After a disappointing loss this past Tuesday, Kentucky bounced back with a nice win against the team that ended their season last year. And oh what a difference a year can make. This team, which is infused with a lot of young talent that was not on last years squad, seemed to handle them a lot better than last season. Coming out in the first half, Kentucky raced out to a 17-2 lead. It was not until the 12 minute mark that Robert Morris finally hit a field goal, making it 17-4 in Kentucky’s favor. Unfortunately for the Colonials, these Wildcats are bigger, faster, stronger, and deeper than last year’s group. It was these advantages that allowed the Wildcats to go into the half with a 44-20 lead. The play of the night, however, may have been one that didn’t officially count..a 3/4 court shot by Andrew Harrison with just a few ticks left in the half that was waved off by a traveling call. At the half, Aaron Harrison lead all scorers with 19 points. Additionally, the ‘Cats saw a drastic improvement in their free throw shooting in the first half of tonights game, going 14-16 from the line.
After the break, the young Wildcats did much of the same thing, further burying the team that ended their season one year ago. Kentucky outscored Robert Morris by a margin of 43-29 in the second half, a half of basketball that was filled with fast breaks, ally-oops, and half court lobs. This is what John Calipari had been preaching since the loss to Michigan State game, as the Wildcats needed to use their speed and height to their advantage. All in all, the Wildcats defeated Robert Morris by a final score of 87-49, flexing their muscles and gaining their revenge from last season. For the final stats, Aaron Harrison led all scorers with 28 points, also tacking on four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. James Young finished with 10 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Julius Randle finished with 10 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists and two blocks. Andrew Harrison finished with eight points, eight rebounds, two assists and a steal. Dakari Johnson finished with eight points and three points. Willie Cauley-Stein finished with seven points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and four blocks. Derek Willis finished with six points and a rebound. Dominique Hawkins finished with four points, a rebound, three assists, a steal and a block. Marcus Lee finished with two points, three rebounds, and assist and two blocks. E.J. Floreal finished with two points, a rebound, a steal and a block. Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson both finished scoreless, but each had an assist.
With another win under their belts, the 3-1 Kentucky Wildcats will now turn their attention to the inaugural Keightley Classic where they will face the 2-2 Texas-Arlington Mavericks. This will also kick off a string of games to fine tune their game leading up to the end of their non-conference schedule, where they will face the likes of Baylor, North Carolina, and in-state rival Louisville. These games are where these ‘Cats have to learn who they are and how to play as a team, for once conference play hits, there will be no rest for the weary. These Wildcats can be great, as shown in glimpses tonight, but they must play like they did for a full 40 minutes to do so. It’s time to step up, and if tonight is any indication, they will have no problem doing so.