LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Freshman Patrick Patterson had a career-high 23 points and Kentucky brushed off the rust from a two-week layoff with an 80-54 victory over Liberty Wednesday night.
The Wildcats (2-1), hadn't played since losing to Gardner-Webb Nov. 7 in round two of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic, and were outscored 14-0 early in that one. This time, Kentucky's shooters were sharper out of the gate, particularly Patterson.
The Wildcats scored 18 of the game's first 22 points, getting baskets from five different players during that stretch. Patterson's dunk provided the biggest spark, and the highly recruited power forward out of West Virginia added two one-handed jams midway through the second half to bury the Flames. He also had a game-high 10 rebounds.
Liberty (2-4) used the outside shot to try to pull back into the game but connected on only one of 15 3-point attempts in the first half. By the time Anthony Smith provided their next two 3-pointers early in the second half, the game was largely out of reach.
Alex McLean led the Flames with 15 points.