Kentucky took care of business against the Fighting Sean Woodses of Mississippi Valley State, using a big first half run to cruise to an easy win by a final count of 85-60. The game wasn’t particularly pretty and it took a little longer than you’d probably like for the Cats to take over, but in the end it was an easy win against the former Cat’s squad on a day where a former coach was honored.
Kentucky trailed by as many as three in the first half, as cold shooting and a slow pace led them to a tough start. After the Devils managed to tie it at 20 with 8:30 left, Big Blue held them scoreless for the next four minutes and rode a 24-4 run into the half to put it out of reach. Doron Lamb fueled the run as his 12 points in the first half led the team and his pair of three-pointers were key to taking the game over. Not as key but much more entertaining was Brandon Knight’s 50-footer at the halftime horn, which was a great shot off the glass and I’m not afraid to admit that it made me jump out of my seat at home by myself.
The second half was much more of the same, with the notable addition of Cal getting tossed for the first time in his career with a little under seven minutes left. He got his money’s worth though, giving Mike Stuart an extra big serving of the business on his way out. He appeared to be upset about a non-call when Doron Lamb looked like he got fouled, and the whole fiasco was a highlight of an otherwise marginally boring second half.
The scoring attack was balanced for the Cats, with five guys in double figures and just short of 50% shooting from the field as a team. Jones  closed big after foul trouble bothered him in the first half. Lamb  and Liggins  each hit a pair of threes and Knight  and Miller  were both solid if unspectacular on the night. The Cats also shot a borderline miraculous 24-32 from the free throw line, and the 7-of-18 from outside was also respectable although one of them was a halfcourt shot and several of the misses were open looks. Still, an overall good shooting day for the Cats. And, although not dominating the rebounding battle against a team like MVSU isn’t really what you’re looking for, putting up a season-high 11 blocks certainly can make up for some deficiencies, which it did today.
The celebration for Joe B. Hall definitely also deserves a mention, as forty or so former players came out for the coach. Names like Walker, Robey, Grevey and many many others were there to honor the legendary coach, and it was honor well-deserved. The picture above is of the collection of past Cats and hopefully there will be more and maybe a story or two to go with them before the night is over.
I’ll post Matt’s radio details when he gets ready to go on the air. Until then enjoy the win. Go Cats.