The Cats came out of the gate a bit sluggish, perhaps hung over on fresh pineapple juice, jet lagged, or just frozen from the cold tundra that is a Lexington winter. Whatever the case the Cats couldn’t pull away from the Boston Terriers early before mounting an 18-3 run to start the second half to bust it wide open. When the smoked cleared the Cats found themselves victors by 34, 91-57.
It was truly the tale of two halves tonight. The first half playing much like the team that fell to UConn in the final game of the Maui invitational with selfish ball handling, quick shots and poor rebounding. UK lead by only 7 at the break.
Maybe they all took 5-hour energies to get rid of that 2 o’clock feeling, or Coach Cal had one of his classic motivating speeches, whatever it was it worked. Because for the second half UK came out guns a-blazin’ and surmounted an 18-3 run and ultimately locked up the puppies, outscoring the Terriers 51-24 to seal the deal.
The stars of the night for UK were 4 of the starters. Brandon Knight led the Cats with 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists against 4 turnovers. Good to see Brandon shake the monkey off his back and lead the Cats to victory. Knight shot 8-12 from the field and 4-6 from 3 and controlled the Cats offense to perfection in the second half.
Terrence Jones added 18 points and 10 rebounds, Harrellson got another double double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, Doron Lamb added 13 points and 5 assists.
The Cats shot 59.3% from the field, going 10-16 from deep for 62.5%. UK out-rebounded the Terriers 39-26, with 10 offensive boards. The Cats got 10 blocked shots on the evening and 21 assists to the 32 made baskets.
There is still a ton to work on, but it’s early, the Cats got the W and we get to head to Chapel Hill to take on the Tarheels on Saturday. The 4-2 Tarheels that lost to Vanderbilt and Tubby’s Minnesota squad!