Monday, December 1, 2014

Kentucky Cruises Past Providence in Defensive Showdown

(1) Kentucky 58
Providence 38

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

Game recap by UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky post players Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns each had 11 points and six rebounds, and the top-ranked Wildcats opened the second half with an 18-7 run to pull away for a 58-38 rout of Providence on Sunday.

Leading 26-22 at halftime, the Wildcats' two platoons combined to limit the Friars to 2 of 12 shooting early in the second half.

Providence made just 4 of 24 second-half attempts (17 percent) and 11 of 39 overall (28 percent).

Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Alex Poythress, Tyler Ulis and Dakari Johnson each added six points in a balanced effort by Kentucky (7-0), which shot 45 percent from the field.

Carson Desrosiers and Tyler Harris each had 10 points for the Friars, whose zone and athleticism built several small first-half leads and kept them close.

But Providence missed its final five first-half shots and was cold in the second. LaDontae Henton, the team's leading scorer coming, was 1 of 8 from the field and finished with just three points.

Kentucky has passed the first in a series of tough non-conference tests in a month. That continues Friday against seventh-ranked Texas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Providence gave away a lot in length and depth to the Wildcats but gave no ground in the first half in forcing tweaks to the platoons.

The return of Kris Dunn (six points) from a one-game absence with ankle injuries bolstered the Friars' defense, which caused Kentucky to work deeper into the shot clock and look harder for inside passing lanes.

Complete Recap

Team Notes:

• Providence was limited to 28.2 percent from the field.
• After making seven of their first 10 field goal attempts to start the game, the Friars made just four of 29 the rest of the way.
• Kentucky has held all seven opponents under 40 percent shooting, including four games under 30 percent.
• Coming into the game averaging 24.3 points per game, LaDontae Henton of Providence was held to three points today.
• Kentucky won turnovers 18-7, leading to a 21-2 advantage in points off turnovers.
• UK won the second half 32-16. This marked the seventh half of the season that an opponent has scored fewer than 20 points.
• Kentucky had a season-high 12 steals, including four by Andrew Harrison, most by a Wildcat this season.
• UK won rebounding 33-29 today and has outrebounded all seven opponents this season.
• UK won bench points 18-9 and has won bench points every game this season.
• Kentucky is now 44-0 under Coach Calipari when holding the opponent to 55 or fewer points.

Player Notes

• Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein shared game-high scoring honors with 11 points each. It was Towns’ second-consecutive game in double figures and Cauley-Stein’s third double- figure game of the season.
• Towns and Cauley-Stein also tied a pair of Friars for top rebounder with six each.
• Aaron and Andrew Harrison each contributed six points and four assists. Andrew’s four steals are most by a Wildcat this season.
• Tyler Ulis had six points, three steals and three offensive rebounds. In their postgame remarks, both coaches mentioned Ulis for having a disruptive presence in the game.

Box Score (click to enlarge):

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