Points were few and far between as Eastern Michigan visited Rupp Arena Wednesday night. After briefly taking a 3-0 lead by winning the tip and draining a 3-pointer on the game’s first possession, the Eagles (7-6) went over four minutes between each of their next three baskets to finish the half down 38-14. The second half didn’t show much improvement as UK improved to 9-4 with a 90-38 win in Lexington.
Kyle Wiltjer led all scorers with 17 and Ryan Harrow added 8 assists and 4 steals to go along with his 15 points as UK had five players score double figures. Alex Poythress made the most of his return to the starting lineup with 16 points and 5 rebounds; he was joined by Julius Mays (13) and Willie Cauley-Stein (11). Forward Glenn Bryant led Eastern Michigan with 10. UK shot 51% from the field, and perhaps more importantly, hit 18 of 24 free throws after missing 12 of 23 in a three point loss to UofL Saturday.
Calipari continued to tinker with the lineup, giving Willie Cauley-Stein his second straight start, this time over Kyle Wiltjer. That meant that UK went big, with Poythress moving to the small forward spot along with Goodwin and Harrow at guard. Afterwards Calipari said that he liked the big lineup, but Poythress was the key “Alex had to play, for me to play that team. We can’t come out with the (lack of) energy or effort that he has in some of these games. He came after it in this game.”
With the victory UK moves on to the conference portion of the schedule. After taking the weekend off, they travel to Vanderbilt next Thursday before returning home to face Texas A&M Saturday afternoon.
Photo: Flickr/Triple Tri
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