Lexington, KY – Archie Goodwin scored a game-high 28 points and pulled down six rebounds on Wednesday, as No. 8 Kentucky survived a scare from Morehead State and took an 81-70 victory at Rupp Arena.
Alex Poythress followed with 20 points and eight boards and Nerlens Noel finished with nine points, 11 rebounds and six blocks for the Wildcats (3-1), who have 54 straight home games and 53 in a row at Rupp Arena.
"What they did is they just came right after us," Kentucky coach John Calipari said of the Eagles. "You got to give them credit for how they played."
Milton Chavis paced Morehead State with 23 points and five rebounds, while Maurice Lewis-Briggs chipped in 13 points off the bench for the Eagles (3-2), who had won their last two contests.
"We gave them everything we had, we just couldn't hold on," Morehead State coach Sean Woods said. "You've got to tip your hat off to Kentucky for sustaining, taking our blows and finding a way to win."
Kentucky took a slim 32-31 edge into the locker room, but Jarrett Stokes opened the second half with a 3-pointer to give the Eagles a two-point lead.
Morehead State built a four-point lead less than six minutes into the second half thanks to four straight free throws before the Wildcats made their run.
Goodwin connected on a layup at the other end to spark a 16-2 Kentucky surge, which Julius Mays capped with a layup of his own to make it a 60-50 contest just before the midpoint of the half.
A Devon Atkinson floater in the lane trimmed the deficit to six later in the half, but the Eagles would get no closer, as Goodwin scored six points during a 10-2 Kentucky run to press the lead to 77-63 with less than four minutes remaining.
Kentucky scored the game's first six points before Morehead State ripped off the next 16 points, capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Stokes and Lewis-Briggs with just over 11 minutes left in the half.
The Wildcats battled back late in the frame, as they closed the half on a 14-4 spurt to take a 32-31 advantage into the locker room.
Kentucky has won all 10 meetings with its intrastate rival ... Woods played at Kentucky from 1989-92 ... Mays finished with 11 points for the Wildcats ... Kentucky shot 51.1 percent and held the Eagles to 36.8 percent from the field.