Published January 15, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Brandon Knight scored 19 points, Terrence Jones added 17 in his second game coming off the bench and No. 13 Kentucky beat LSU 82-44 on Saturday.
The Wildcats (14-3, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) held the Tigers to a season-low 26 percent shooting, forced 15 turnovers and never let up while handing LSU (10-8, 2-1) its worst loss of the season
Garrett Green led the Tigers with 13 points but LSU was never in it. Kentucky needed less than eight minutes to move in front by double digits on the way to its second straight win following a loss to Georgia last weekend.
Kentucky coach John Calipari has been pushing the Wildcats to play with a higher sense of urgency and commitment. He saw plenty of both, particularly in the first half as Kentucky rolled to a 29-point lead.
Knight opened the game with a pair of 3-pointers and Kentucky never looked back.
Running Calipari's dribble-drive offense almost flawlessly, the Wildcats wasted little time ending LSU's modest two-game winning streak.
If Knight wasn't calmly knocking down jumpers , Jones, DeAndre Liggins or Darius Miller were cutting through the lane for layups.
Jones wasn't nearly as dazzling as he was during his 35-point effort in a win over Auburn on Tuesday, but the Wildcats didn't need him to be. He shot a woeful 3 of 12 from the floor but did a good job of getting to the free-throw line, where he made 11 of 14 shots.
Liggins, who Calipari had chastised for being too worried about his shot, scored 15 points. So did Miller, who added four rebounds and two steals. Doron Lamb added 10 points and a team-high five assists while Josh Harrellon had 14 rebounds for Kentucky.
As crisp as the Wildcats were a times on offense, they were almost as good defensively, though the Tigers didn't help themselves with shoddy shot selection.
LSU guard Andre Stringer hoisted a deep 3-pointer during one possession while his teammates all stood at least 15 feet away from the basket and plenty of time left on the shot clock, part of a miserable half in which they shot just 18 percent from the floor.
Kentucky had no such issues. Using its defense to push the tempo, the Wildcats even broke out a fullcourt press for one of the few times this season. It resulted in some sloppy ballhandling by LSU and led to one of the prettiest sequences of the day.
Knight stepped in front of an LSU pass at halfcourt and threw the ball to Miller, who sent a touch pass to Lamb in the corner. Lamb's 3-pointer bounced softly off the rim but Knight, racing in from halfcourt, tipped it in to put Kentucky up 35-16.
The rout was on as Kentucky kept right on going. Kentucky's advantage grew to 48-19 at the break, its largest halftime lead of the season.
The presence of former LSU coach Dale Brown did little to inspire the Tigers. Kentucky's advantage continued to grow, allowing Calipari to substitute liberally with his little-used bench.
Calipari has made it a point to spend extra time working with reserves Jon Hood, Eloy Vargas and Stacey Poole. The coach is convinced the time will come when the Wildcats will need one of the trio to produce in a clutch situation.
There was no drama on Saturday, but Hood and Vargas combined for eight rebounds and played with the kind of intensity they have lacked at times during their previous appearances.