The Kentucky Wildcats trail the Belmont Bruins at halftime by a 43-41 margin. Here are some notes and observations from the first-half of action:
* The Bruins made it clear early they were going to live and die by the 3-ball, and the Cats early on were defending it well. At one point, they had caused Belmont to miss 8-straight attempts, but anytime a UK defender allowed his man to come open, they drained it routinely.
* The Cats meanwhile were woeful from the 3-point line, missing their first seven attempts before Jarrod Polson hit one, and that may have helped him get more playing time, as he played most of the half after hitting that shot.
* Derek Willis checked-in around the 12-minute mark and got a defensive rebound on his first possession.
* The game was 18-14 Belmont at the 10-minute mark, as both teams were struggling to find any offensive flow, but the Bruins proceeded to go on a 7-0 run to build an 11-point lead.
* Dominique Hawkins got extra plying time the first-half, and it was with Andrew Harrison in the game at times. Calipari clearly feels confident in rotating Hawk and Andrew between the 1 and 2 guards spots.
* This team is hungry and working hard to improve, but there are still a ways away from being a team capable of even making it past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Don’t be discouraged by this, as the talent is there and the desire to maximize it also appears to be there.
* This Bruins team is very small, and judging by the Cats 9/16 line on 2-point field goal attempts, they need to pound it inside more in the second-half.
* After going down 25-14, UK’s offense woke up (doing more of previous point) and managed to tie the game up at 41-all before Belmont hit a pair of FTs right before halftime, and the score at the break is 43-41 Bruins.