The Kentucky Wildcats found a way to win on the road again, this time against the Auburn Tigers. Much like their win at Mississippi State on Feb. 8 it was ugly, sloppy and a little tougher than expected.
Kentucky looked poised to make quick work of the Tigers when they jumped out to an early 18-8 lead. Stagnation on the offensive end set in and Tony Barbee’s club was able to get back into the game.
7:50 1H – Kentucky 20, Auburn 18. Tigers on 12-2 run, kind of UK’s pattern this year to get up 10 and let up a bit.
— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) February 13, 2014
Considering how often Kentucky dug eight to ten point deficits for themselves earlier in the year, building a double-digit lead and allowing it to be whittled away bit by bit is progress (a little bit).
Chris Denson’s daring drives down the lane and Auburn’s tough work on the offensive glass kept them in the game as they were only down 28-22 at the half.
The second half started the same as the first as UK got the lead up to nine at 31-22 only to give it all back. Auburn led on multiple occasions, the last being 42-41 with just under eight minutes left. Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle and Aaron Harrison (16, 12 and 10 points respectively) got things in gear and helped Kentucky wrestle the lead away for good.
Dakari Johnson’s eight points and eight boards and two steals in 21 minutes of action must be acknowledged too. He continues to bring that effort and fire that we all like to see.
Playing down to the competition will not be an option Saturday when the No. 3 Florida Gators (22-2, 11-0 SEC) roll into Rupp Arena for a 9:00 p.m. tip.
It would be a perfect time for the Cats to put together that elusive complete 40 minute game.