I’m here at Rupp Arena for UK-Samford, and with the game being televised by Fox Sports South, I’ll be providing updates and analysis. You can follow me on twitter at @johnclayiv, or you can leave questions and comments on this post.
Final Kentucky wins 88-56. Hood hit a pair of threes, one from each corner, in the final minute. Highlight of final minute.
2H-2:12 Kentucky up 79-49, but Samford has actually outscored the Cats 35-34 this half. The Bulldogs have shot an even 50 percent, hitting 14 of 28 in the second half. The visitors have made five of eight three-pointers. Cauley-Stein now up to 11 rebounds for Kentucky. And most of the fans have headed for the exits.
2H-6:47 Kentucky up 70-41 on Samford. It’s a blowout, mainly because 2-7 Samford is not very good. How has UK played? I’d say average, at best. Calipari has spent most of the night yanking players after a mistake. And guys have been a bit banged up tonight. Practices have been tougher the past couple of days. Goodwin leads the Cats with 16 points. Cauley-Stein has eight rebounds. Samford has turned it over 17 times, but just three times this half.
2H-11:58 Kentucky 58-33 over Samford. Raijon Kelly has scored nine points this half for Samford. Wiltjer’s struggles continue. He’s 3-of-8 from the floor and 1-of-4 from 3-point range. The sophomore does have seven rebounds. Calipari got upset with Polson at one point, pulled him out and was talking to him on the bench. To me, that he’s now a factor or Calipari wouldn’t bother to correct the mistake. Harrow did return after apparently knocking knees earlier.
2H-14:27 Kentucky leads 52-25 but Samford actually started the second half with a 9-0 run. Wiltjer failed to score on an inside move and was yanked quickly in favor of Harrow. Wiltjer did return and hit his first three of the night, this one from the right corner. Harrow got knocked around and appeared to be shaken up and took himself out. Not sure of the problem. Samford has made five of nine shots this half.
Halftime Kentucky leads Samford 45-14. Pretty easy half for the Cats. Samford not providing much opposition, but coming off a two-game losing streak perhaps UK needs to build some confidence. Poythress had 13 points in the first half, Noel 11. UK shot 53.1 percent. Samford shot just 20 percent, making only four of 20 shots. Samford turned it over 14 times. Here is the first-half box.
1H-2:43 Kentucky lead now 40-10 over Samford. Highlight in that stretch was a fast-break jam by Poythress when the freshman all but did a chin-up on the rim before dismounting. Samford coach Bennie Steltzer got a technical at the 5:20 mark. It didn’t do much good. Poythress leads the Cats with 13 points. Noel has nine points, five rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals in 12 minutes. UK has 23 points off 13 Samford turnovers.
1H-7:57 Kentucky has extended the lead to 24-6 over the Bulldogs, who are a pretty good elixir to UK losing streaks. The football Cats snapped an eight-game losing streak by beating Samford. UK has made 10 of its first 20 shots. Samford is just two-of-10. Samford has turned it over nine times already. Julius Mays hit a three in transition, and Noel followed with with a steal and slam to make it 20-3 Kentucky.
1H-11:58 Kentucky leads Samford 12-3. Samford has missed six of its seven shots but the Bulldogs are able to get past UK defenders on the dribble. Trouble is, the visitors are then either losing the ball out of bounds or missing shots. Polson checked in at 15:59 mark, before Ryan Harrow entered the game. Goodwin left briefly with what appeared to be a cramp. Goodwin and Poythress each have five points.
1H-15:59 Kentucky is off to a 7-0 lead. Samford is 0-of-five from the floor starting out. After hinting that he might start his small lineup, including Jarrod Polson at point guard, John Calipari stuck with the regular five starters. Kyle Wiltjer took the first shot, but missed a three from the left corner. That makes his three-of-23 from three-point range over his last five games now. Alex Poythress did nail a three out of the right corner for the Cats.
Officials The officials tonight are Joe Lindsay, Karl Hess and Lee Cassell. Lindsay worked the UK-Maryland game in Brooklyn back on Nov. 9. Hess worked the UK-Notre Dame game in South Bend last Thursday. Cassell has not worked a UK game this year, but worked three Kentucky games last season.