BOZICH | Five Quick Takeaways on another Kentucky win over Louis - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Five Quick Takeaways on another Kentucky win over Louisville

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Make it John Calipari 8, Rick Pitino 1 the UK-U of L rivalry over the last seven seasons. Make it John Calipari 8, Rick Pitino 1 the UK-U of L rivalry over the last seven seasons.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) – John Calipari’s ability to defeat Rick Pitino continued in Rupp Arena Saturday – by a thread. Down by five points late in the first half, Kentucky roared back to beat Louisville for the eighth time in the last nine games.

Make it UK 75, U of L 73 – after Damion Lee’s three-pointer from the left wing at the buzzer was short..

Five Quick Takes on another Kentucky rivalry victory.

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING – Who knows what John Calipari was thinking when the Kentucky coach was tagged with a technical foul with 2:52 to play in the first half?

Some believe Calipari was upset with a non-call on a previous Louisville possession. Other say he was questioning a foul assessed to Jamal Murray, who was called for a bump while chasing Damion Lee through a screen in front of the Kentucky bench.

Either way, Calipari drew a technical – and came this close to earning a second.

Lee made four straight free throws for Louisville to bump the Cardinals ahead, 34-30.

But Kentucky owned the rest of the first half, outscoring Louisville, 14-2. U of L coach Rick Pitino was so perturbed with what he was watching that he also earned a technical.

Kentucky scored on six of its final seven possessions of the half. The game’s next four fouls were whistled against Louisville. The Kentucky run stretched into the beginning of the second half. The Wildcats scored on dunks or layups on their first four possessions and outscored the Cards, 22-2.

ALEX THE GREAT & KING TYLER– Experience is supposed to count in rivalry games. It did for Alex Poythress, Kentucky’s sole four-year player. It did for Tyler Ulis, UK’s leading scorer last season when the Wildcats won at Louisville.

The Wildcats needed some muscle around the glass. Poythress provided it.

In the first half, he split the middle of the Louisville zone for a thunderous dunk that engaged the crowd. He was only warming up. Poythress started the second half as if he planned to end the game before the first TV timeout.

He assisted Marcus Lee for a layup on UK’s first possession. Poythress followed that with a layup. Then another. Then a dunk.

Kentucky outscored Louisville 8-0 in the first 2:06 building a 52-36 cushion that carried the Wildcats through the second half.

You can thank Ulis for that. All he did was play and play and play and play. Ulis came out firing from distance and did not stop. He made four three-pointers, one from at least 30 feet on the right wing. Ulis led Kentucky in scoring again 21. Poythress contributed 14 points and six rebounds.

LIKE A HAWK – They says this rivalry game means more to guys who grow up in-state. That’s been difficult to judge during recent seasons because neither Louisville nor Kentucky has relied on many Kentucky high school products.

Dominique Hawkins, a proud product of Madison Central High School, helped change that dynamic Saturday. With Isaiah Briscoe unavailable, Calipari was inspired to use Hawkins in the first half and ask him for more than his trademark defensive energy.

Hawkins made his case for more playing time.

After making only one of nine three-point shots all season, Hawkins made both of his three-point shots and two free throws in the first half, giving UK an unexpected lift, especially after Jamal Murray struggled in the first half while missing all five shots.

Hawkins added another clutch three in the second half. He contributed 13 critical points.

LINEUP SHUFFLE – Neither Skal Labissiere nor Isaiah Briscoe played for the Wildcats. Labissiere was benched. Briscoe benched himself.

The explanation: Briscoe, a freshman guard, appeared to twist an ankle during pre-game warmups. Labissiere had contributed two points and five rebounds in Kentucky’s previous two games.

Briscoe sat out the entire game. Labissiere sat for nearly the first nine minutes, but seemed to play with more energy.

UP NEXT – It’s another week off for the Wildcats. They begin play in the Southeastern Conference next Saturday at 7 p.m. against Ole Miss. Then UK moves onto the road for games at Louisiana State and Alabama.

Measured by Ken Pomeroy’s computer metrics, Ole Miss is the seventh-best team in the SEC, LSU eight and Alabama 11th.

Ole Miss has two wins over Top 100 opponents – Memphis and Georgia State. The Rebels (10-2) have a pair of neutral court defeats to Seton Hall and George Mason.

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