Kentucky improves to 4-0 with 92-63 win

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Freshman John Wall had 21 points and 11
assists as No. 4 Kentucky dominated Rider 92-63 on Saturday in the
Cancun Challenge.
Patrick Patterson added 19 points and a career-high 18 rebounds
for the Wildcats (4-0). The team hardly looked like the one coach
John Calipari called the "worst" defensive team he's seen in 20
years after wins over Miami (Ohio) and Sam Houston State earlier in
the week.
Kentucky held Rider (2-2) to 31 percent shooting, blocked 10
shots and forced the Broncs into 20 turnovers.
Ryan Thompson led Rider with 16 points, but the Broncs couldn't
find the shooting stroke that helped them win at Mississippi State
last week. Rider made just 4-of-17 3-pointers and was never really
in it after Wall took over midway through the first half.
Yet Calipari was never worried about his team's ability to
score. It was a decided lack of intensity on the other end of the
floor that he said would give him nightmares.
The Wildcats allowed 33 3-pointers in narrow escapes over the
RedHawks and Bearkats, wins that Calipari said showcased just how
far his team has to go.
Kentucky appeared to take important strides against the Broncs,
who came in knocking down 48 percent of its 3-pointers.
Kentucky extended its perimeter defense to prevent the kind of
open looks that the RedHawks and Bearkats so easily turned into
points. Everyone got involved in stopping the 3. At one point
6-foot-11 center DeMarcus Cousins picked up a foul behind the
3-point line for challenging a shot.
The foul sent Calipari into a frenzy and Cousins to the bench,
Calipari's message about getting on defense had apparently been
delivered. Rider missed all nine of its 3-point attempts in the
half - or 12 fewer 3s than Sam Houston State made in the opening
half on Thursday.
Rider didn't make a 3-pointer until Brandon Penn knocked one
down from the corner in the first minute of the second half, and by
then the Broncs were trailing by 28. Even that wasn't easy, as Penn
fell to the floor after Kentucky center Daniel Orton came flying at
All the misses led to long rebounds, which allowed Wall to get
out on the fast break and show the speed that has some NBA scouts
predicting he'll be the top pick in next year's draft.
During one stretch in the first half he completed a flawless
360-degree spin in the lane for a layup and followed it up moments
later with a steal, a basket and the foul.
The prettiest move, however, was a coast-to-coast sprint off a
Rider miss in which Wall dribbled the ball between his legs at full
speed while switching from his left hand to his right hand. He made
the layup while absorbing the contact then knocked down the
free-throw to put Kentucky 27-14 with 8:16 to go in the first half.
And unlike the first three games, this time there was no
Cousins and fellow freshman center Daniel Orton combined for 32
points and 12 rebounds and Kentucky received plenty of production
off the bench after the starters scored all 102 points in the win
over Sam Houston State.
Kentucky led 51-26 at the break and never let Rider get within
20 points. At times putting Patterson, Cousins and Orton on the
floor together, the Wildcats dominated the lane. Kentucky outscored
Rider in the paint 56-20 and had 24 second-chance points.

RIDER (2-2)
Ringgold 5-16 2-7 12, Penn 1-8 2-3 5, R.Thompson 1-10 14-14 16,
Robinson 3-6 2-2 8, Gadson 6-11 0-0 14, Youngblood 1-3 2-2 4,
Johnson 0-0 1-2 1, J.Thompson 0-2 0-1 0, Mansell 1-1 0-0 3,
Nd-Ezuma 0-1 0-0 0, Jackson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-58 23-31 63.
Cousins 7-10 4-7 18, Patterson 8-13 3-6 19, Miller 2-6 0-0 5,
Wall 8-12 5-6 21, Bledsoe 3-10 2-2 11, Hood 0-2 0-0 0, Harris 0-3
0-0 0, Krebs 0-2 0-0 0, Stevenson 0-0 0-0 0, Orton 5-7 4-5 14,
Harrellson 1-1 2-2 4. Totals 34-66 20-28 92.
Halftime-Kentucky 51-26. 3-Point Goals-Rider 4-17 (Gadson 2-6,
Mansell 1-1, Penn 1-5, J.Thompson 0-1, Youngblood 0-1, Robinson
0-1, R.Thompson 0-2), Kentucky 4-16 (Bledsoe 3-6, Miller 1-3,
Harris 0-1, Wall 0-2, Patterson 0-2, Krebs 0-2). Fouled Out-Orton.
Rebounds-Rider 38 (R.Thompson 10), Kentucky 43 (Patterson 18).
Assists-Rider 7 (R.Thompson 4), Kentucky 17 (Wall 11). Total
Fouls-Rider 24, Kentucky 22. A-23,912. gave the S

Team Records and Series Notes

With the win, No. 4 Kentucky improves to 4-0 and with the loss, Rider drops to 2-2.
UK’s 4-0 start to the season marks the best start in five years dating back to the 2004-05 season, where Tubby Smith’s team opened 4-0, before going 19-2 in its first 21 games.
Kentucky is 3-0 all-time against Rider, having also bested the Broncs in 1993 and 1996.
The Wildcats own a 12-0 record all-time against teams from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Saturday’s attendance of 23,912 marked the second-largest crowd of the year.
UK will return to action in the third game of the Cancun Challenge, facing Cleveland State on Nov. 24 in Cancun, Mexico. Tip-off is slated for 4:30 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on CBS College Sports Television and broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt calling the action.

First-Half Notes

Kentucky used the starting lineup of John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Darius Miller, Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins for the third consecutive game.
Freshman DeMarcus Cousins won the tip for UK, but Rider opened the scoring with a bucket on its first possession.
Cousins’ lay-in got UK on the board with 18:33 remaining in the first period.
Freshman Daniel Orton was UK’s first sub off the bench, checking in for Cousins.
Behind four points from Wall, UK mounted an 8-0 run to force a Rider timeout with 15:07 left and UK holding a 10-6 lead.
Bledsoe’s three-pointer at the top of the key with 10:36 remaining in the first half marked the first three of the game for either team. UK has now hit a three pointer in 715 consecutive games, the third longest streak in the NCAA.
With UK holding a 16-10 lead with 13:24 remaining in the half, the Wildcats went on a 13-4 run to take a 29-14 lead with just over seven minutes remaining in the stanza.
Patterson registered the squad’s second consecutive double-double attain in the first half. Cousins achieved the feat in the first half of UK’s win over Sam Houston State Thursday. Patterson, who now has three career first-half double-doubles, finished the first half with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Kentucky possessed a 51-26 lead at halftime, marking the second time this season UK has eclipsed the 50-point mark in the first period. UK also did so in its Thursday night win over Sam Houston State.
UK had three players post double-figure scoring in the first half including Patterson and Wall, who each led all scorers with 12 points. Orton added 10 points and three rebounds. Wall also contributed eight assists, three steals and one rebound.

Second-Half Notes

The Wildcats opened the second half with the lineup of Wall, Bledsoe, Miller, Orton and Patterson.
Miller tallied Kentucky’s first points of the second frame with a three-pointer to put UK up 54-26.
UK held a 69-44 lead at the 11:59 mark in the second half.
Cousins’ put-back with 8:36 left in the game gave UK its first lead of 30 or more points, going up 78-47.
At the under eight-minute media timeout, UK held an 80-50 advantage.
UK played all five members of its freshman class at the same time in the second half. It marked the first time this season that all five first-year players were on the court at the same time.
Senior guard Mark Krebs checked in with 2:41 left in the second half, marking his second action of the season.

Team Notes

Kentucky is the NCAA’s all-time wins leader with 1,992 wins. UK needs just eight more victories to become the first team to eclipse 2,000 wins in college basketball history.
The Wildcats out-rebounded Rider, 44-37. It was the fourth consecutive game UK claimed the rebounding battle.
UK scored 24 second-chance points. The Wildcats posted 30 points off turnovers and 56 points in the paint. Rider finished with 11 second-chance points, 15 points off turnovers and 20 points in the paint.
After its bench went scoreless in the win over SHSU, UK had 18 points from non-starters in today’s win.
With 92 points in today’s win, UK has now scored over 70 points in every game this season. The Blue and White average 85 points per game.
For the fourth consecutive game UK held its opponent to under 50-percent from the field, as Rider shot 32-percent in the contest. The Broncs were also held to 24-percent from behind the arc, the second lowest for a UK opponent this season and far below Rider’s 49-percent season average from three-point land entering the game.

Individual Notes

Patterson led UK with 19 points and 18 rebounds in 34 minutes of action.
Patterson started his team-high 14th consecutive game, and he has now scored in double figures in 14 straight games dating back to last season.
With his 24th career double-double, Patterson moves into a tie for 10th place all-time on UK’s career double-double list. He has double doubles in three-of-four games this season.
The preseason All-American’s 18 rebounds equaled his career-best, when he grabbed 18 rebounds vs. Auburn on Jan. 21, 2009.
Patterson fired a season-high 13 shots in the game.
Wall notched his first career double-double effort, by matching a career-high 21 points and a dishing out a career-best 11 assists, to complement six rebounds, three steals and two blocks in 35 minutes.
Wall’s 11 assists marked the third most in a game for a UK freshman in school history.
Dirk Minniefield and Rodrick Rhodes each passed out a school-record 13 assists in a game, with Minniefield dolling out 13 on Jan. 23, 1980 at Mississippi State and Rhodes handing out 13 assists against Morehead State on Dec. 19, 1992.
Six rebounds and two blocks marked new career-bests, with his three steals equaling a career high.
Cousins charted 18 points and six rebounds in just 15 minutes of action.
He has now scored in double figures in two straight games, putting up a career-high 27 points in the win over Sam Houston State Thursday.
After blocking five shots in the game, Cousins set a new career best.
Miller equaled his season-high with three assists, adding five points and three rebounds.
Freshman center Daniel Orton had a career-high 14 points, also equaling his career high with six rebounds in a career-long 23 minutes.
Junior forward Josh Harrellson’s two points in the first half marked his first points of the season. Harrellson finished with four points in seven minutes of action.
Bledsoe led UK from behind the arc with a team-best 3-of-6 from three-point territory. He totaled 11 points in 28 minutes.
Bledsoe topped double figures for the third time in four career collegiate games.

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