The Kentucky Wildcats took a beating (literally) on the road at LSU on Saturday but delivered a knockout blow of their own where it counts-the scoreboard-as they pounded the Tigers 74-50. UK got out to a 6-0 lead and, although LSU cut the lead to one late in the first half, never trailed as they methodically extended their lead in the second half.
More impressively, the Wildcats showed what coach John Calipari has said was missing-toughness-in overcoming the obvious game plan of the Tigers which was to use brute force to knock UK off stride, in particular by physically pounding Anthony Davis in the middle. This strategy is not all that surprising in league play, which is usually more physical, but LSU took it to new heights on Saturday and it resulted in the ejection of LSU's Malcolm White early in the second half. White's foul, which was intended to stop Davis on a breakaway layup after a steal, was scary to watch and absolutely deserved the flagrant technical that was assessed and the subsequent ejection.
Despite the physical play, however, UK never looked off stride and went about their business in an efficient dismantling of the Tigers in their most impressive win in SEC play. Terrence Jones was a beast again with 27 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and a pair of steals and looked like the Terrence Jones we have come to love over the past season and a half. Davis turned in yet another double-double with 16 points and 10 boards to go along with 3 blocks and 2 steals-all in just 28 minutes. Darius Miller had another nice game with 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting.
All in all, Saturday's game, coupled with an an impressive 57-44 win over Georgia on Tuesday, makes it appear that the Wildcats are rounding into form at just the right time-especially on the defensive end. While UK has been in the top ten nationally defensively all season, over the past two games they have given up just 44 and 50 points respectively while allowing the Dogs and Tigers to shoot just 37% from the field and 22% (6-of-27) from three collectively. That is simply getting it done! And, FINALLY, we are seeing a little killer instinct in these young Cats in not allowing teams to hang around, especially on their home floor. This has been the cause of much alarm and debate over the past few weeks.
Kentucky now stands at 21-1 overall and 7-0 in the SEC and will remain the #1 team in the nation in both polls this week. The schedule gets a little tougher this week as the Cats host a vastly improved Tennessee team tomorrow and then travels to South Carolina on Saturday. On paper, UK should win both games, but strange things happen in conference play. Still, there are very few, if any, teams that can beat UK when they play the way they did at LSU on Saturday. That UK team, with Jones and Davis controlling the paint, is as close to unbeatable as any team in the nation.
Go Cats!go back