NASSAU, Bahamas - John Calipari offered a warning to his team on Thursday night.
"These are grown men tonight," Coach Cal said before UK took on San Lorenzo de Almagro in the second game of its Big Blue Bahamas Tour. "You're either going to go at them or they're going to push you around."
The Wildcats might not have been able to match the experience of their opponents, but they didn't back down from the challenge.
Even though UK was facing the three-time defending Argentine National League champions, the Cats continued their winning ways on their Big Blue Bahamas Tour on Thursday night. Behind Tyler Herro's 22 points, Kentucky claimed a 91-68 victory in front of a loud crowd of more than a thousand international traveling members of the Big Blue Nation.
The Cats built a double-digit lead midway through the first half on the strength of a red-hot start on offense. They made 14 of their first 20 shots from the field, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range. Unlike Wednesday night, when an early lead evaporated before the Cats regained their footing, UK maintained wire-to-wire control.
The only thing that could slow Kentucky down was a power outage in the final minutes of the first half, prompting an early halftime break with UK leading 45-27. At that point, Herro had already piled up 15 points, including three treys in three tries, to further cement his fan-favorite status more than two months ahead of Big Blue Madness.
After the power came back on, Herro tried to shoot the lights out again with a late-game flurry. For the night, he made 7-of-10 shots and accounted for four of UK's seven made 3-pointers as a team.
PJ Washington didn't make a 3, but he did score 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, looking confident and strong scoring around the basket after bypassing the NBA Draft to return as a sophomore. His fellow sophomore returnees joined him double figures, as Quade Green and Nick Richards each had 10 points. Keldon Johnson (13 points) and Reid Travis (11) rounded out the double-figure scorers as UK shot 64.2 percent from the field.
UK will have a day off on Friday before returning to the court for games this weekend to close out the Big Blue Bahamas Tour. The Cats will take on Serbian professional team Mega Bemax at 7 p.m. on Saturday in a game that will televised on the SEC Network.