia at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Team Notes:

• Eastern Kentucky was limited to 26.1 percent from the field. UK entered the game holding opponents to just 28.2 percent from the field, leading the nation in that category.
• Kentucky has held all nine opponents under 40 percent shooting.
• Kentucky has held six opponents under 30 percent from the field, including the last five in a row.
• EKU’s 49 points is a season low for the Colonels. Eight of UK’s nine opponents (all except Boston) have scored their season-low against the Wildcats.
• Key stat for Kentucky was points in the paint, as UK led that 52-20.
• Kentucky blocked 11 shots, the fifth time in nine games that the Wildcats have reached double figures in rejections.
• Kentucky featured balanced scoring as seven Wildcats had at least six points.
• UK won bench points 34-19 and has won bench points every game this season.
• Kentucky is now 46-0 under Coach Calipari when holding its opponent to 55 or fewer points, including the last five in a row and eight of nine games this season.

Player Notes

• Karl-Anthony Towns had a career-high 19 points, including going 8-of-9 from the field. It is his fourth consecutive game in double figures. He also claimed nine rebounds.
• Trey Lyles tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds, his first Wildcat double-double. It is his fourth game in double-figure scoring and a season high for rebounds.
• Willie Cauley-Stein notched 11 points, his third consecutive double-figure effort.
• Marcus Lee posted a season-best 10 points on 5-of-6 from the field.
• In addition to his streak-extending 3-pointer, Aaron Harrison had a season-best six rebounds.
• After getting five assists early in the game, Andrew Harrison finished with a season high of six.
• Dominique Hawkins tallied a career-high six assists.

Box Score (click to enlarge):

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