Kentucky shoots the lights out against Long Island
Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress each scored 22 points and No. 8 Kentucky overwhelmed Long Island over the final 30 minutes to record a 104-75 victory at Rupp Arena.
Goodwin finished just shy of a triple-double for the Wildcats (4-1) after adding nine rebounds and nine assists, while fellow freshman sensation Poythress went 9-of-11 from the field to help Kentucky extend its home winning streak to 55 consecutive games, the longest active stretch in the nation.
Nerlens Noel also made 9-of-11 attempts in an 18-point night, with Julius Mays contributing 15 points to the rout.
The Wildcats shot a scorching 67.7 percent as a team, their highest mark in head coach John Calipari's four seasons.
"We take good shots," said Calipari. "We're not taking bad shots. We shoot a lot of layups. We're getting to the line. But we've got to be a defensive team that rebounds like crazy that can get out and run."
Julian Boyd and Jamal Olasewere each had 22 points for the Blackbirds (0-4), who opened up a six-point lead just past the midway point of the first half before faltering.
"It was a good experience but you don't go to places for experience, you go to win," Boyd remarked. "That didn't happen tonight, but we are going to move on and learn from our mistakes."
Kentucky had its hands full with the up-tempo Blackbirds, who finished second in Division I in scoring offense en route to an NCAA tournament berth last season, early on before taking over during the final portion of the first half.
Long Island hit nine of its first 14 shots to take a 25-20 lead eight minutes in, and the differential grew to six later on when Boyd buried a jumper following a 3-point play by Olasewere to put the Blackbirds up by a 30-24 count with 9:58 to go in the opening period.
"If you watched them early in the game, they did what we want to do," Calipari said of the Blackbirds. "Miss or make, fly up the court. Nothing there, let's play. You try to get some easy ones in transition."
Kentucky would draw even with an 10-4 run highlighted by three thunderous dunks in transition, the last of which was thrown down by Poythress off a Goodwin feed to tie the contest.
LIU continued to hang tough, taking a 41-40 edge when Troy Joseph knocked down a 3-pointer with 5:08 left in the half and extending the margin to three on Jason Brickman's driving layup just over a minute later.
It was all Kentucky from there, however.
Poythress netted the first five points of a 15-0 tear to close out the session, and the Wildcats took a comfortable 55-43 advantage into the break after Goodwin knifed into the lane and scored with 12 seconds to go.
Goodwin and Poythress each finished with 15 first-half points for Kentucky, which shot a 69.7 percent from the field over the initial 20 minutes.
The Wildcats remained hot in the second half, with back-to-back triples from Jarrod Polson and Mays igniting an 11-3 spurt that padded the margin to 71-50 with 15 minutes left to play.
Kentucky would go ahead by as many as 31 points before time expired.
Kentucky's previous high for field goal percentage under Calipari was set in a 101-49 rout of Lafayette on Nov. 16, in which the Wildcats shot 64.5 percent ... The matchup was the final one for both teams of the Barclays Center Classic, a four-game round-robin series involving the two programs as well as Lafayette, Maryland and Morehead State. Kentucky went a perfect 4-0 for the event, while LIU finished 0-4 ... Poythress became the first UK freshman to notch 20 or more points in four straight games under head coach John Calipari, and the first Wildcat of any class to do so since Jodie Meeks had nine consecutive such outings in 2008-09 ... The teams were meeting for the first time on the hardwood since March of 1947, with the Wildcats now holding a 3-1 advantage.
11/24 01:48:09 ET