Lipscomb vs Kentucky

Kentucky 88, Lipscomb 50


LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kyle Wiltjer hit a shooting slump recently, and when he tried to rely on long-range shots to buoy his game, his total performance faded and his minutes dropped for Kentucky.

So the sophomore decided to work on it in two ways: Take more shots in the gym and focus more on rebounding than anything else during games.

It seems to have paid off Saturday. Wiltjer had his first career double-double, finishing with 23 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in Kentucky's 88-50 win over Lipscomb.

Wiltjer came off the bench for the first time this season - point guard Ryan Harrow took his spot in the starting five - but logged 24 minutes and was the key to Kentucky's offense. He finished 8 of 12 from the field and 7 of 9 from 3-point range.

"I don't care whether he made shots; he got 12 rebounds," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "We had to go in there and mix it up a little bit."

Excluding a 7-of-11 3-point performance against Lafayette on Nov. 16, Wiltjer has shot 10 of 38 from deep this season. He was hot Saturday, though, making his first three 3-point attempts in the first half and equaling his highest scoring game of the season.

"Being a shooter, you just try not to think about previous games," Wiltjer said. "Just go in the game and be confident, just have the same approach every game."

Lipscomb (4-5) kept its deficit within single digits much of the first half until the Wildcats scored six straight points to close the half with a 43-29 lead.

But Kentucky (7-3) broke the game open in the second half by outscoring the Bisons 22-3 over a five-minute stretch. Wiltjer had six points in that stretch, and Harrow had four.

Harrow played aggressively on offense for the second straight game after returning timidly from missing four games with flu-like symptoms and an undisclosed family issue. He led the Wildcats with 13 field-goal attempts, making six and finishing with 12 points.

He was also more active as a vocal leader for the team, Calipari said, which the sophomore had often struggled to do this season. Harrow said when Calipari would tell him to scream out at his team, he would do it even if he didn't know what to scream about.

"I might have been saying, `Screen, screen, screen,' and the dude wasn't even up there to screen yet, so it was just something on defense that I thought was a defensive term," Harrow said. "`Screen, screen, screen,' or something like that, and the man wasn't even screening. I was like, `Let me just say let's go from now on."'

Martin Smith had 18 points for Lipscomb, and Stephen Hurt finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double.

Deonte Alexander of the Bisons was disqualified in the second half after picking up his second technical foul. Both technicals were assessed after brief verbal exchanges with Kentucky's Nerlens Noel, one in each half. Noel also received a technical foul in the second-half exchange.

Noel finished with seven points, nine rebounds, seven blocks and four steals for the Wildcats. He fouled out with 5:21 to play. The freshman has had seven blocks in two consecutive games.

Though Harrow started in Wiltjer's place, the two shared a considerable amount of floor time Saturday. With Wiltjer's stroke working, Harrow said it made his job much easier.

"Either they're going to guard him and it gives me a open lane, or they're going to commit to me and all I've got to do is pass it right to him and I know he's going to knock down the shot," Harrow said. "I knew he was going to have a good shooting day, too, because he was doing good in practice and knocking down shots all week."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Lipscomb (4-5)292150
Kentucky (7-3) «434588

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Lipscomb Bison
M. Smith, F376-93-651218
M. Smith, F151-50-11022
S. Hurt, C274-84-6110312
K. Sankey, G313-60-03246
D. Alexander, G190-40-01120
J. Glover, G242-80-11014
C. Sanderson, G161-40-01102
O. Garcia, C110-10-20020
C. Johnson, G90-01-21031
T. Denny, G60-25-62045
J. Butler, G20-00-01000
D. Green, G20-10-00000
Z. Ellis, F10-00-00000
Total 17-4813-243252350
Kentucky Wildcats
A. Poythress, F252-87-1040211
N. Noel, F223-51-29157
R. Harrow, G316-130-012212
J. Mays, G301-85-56427
A. Goodwin, G225-90-344310
K. Wiltjer, F248-120-0122223
W. Cauley-Stein, F203-42-32418
J. Polson, G153-51-31117
J. Hood, G91-20-01013
T. Beckham, G20-00-01010
Total 32-6616-2642182088
Atlantic Sun
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
No. Florida8-615-19217
S.C. Upstate7-717-16229
Kennesaw St.7-714-18259
N.J. Tech3-1111-20290

TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
S. Carolina12-626-1143
Ole Miss10-822-1477
Texas A&M8-1016-1593
Miss. State6-1216-16149
Other games
WCAR 68 Final
NCASH 72 Final
ECU 87 Final
UNC 93
CINCY 72 Final
BUTL 88 Final
IND 86
LOU 87 Final
PUR 68 Final
ND 81
NMST 58 Final
NORE 62 Final
CAN 61 Final
SYR 85
BELM 60 Final
KAN 89
MICH 81 Final
WVU 66
NULL 56 Final
KSU 52 Final
USD 56 Final
FLA 64 Final
CREI 74 Final
CAL 64