Nov. 16, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - After holding a 20-point halftime lead, No. 3/3 Kentucky separated itself from Lafayette in the second half, cruising to a 101-49 victory on Friday night at Rupp Arena. The third-ranked Wildcats outscored Lafayette 50-18 in the second half and had five players finish in double figures.
The Wildcats were led by Kyle Wiltjer's seven threes, leading to 23 points and Alex Poythress' 22 point effort. As a team, UK shot 64.5 percent, including 58 percent from beyond the arc in the contest. Lafayette (1-2) was led offensively by Tony Johnson, who connected on six of his eight field goals for 13 points.
Kentucky (2-1) came out of the gate red hot from the floor, knocking down six of its first seven shot attempts, and took an early 15-10 lead on the Leopards. The Leopards also shot the ball well early, as Levi Giese and Joey Ptasinski each knocked down threes before the first media timeout. Alan Flannigan, who made his first career start in place of Dan Trist, scored on a left-handed layup in the first few minutes.
Trist, who averaged 23.5 points after Lafayette's first two games, missed the game after injuring his ankle in the team's morning's shoot around.
The defending National Champion Wildcats, making their first home appearance of the season, then scored the next seven points after the stoppage, including a pair of dunks by Willie Cauley-Stein (14 points) to push the lead to 22-10. A feed from Zach Rufer to Ben Freeland for a bucket underneath briefly halted the run at the 12:30 mark of the opening half.
The dominant stretch for Kentucky continued, however, and the Wildcats extended the lead to 37-12, before Johnson ended the run with a left-handed driving layup with 8:10 to play in the half. Johnson scored the next five points for Lafayette and then set up a Bryce Scott layup in transition after out-hustling Archie Goodwin (13 points) at midcourt for a loose ball. Scott's basket made it 39-21, capping a 9-2 spurt for the Leopards at 7:28.
Kentucky maintained its 20-point lead and went into the locker room leading 51-31 after shooting 64.5 percent (20-of-31) from the field in the first half. The Wildcats were paced by Poythress in the frame as the freshman netted 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting. Nerlens Noel scored nine of his 15 points in the first half.
Leading 62-39 with a little more than 12 minutes remaining, Kentucky pulled away from the Leopards, scoring 39 of the final 49 points to run the final total to 101-49. The Wildcats' defense forced Lafayette into 28 turnovers on the night, including 19 in the final 20 minutes.
Lafayette returns to action on Sunday when it travels to Morehead, Ky. to challenge Morehead State. Tipoff from Johnson Arena is set for 2 p.m.
Tony Johnson is 18-of-23 from the floor through the Leopards' first three games
Tonight's game was the second of four for Lafayette as part of the Barclays Center Classic