WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | Sports

#11 Kentucky Shoots Down Coppin State

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky sure looks ready for Louisville.
Terrence Jones scored 18 points, Brandon Knight added 17 points
and eight assists and the 11th-ranked Wildcats rolled by Coppin
State 91-61 Tuesday night in their final tuneup before a showdown
with the rival Cardinals on New Year's Eve.
Kentucky (10-2) shot 57 percent from the field - including 74
percent in the second half - to overwhelm the Eagles.
Doron Lamb, fresh off a school freshman-record 32-point
performance in a rout of Winthrop last week, scored 17 points and
DeAndre Liggins added 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists for
Kentucky.
Jordan Lee led Coppin State (4-6) with 11 points while Tony
Gallo and Akeem Ellis added 10 points each but the Eagles couldn't
keep up with the Wildcats, who played efficiently while gearing up
for Friday's Battle of the Bluegrass.
Kentucky dominated the undersized Eagles, outrebounding them
43-22 and outscoring them 46-26 in the paint. The Wildcats'
outburst included 29 points by bench players, a welcome sign for a
team looking for more depth before it starts Southeastern
Conference play next week.
The Eagles played without scoring leader Michael Harper, who had
the flu. Coppin State certainly could have used him, particularly
early on as it tried to gain its footing against the Wildcats. The
Eagles missed their first 11 shots before Lee hit a layup in
traffic.
By then Coppin State trailed 15-4, though the Eagles did show
enough signs of life to force Calipari to call a frustrated timeout
following a brief spurt that brought the them within 20-11.
No biggie. DeAndre Liggins converted a difficult layup while
drawing the foul before Lamb followed with a jumper from the
corner. Jones dunked moments later, quickly followed by another
basket by Lamb.
After Jones hit a nifty pullup just before the buzzer, the
Wildcats led 40-19 at the break and could start turning their full
attention toward Louisville.
Kentucky's lead grew to as much as 39 in the second half before
Calipari went deep to his bench, looking for candidates to crack
his typically tight six-man rotation.
He appeared to get a couple of volunteers. Jon Hood had seven
points, including a rare one-handed dunk, during his extended
playing time and reserve center Eloy Vargas had four points.
The Wildcats will likely need that depth against the Cardinals.
The two rivals played one of the uglier games in the series'
history last season, a foul-marred Kentucky win that featured
plenty of venom on both sides.
Kentucky's depth and talent eventually wore Louisville down.
This year, the 22nd-ranked Cardinals are the deeper, if not more
talented team.
Yet Calipari has praised his young team, featuring star freshmen
Jones, Lamb and Knight, for its maturity. The Wildcats showed it
during a sharp-shooting second half in which they shared the
basketball to look for open shots.
Kentucky finished with 21 assists on 35 field goals and players
continued to hustle on both ends of the floor even with the game's
outcome decided.


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