LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) – Bring on Duke.

After beginning the season with a less than stellar performance against Albany, the 2nd ranked Kentucky Wildcats responded to head coach John Calipari’s challenge and cruised past NJIT 87-57.

“We proved we could be a good defensive team,” Calipari said after the game. “We got better.”

Following Friday’s win over Albany, Calipari said his team was a work in progress. It appears the Cats made improvements in 24 hours.

UK won almost all the hustle stats Saturday. The Cats out-rebounded NJIT 54-23. UK had nine blocks compared to two from the Highlanders.

The Cats defense held NJIT to just under 31% shooting from the field. The Highlanders shot 26% from downtown.

Freshman Skal Labissiere hit his first 8 shot attempts. He finished with 26 points, five rebounds and a team-leading three blocks in 20 minutes.

“He’s got to rebound more,” said Calipari. “But he made strides. He did good.”

UK (2-0) plays Duke Tuesday at the United Center in Chicago.

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