The Kentucky Wildcats broke their two game losing streak as they beat Samford 88-56 in front of 21,221 in Rupp Arena.
Archie Goodwin led six players in double figures with 18 points on 6-11 shooting, 2-4 from the three, and 4 for 4 from the free throw line.
Alex Poythress had 16 points and 8 rebounds, Nerlens Noel had 13, and Willie Cauley-Stein finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The story of the game was the first half as Kentucky led 45-14 at halftime.
Coach John Calipari was pleased with the first half, but was definitely not thrilled with the 2nd half.
“I thought, okay, let’s go do this the second half. There were three or four plays we talked about, then the second half. We win by 1.”
Coach Calipari said the second half was due to poor conditioning, but that would be dealt with in the coming weeks.
“Well, we’re going to condition in the morning for the next three weeks and then practice because I can’t think of any other reason why you wouldn’t come out in the second half and play. I just don’t understand that. Especially what we’ve been going through.”
Calipari continued, “You need to learn how to play a full game. They had that opportunity today. So we have to chalk it up to they’re not in shape.”
The Wildcats will see if they find their legs against Portland on Saturday at 12pm in Rupp Arena.
Samford at Kentucky
Men’s Basketball Post-Game Notes
Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky., December 4, 2012
FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 88, Samford 56
Team Records and Series Notes
Kentucky is 5-3 on the season and Samford is 2-8.
Kentucky leads the series 2-0, with both games in Lexington.
UK is now 20-0 all-time against teams from the current alignment of the Southern Conference.
UK continues its five-game homestand Saturday against Portland. The game will be at noon and will be televised on ESPN2.
Kentucky started with the lineup of Archie Goodwin, Julius Mays, Alex Poythress, Kyle Wiltjer and Nerlens Noel for the seventh-consecutive game.
Alex Poythress opened the scoring with a 3-pointer from the right corner, the second time this season that UK got a three for the first basket.
Kentucky scored the game’s first seven points, keeping Samford off the board until 15:37 when Tim Williams tallied.
Kyle Wiltjer notched a five-point play with 5:20 remaining in the first half. Wiltjer scored a basket and was fouled, followed by Samford coach Bennie Seltzer being assessed a technical foul. Wiltjer made both free throws on the technical, then made the free throw on the regular foul to complete the five-point play.
UK had runs of 11-0 and 12-0 in the first half.
The Wildcats went to intermission ahead 45-14, UK’s largest halftime lead of the season.
UK is 5-0 this season when leading at halftime.
Samford scored the first nine points of the second half to make it 45-23. That was as close as the Bulldogs got as the Wildcats coasted to the victory.
Kentucky shot 55.7 percent from the field, the fourth time the Wildcats have made at least half their shots.
Six Wildcats scored in double figures, first time that has happened since the 2012 NCAA Tournament vs. Indiana.
Kentucky used its size advantage to win points in the paint, 46-26.
UK turned 17 Samford turnovers into 28 points.
UK won bench points 21-5 and fast-break points 17-2.
Archie Goodwin led all scorers with 18 points, adding four assists and a season-high three steals.
Goodwin has at least four assists in five-straight games.
Alex Poythress scored 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
He is now shooting 68.5 percent on the season.
Nerlens Noel tallied 13 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots.
Noel has at least six rebounds in every game this season.
Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
First Kentucky player this season with a double-double
Also tied his season high with four blocked shots and had a season-best three steals
Julius Mays had 10 points, five assists and three rebounds.
Fourth time in the last five games he has scored in double figures
Kyle Wiltjer had 10 points and a season-high seven rebounds.
Playing in a season-high 21 minutes, Ryan Harrow had a season-high four assists.
Jon Hood nailed a pair of 3-point shots, the first multi-three game of his career.
Jarrod Polson had a career-high four assists and tied his career-best for steals with two.
Photo by Tammie Brown.