Lexington, KY – The third-ranked Kentucky Wildcats put the longest homecourt winning streak on the line this evening, as league action at Rupp Arena.
John Calipari's Wildcats bounced back from their lone loss of the season, a 73-72 setback at Indiana last weekend, with Saturday's 87-62 rout of Chattanooga. The win was the 40th straight at home for Kentucky, which will play three more games at Rupp Arena to close out the calendar year.
The Bulldogs are facing their highest ranked opponent since the 2006-07 season. Jimmy Trillette's squad has started off slow this season with just three wins in the first nine games. Two of the three victories have come in the last 10 days, with wins over Lindsey Wilson (82-56) and Spring Hill (90-64).
This is the first time that these teams are meeting on the hardwood.
The Bulldogs put up a season-high 90 points on Spring Hill over the weekend, shooting a solid 51.7 percent from the floor, while hitting 11-of-24 from behind the arc. Drew Windler led the way with 23 points. Will Cook added 14 to the cause, while Tyler Hood chipped in 12 of his own. Samford's greatest weapon is its utilization of the three-pointer, ranking third nationally with 10.6 per game. Despite its reliance on the long ball, Samford is averaging a pedestrian 68.6 ppg. Windler and Cook are the top offensive threats on the roster, netting 11.7 and 10.0 ppg, respectively. Jeffrey Merritt (9.9 ppg) and Hood (8.9 ppg) provide some depth.
The Wildcats racked up 87 points and found their way back into the win column with a lopsided win over the Mocs. Five players notched double figures for Kentucky in the win, led by Doron Lamb's 24 points. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist poured in 17 points and dished out six assists. Anthony Davis recorded a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Darius Miller and Marquis Teague finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Calipari has another extremely young but talented team in Lexington. Kentucky is deadly at both ends of the court and boasts of a +22.7 scoring margin. The team is shooting a healthy .495 overall and is putting up 81.8 ppg. Defensively, the 'Cats are yielding a mere 59.1 ppg and holding foes to an anemic .337 shooting. All five starters are averaging double figures, led by Lamb's 15.8 ppg. Kidd-Gilchrist follows at 13.2 ppg, with Terrence Jones (12.4 ppg), Davis (11.8 ppg) and Teague (10.8 ppg) all making significant contributions as well. Davis has been a force on the glass (10.0 rpg), getting help from Kidd-Gilchrist (7,.4 rpg) and Jones (6.2 rpg).