Half ’Cats too much for UALR
Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 7:03 pm
By COLIN FLY
AP Sports Writer
LOUISVILLE — Kentucky coach John Calipari wanted to watch the game film of the Wildcats’ victory over Arkansas-Little Rock on the ride home to Lexington. Then, he had another plan for it.
“I’ll watch the tape on the drive home just to get rid of it because I don’t want to see it,” he said. “The first 40 minutes will be that tape, then I’ll throw it out the window.”
Freshman Anthony Davis had 22 points and 16 rebounds, and the No. 2 Wildcats overcame a slow start with a big run that put away the Trojans 73-51 on Tuesday night.
But the final nonconference game was an ugly one all around for the 14-1 Wildcats, who played for the first time since beating then-No. 4 Louisville on Dec. 31 and moving up one spot behind top-ranked Syracuse.
Kentucky, picked to win its 45th conference title, will open its SEC schedule against South Carolina on Saturday at Rupp Arena and give its vaunted freshme a taste of the league.
“I heard it’s very physical,” Davis said. “The way we came out and played in the first half is not going to be acceptable in SEC play.”
Darius Miller’s 3-pointer with 11:03 left put the Wildcats up 45-35 and made him the 58th Kentucky player to score 1,000 career points. Kentucky used a 23-1 run to storm past the undermanned Trojans.
“In the beginning of the game, we came out and we had no intensity and we were very sluggish,” Miller said.
“We have to do a better job of coming out and taking care of business from the beginning.”
Chuck Guy scored 19 points for UALR (5-11).
“I expected us to win. We played as hard as we could,” Guy said. “They just picked up their intensity and hit big shots.”
Kentucky trailed 34-31, after Guy made two free throws with 16:11 left, before the Wildcats took control.
“They had more energy, more intensity, more toughness than us,” Davis said. “In the second half, we all got together as a group. Darius brought us together and said, `Let’s step it up. Let’s go out there and win.’ We’ve got a big game coming up on Saturday to start conference (play).”
Davis’ layup changed the lead for the eighth and final time just over a minute later. Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist hit a 3-pointer, Davis added a jumper, and Miller made a 3 to join the 1,000-point club and give Kentucky a 45-35 edge with 11 minutes left.
Published in The Messenger 1.4.12