The Cats seemed to lay off in the first half as they struggled to hang on to the lead. The Greyhounds of Loyola would not give up, and neither would their coach. A quite animated Head Coach Jimmy Patsos gave Coach Cal a run for his money as far as being the most excitable coach In Rupp Arena Thursday. The Greyhounds would trail by as much as 10; inching back within 2. Coach Cal talked about Loyola’s performance, “I knew it would be a hard game, they are athletic, tough, and older than us. They weren’t afraid. They came right after us.” At the conclusion of the first half, Kentucky led Loyola 45-39.
At the start of the second half, it was clear Kentucky needed to get on the ball, literally. A lay-up by Erik Etherly cut Kentucky's lead to 4. Etherly led the Greyhounds with 14 Pts, 11 Rebs, 3 Asts, 2 Stls, and 1 Blk. A 15-2 run for Kentucky allowed the Cats to get out in front. From then on, it was all BLUE. Interesting line-up changes by Coach Cal gives the impression he is still tweaking his squad to find the perfect combination.
Leading the Cats on the hardwood, Kyle Wiltjer put up an impressive 24 Pts, 4 Rebs, 1 Ast, and 1 Stl all while called for 1 personal foul. Kidd-Gilchrist, who eventually fouled out, showed up with 15 Asts, 7 Rebs, and 4 Asts; despite his mother being hospitalized. Calipari had this to say about Kidd-Gilchrist, “He is leading our team with his grade stuff. He leads us in practice, in morning workouts.” Davis put up another double-double with 15 Pts and 11 Rebs while Miller added 13 Pts and 5 Rebs. Doron Lamb and Teague both contributed 9 Pts.
After a much deserved break, the Cats are back in Rupp next Wednesday for a match-up against Lamar. Coach Cal thinks it is good, “To schedule opponents that give you different looks. Style of play is important.” The Lamar game will be televised on ESPN-U, tip off at 8:30pm (EST).