Archie Goodwin’s 28 points was the difference for Kentucky as they snuck out a win over Morehead State 81-70 in front of 21,897 at Rupp Arena.
Goodwin, along with Alex Poythress’ 20 points, was too much for Morehead to overcome down the stretch, but the Eagles sure didn’t go quietly.
Sean Woods’ team battled all night long, at one time leading by 13 points in the 1st, and only were down 32-31 at the half.
Milton Chavis, former teammate of John Wall in high school at Word of God Academy, led the Eagles with 23 points on 9-15 shooting from the field.
Nerlens Noel finished with 9 points and 11 rebounds, Julius Mays had 11, and in 24 minutes Kyle Wiltjer had 9 points.
Willie Cauley-Stein and Jarrod Polson finished with 2 points apiece.
The Wildcats will take to the floor Friday night vs. Long Island.
Here are the postgame notes:
FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 81, Morehead State 70
Team Records and Series Notes
Kentucky is 3-1 on the season and Morehead is 3-2.
Kentucky leads the series 10-0.
UK is now 35-0 all-time against teams from the current alignment of the Ohio Valley Conference.
Morehead coach Sean Woods is among 10 former Kentucky players to come back and coach against UK. Kentucky has a 51-11 record against former players who have coached against the Wildcats, including 3-0 vs. Woods at Morehead and Mississippi Valley State.
UK concludes its three-game homestand Fri. Nov. 23 when the Wildcats play host to Long Island. The game is at 7 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports South.
Kentucky started with the lineup of Archie Goodwin, Julius Mays, Alex Poythress, Kyle Wiltjer and Nerlens Noel for the third-consecutive game.
Noel got the game’s first basket at 18:43 with a rebound and short bank shot.
UK moved the lead to 6-0 before Morehead came back with 16-straight points. UK went scoreless for almost seven minutes before Goodwin ended the run with a pair of foul shots.
Morehead eventually extended the lead to 11 points at 23-12 and 25-14.
Trailing 25-14, UK ended the half with an 18-6 run, taking a 32-31 lead into intermission when Goodwin made a driving layup with three seconds remaining.
Morehead came out hot, scoring 13 points in the first 3:30 to take a 44-38 lead.
MSU was ahead 48-44 when Kentucky took the lead for good with a 16-2 run for a 60-50 advantage. Included in that run was a three-pointer by Julius Mays with 11:17 on the clock, UK’s first three-pointer of the game.
Morehead moved within six points at 67-61 but that was as close as it got as UK pulled away from there, leading by as many as 14 points down the stretch.
Foul shots were a key to the victory as UK took advantage of 32 Morehead fouls and made 31 of 41 at the free-throw line.
Kentucky got 28 points from Archie Goodwin, most by a Wildcat this season, and 20 points from Alex Poythress. It is the second-consecutive game that UK got 20-20 efforts, in addition to Kyle Wiltjer’s 23 and Poythress’ 20 vs. Lafayette.
Kentucky tied its season high for blocked shots with 11.
The Wildcats extended their home winning streak to 54 games, the longest active streak in the nation. The run includes the 2009 NIT game at Memorial Coliseum and the last 53 games at Rupp Arena.
UK is a perfect 53-0 under Calipari at Rupp Arena, the longest win streak in venue history.
Archie Goodwin poured in 28 points, most by a Wildcat this season and the seventh-most by a freshman in UK history.
He is the fourth UK freshman under Calipari to begin his career with four-straight double figure games, joining John Wall, Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones.
He also had a season-high three blocked shots and tied his season bests with six rebounds and four assists.
Alex Poythress tallied 20 points, his third-straight 20-point game. He was a perfect 8-of-8 at the foul line.
In addition to his nine points, Nerlens Noel played an all-around floor game. He had season highs with 11 rebounds, six blocked shots and four assists. He also made three steals, one short of his personal best.
Julius Mays had 11 points, his first double-figure game at Kentucky. He had two assists and his second-consecutive game without a turnover.