UTVALL
UK

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Big second half lifts No. 5 Kentucky past Utah Valley 73-63

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky's upside for its youthful roster after an awful first half was having another 20 minutes to make up for it.

The Wildcats actually took control in less than 5 minutes, surprisingly with a zone defense that especially paid off for Hamidou Diallo.

Diallo scored 13 second-half points, most of them during an 18-0 run, and No. 5 Kentucky shot 59 percent after halftime to rally past Utah Valley 73-63 on Friday night in the opener for both schools.

One of Kentucky coach John Calipari's youngest rosters since arriving in Lexington showed its inexperience by struggling on both ends and trailing 34-25 at halftime. The Wildcats emerged from the break more energetic to make the pivotal run over 3:22 with eight consecutive baskets, including back-to-back transition dunks by Diallo.

''We just had more confidence, more energy, and got all those first-half jitters out of the way,'' said the redshirt freshman guard, who finished with 18 points and five rebounds. ''We just came out fired up and ready to play.''

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 13 points, Kevin Knox 12 and Nick Richards 10 in the debuts for six of Kentucky's eight newcomers including Diallo.

More remarkable was Kentucky's use of the zone, which Calipari admittedly dislikes. Something had to be done with Utah Valley frequently beating the Wildcats inside, putting a crowd of 19,807 on edge and worried about a huge upset.

Kentucky's youngsters avoided that fate by executing the 2-3 zone well, creating turnovers leading to transition baskets and a few highlight dunks.

''We went zone and it kind of got us going,'' Calipari said. ''That's what we should use the zone for. We had too many guys that were just getting beat on the dribble, too many guys out of position. That's what happens when you have all freshmen and a couple of sophomores.''

Considering the benefits, Gilgeous-Alexander looks forward to seeing how the scheme works with more practice.

''It's definitely going to be a big help for us,'' he said. ''We have a lot of length, and it's going to be tougher for the other team's offense to score on us.''

As well as it worked for that stretch, Kentucky still had to work to put away the veteran Wolverines. But the Wildcats eventually built a 57-47 lead with 7:32 remaining and withstood several Utah Valley charges down the stretch to win the inaugural meeting between the schools.

Kenneth Ogbe had 12 points and Jake Toolson added 11 for the Wolverines, who committed 20 turnovers leading to 23 Kentucky points.

''We haven't spent a lot of time preparing (for the) zone yet,'' Utah Valley coach Mark Pope said. ''It did what it was intended to do. It made us a little bit more passive and our guys don't have a feel for it, so what happened wasn't transition defense. It was turnovers in transition defense that really killed us.''

BIG PICTURE

Utah Valley: The Wolverines' advantage in experience showed throughout a first half in which they held Kentucky to 22 percent shooting and outrebounded the Wildcats 25-16. Just as quickly, they couldn't keep up with their younger counterparts after the break and shot just 41 percent overall. The outcome spoiled the homecoming for Wolverines coach and Kentucky alumnus Pope, a member of the Wildcats' 1996 NCAA championship team under Rick Pitino.

Kentucky: Freshman nerves showed as the Wildcats struggled shooting the ball - missing 15 consecutive shots at one point - and were frequently outhustled inside. Turning up the tempo quickly shifted momentum and their statistics, as they finished 41 percent from the field and nearly even on the boards (38-37). Sophomore forward Wenyen Gabriel had seven points and 13 rebounds.

UP NEXT

Utah Valley's season-opening journey gets even tougher as it visits Tobacco Road on Saturday night to meet top-ranked Duke.

Kentucky hosts Vermont on Sunday, playing an NCAA Tournament team that won 29 games last season as a final tuneup before facing No. 4 Kansas in Chicago on Tuesday.

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Time Team Play Score
20:00   Jumpball received by Kentucky  
19:44 +2 Nick Richards made driving layup, assist by PJ Washington 0-2
19:35 +2 Akolda Manyang made driving layup, assist by Brandon Randolph 2-2
19:23   Lost ball turnover on Kevin Knox  
19:04   Shooting foul on Hamidou Diallo  
19:04 +1 Conner Toolson made 1st of 2 free throws 3-2
19:04 +1 Conner Toolson made 2nd of 2 free throws 4-2
18:57   Lost ball turnover on PJ Washington, stolen by Utah Valley  
18:42   Conner Toolson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:40   Defensive rebound by PJ Washington  
18:16 +2 Nick Richards made driving layup 4-4
17:55 +2 Jake Toolson made driving layup 6-4
17:40   Hamidou Diallo missed driving layup, blocked by Akolda Manyang  
17:38   Defensive rebound by Brandon Randolph  
17:23   Brandon Randolph missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:21   Defensive rebound by Hamidou Diallo  
17:11   Hamidou Diallo missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:09   Defensive rebound by Kenneth Ogbe  
17:11   Turnover on Kenneth Ogbe  
16:51   Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed jump shot  
16:49   Offensive rebound by Hamidou Diallo  
16:49   Personal foul on Conner Toolson  
16:40   Wenyen Gabriel missed 3-pt. jump shot  
16:38   Offensive rebound by Kentucky  
16:38   Personal foul on Brandon Randolph  
16:30   Nick Richards missed jump shot  
16:28   Defensive rebound by Ben Nakwaasah  
16:13   Conner Toolson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
16:11   Defensive rebound by Hamidou Diallo  
16:02   Hamidou Diallo missed jump shot  
16:00   Defensive rebound by Akolda Manyang  
15:50   Ben Nakwaasah missed driving layup  
15:48   Defensive rebound by Wenyen Gabriel  
15:39   Shooting foul on Jake Toolson  
15:39   Kevin Knox missed 1st of 2 free throws  
15:39 +1 Kevin Knox made 2nd of 2 free throws 6-5
15:16   Jake Toolson missed reverse layup  
15:14   Offensive rebound by Jake Toolson  
15:16   Shooting foul on Sacha Killeya-Jones  
15:14 +1 Jake Toolson made 1st of 2 free throws 7-5
15:14 +1 Jake Toolson made 2nd of 2 free throws 8-5
14:50   Kevin Knox missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:37   Defensive rebound by Isaac Neilson  
14:34   Ben Nakwaasah missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:32   Defensive rebound by Wenyen Gabriel  
14:24   Personal foul on Ben Nakwaasah  
14:20   Personal foul on Isaac Neilson  
14:16   Hamidou Diallo missed driving layup  
14:14   Defensive rebound by Akolda Manyang  
13:47   Conner Toolson missed driving layup, blocked by Wenyen Gabriel  
13:45   Offensive rebound by Isaac Neilson  
13:44   Shot clock violation turnover on Utah Valley  
13:27 +3 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Quade Green 8-8
13:00 +2 Isaac Neilson made jump shot, assist by Brandon Randolph 10-8
12:47 +2 Sacha Killeya-Jones made jump shot, assist by Wenyen Gabriel 10-10
12:14   Lost ball turnover on Brandon Randolph, stolen by Kentucky  
12:07   Turnover on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander  
11:50 +2 Kenneth Ogbe made driving layup 12-10
11:40   Quade Green missed floating jump shot  
11:38   Defensive rebound by Akolda Manyang  
11:14 +2 Jake Toolson made driving layup 14-10
10:54   Hamidou Diallo missed jump shot  
10:52   Offensive rebound by Nick Richards  
10:54 +2 Nick Richards made dunk 14-12
10:52   Shooting foul on Akolda Manyang  
10:51   Nick Richards missed free throw  
10:30   Personal foul on Quade Green  
10:19   Shooting foul on Nick Richards  
10:19 +1 Jake Toolson made 1st of 2 free throws 15-12
10:19 +1 Jake Toolson made 2nd of 2 free throws 16-12
10:13   Personal foul on Jake Toolson  
10:13 +1 PJ Washington made 1st of 2 free throws 16-13
10:13 +1 PJ Washington made 2nd of 2 free throws 16-14
9:53   Kenneth Ogbe missed driving layup, blocked by Wenyen Gabriel  
9:51   Offensive rebound by Kenneth Ogbe  
9:45   Hamidou Diallo missed jump shot  
9:43   Defensive rebound by Isaac Neilson  
9:39   Lost ball turnover on Kenneth Ogbe, stolen by Kentucky  
9:30   Isaac Neilson missed tip-in  
9:30   Offensive rebound by Kenneth Ogbe  
9:30 +2 Isaac Neilson made jump shot, assist by Brandon Randolph 18-14
9:16 +3 Hamidou Diallo made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kevin Knox 18-17
8:59   Conner Toolson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:57   Defensive rebound by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander  
8:51 +2 Hamidou Diallo made driving dunk, assist by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 18-19
8:35   Akolda Manyang missed driving layup, blocked by Nick Richards  
8:33   Offensive rebound by Utah Valley  
8:20   Shot clock violation turnover on Utah Valley  
8:02   Offensive foul on Hamidou Diallo  
8:02   Turnover on Hamidou Diallo  
7:45   Kenneth Ogbe missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:43   Offensive rebound by Akolda Manyang  
7:43   Bad pass turnover on Akolda Manyang  
7:22   Kevin Knox missed driving layup, blocked by Isaac Neilson  
7:22   Offensive rebound by Kevin Knox  
7:22   Kevin Knox missed layup  
7:20   Defensive rebound by Isaac Neilson  
6:59   Brandon Randolph missed driving layup  
6:57   Defensive rebound by PJ Washington  
6:47   Personal foul on Ben Nakwaasah  
6:47 +1 Nick Richards made 1st of 2 free throws 18-20
6:47 +1 Nick Richards made 2nd of 2 free throws 18-21
6:29   Kenneth Ogbe missed driving layup, blocked by Wenyen Gabriel  
6:27   Offensive rebound by Isaac Neilson  
6:24   Isaac Neilson missed jump shot  
6:24   Defensive rebound by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander  
6:24   Personal foul on Kenneth Ogbe  
6:24 +1 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made 1st of 2 free throws 18-22
6:24 +1 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made 2nd of 2 free throws 18-23
6:06   Jake Toolson missed driving layup, blocked by Sacha Killeya-Jones  
6:06   Offensive rebound by Utah Valley  
6:06   Personal foul on PJ Washington  
5:54 +2 Ben Nakwaasah made driving layup 20-23
5:33   Sacha Killeya-Jones missed jump shot  
5:31   Offensive rebound by Wenyen Gabriel  
5:31   Wenyen Gabriel missed dunk  
5:31   Defensive rebound by Jake Toolson  
5:10 +3 Kenneth Ogbe made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ben Nakwaasah 23-23
4:56   Wenyen Gabriel missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:53   Personal foul on Wenyen Gabriel  
4:53 +1 Ben Nakwaasah made 1st of 2 free throws 24-23
4:53 +1 Ben Nakwaasah made 2nd of 2 free throws 25-23
4:39   Quade Green missed jump shot  
4:37   Defensive rebound by Akolda Manyang  
4:17 +2 Brandon Randolph made driving layup 27-23
4:07   Wenyen Gabriel missed driving layup  
4:05   Defensive rebound by Isaac Neilson  
3:59   Brandon Randolph missed jump shot  
3:59   Defensive rebound by Kentucky  
3:59   Personal foul on Akolda Manyang  
3:59 +1 Kevin Knox made 1st of 2 free throws 27-24
3:59 +1 Kevin Knox made 2nd of 2 free throws 27-25
3:37   Lost ball turnover on Conner Toolson, stolen by Kentucky  
3:25   Lost ball turnover on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, stolen by Utah Valley  
3:16 +2 Isaac Neilson made driving layup, assist by Brandon Randolph 29-25
3:02   Kevin Knox missed driving layup  
3:00   Offensive rebound by Kevin Knox  
2:40   Kevin Knox missed dunk  
2:40   Defensive rebound by Joonas Tahvanainen  
2:40   Isaac Neilson missed driving layup  
2:38   Offensive rebound by Isaac Neilson  
2:38 +2 Isaac Neilson made dunk 31-25
2:25   Lost ball turnover on PJ Washington, stolen by Utah Valley  
2:09 +3 Brandon Randolph made 3-pt. jump shot 34-25
1:52   Quade Green missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:50   Offensive rebound by Nick Richards  
1:50   Nick Richards missed dunk, blocked by Isaac Neilson  
1:50   Defensive rebound by Isaac Neilson  
1:27   Isaac Neilson missed driving layup, blocked by Kevin Knox  
1:25   Offensive rebound by Utah Valley  
1:21   Offensive foul on Ben Nakwaasah  
1:21   Turnover on Ben Nakwaasah  
1:06   Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:04   Offensive rebound by Wenyen Gabriel  
1:04   Wenyen Gabriel missed driving layup  
1:04   Offensive rebound by Wenyen Gabriel  
28.0   Wenyen Gabriel missed dunk  
28.0   Defensive rebound by Kenneth Ogbe  
28.0   Traveling violation turnover on Cory Calvert  
3.0   Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed driving layup  
1.0   Defensive rebound by Conner Toolson  

Time Team Play Score
19:44   Quade Green missed driving layup  
19:42   Offensive rebound by Kentucky  
19:38   Nick Richards missed driving layup, blocked by Akolda Manyang  
19:36   Defensive rebound by Kenneth Ogbe  
19:26 +2 Kenneth Ogbe made driving dunk, assist by Jake Toolson 36-25
19:36   Shooting foul on Wenyen Gabriel  
19:36 +1 Kenneth Ogbe made free throw 37-25
19:16   Traveling violation turnover on Kevin Knox  
19:10   Bad pass turnover on Jake Toolson  
18:58 +3 Kevin Knox made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 37-28
18:41   Conner Toolson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:39   Defensive rebound by Wenyen Gabriel  
18:32 +2 Kevin Knox made driving dunk 37-30
18:20   Lost ball turnover on Jake Toolson, stolen by Kentucky  
18:14 +2 Hamidou Diallo made driving dunk 37-32
17:58   Lost ball turnover on Conner Toolson, stolen by Kentucky  
17:52 +2 Hamidou Diallo made driving dunk, assist by Kevin Knox 37-34
17:36   Personal foul on Nick Richards  
17:32   Lost ball turnover on Isaac Neilson, stolen by Kentucky  
17:29 +2 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made driving layup 37-36
17:16   Shooting foul on Kevin Knox  
17:15   Akolda Manyang missed 1st of 2 free throws  
17:29   Akolda Manyang missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
17:29   Defensive rebound by Nick Richards  
17:29   Lost ball turnover on Nick Richards, stolen by Utah Valley  
17:05   Jake Toolson missed jump shot  
17:03   Defensive rebound by Hamidou Diallo  
16:50 +3 Wenyen Gabriel made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Hamidou Diallo 37-39
16:23   Lost ball turnover on Kenneth Ogbe, stolen by Kentucky  
16:15 +2 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made driving layup, assist by Kevin Knox 37-41
15:58   Ben Nakwaasah missed jump shot  
15:56   Defensive rebound by Kevin Knox  
15:33 +2 Wenyen Gabriel made floating jump shot 37-43
15:03 +2 Kenneth Ogbe made driving layup 39-43
14:37   Lost ball turnover on Nick Richards, stolen by Utah Valley  
14:30 +3 Conner Toolson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Brandon Randolph 42-43
14:07 +3 Hamidou Diallo made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Wenyen Gabriel 42-46
13:49   Kenneth Ogbe missed jump shot  
13:47   Offensive rebound by Utah Valley  
13:34   Kenneth Ogbe missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:32   Offensive rebound by Brandon Randolph  
13:25   Personal foul on PJ Washington  
13:25   Kenneth Ogbe missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:23   Defensive rebound by Wenyen Gabriel  
13:17   Lost ball turnover on PJ Washington, stolen by Utah Valley  
13:15   Personal foul on Sacha Killeya-Jones  
12:59   Personal foul on Wenyen Gabriel  
12:59 +1 Kenneth Ogbe made 1st of 2 free throws 43-46
12:59 +1 Kenneth Ogbe made 2nd of 2 free throws 44-46
12:47   Kevin Knox missed 3-pt. jump shot  
12:45   Offensive rebound by Hamidou Diallo  
12:37 +2 Hamidou Diallo made jump shot 44-48
12:18   Conner Toolson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
12:16   Offensive rebound by Ben Nakwaasah  
12:05   Isaac Neilson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
12:03   Defensive rebound by Kevin Knox  
12:02   Hamidou Diallo missed jump shot  
12:00   Offensive rebound by Sacha Killeya-Jones  
11:56   Shooting foul on Isaac Neilson  
11:56   Sacha Killeya-Jones missed 1st of 2 free throws  
11:56   Sacha Killeya-Jones missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
11:56   Sacha Killeya-Jones missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
11:56   Defensive rebound by Jake Toolson  
11:32   Offensive foul on Ben Nakwaasah  
11:32   Turnover on Ben Nakwaasah  
11:20   Shooting foul on Akolda Manyang  
11:20 +1 PJ Washington made 1st of 2 free throws 44-49
11:20   PJ Washington missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
11:20   Offensive rebound by PJ Washington  
11:20 +2 Nick Richards made driving layup, assist by PJ Washington 44-51
10:50   Jake Toolson missed driving layup, blocked by Nick Richards  
10:48   Offensive rebound by Akolda Manyang  
10:40   Lost ball turnover on Akolda Manyang, stolen by Kentucky  
10:30   Kevin Knox missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:28   Defensive rebound by Utah Valley  
10:28   Personal foul on Nick Richards  
10:28   Akolda Manyang missed free throw  
10:28   Defensive rebound by Wenyen Gabriel  
10:13   Wenyen Gabriel missed driving layup  
10:11   Defensive rebound by Utah Valley  
9:45   Jake Toolson missed jump shot  
9:43   Defensive rebound by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander  
9:32   Lost ball turnover on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, stolen by Utah Valley  
9:12   Brandon Randolph missed floating jump shot  
9:10   Defensive rebound by Kevin Knox  
9:10 +2 PJ Washington made driving layup, assist by Kevin Knox 44-53
8:55 +3 Conner Toolson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Brandon Randolph 47-53
8:33 +2 Hamidou Diallo made jump shot 47-55
8:07   Conner Toolson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:05   Defensive rebound by PJ Washington  
7:52   Personal foul on Brandon Randolph