With Kentucky trailing by eight points early in the second half, Julius Mays missed a three-point shot. After the rebound went out of bounds stopping the clock, a fan signaled the growing mix of concern and surprise by yelling, "C'mon, Cal, do something!"
Could you be more specific?
UK Coach John Calipari had already done a lot. He'd recruited a No. 1-rated class to replace the one that departed last spring. He'd infused more competitive zeal in the latest group of Kiddie Cats, who less than 48 hours earlier lost in desultory fashion at Notre Dame.
But Calipari couldn't put the ball in the basket. Nor could he make the clutch plays down the stretch necessary to bring what he conceded would have been an undeserved victory.
With the Cats making only 29.6 percent of their shots (a low in Calipari's four seasons as coach), Baylor made history Saturday by winning 64-55 at Kentucky. That snapped UK's 55-game home winning streak, the nation's longest active streak, and — judging by media questions afterward — ripped an alarming hole in the UK coach's home record. It's now 54-1.
"I'm pretty shook up," freshman Willie Cauley-Stein said as Kentucky fell to 4-3 (the program's most pedestrian start since 4-5 in Billy Gillispie's debut season of 2007-08). "It's a lot to handle, I guess."
Calipari acknowledged being surprised by Baylor's in-game switch from a 2-3 to a 3-2 zone.
"We had not talked about it much," he said. "So it confused us for a while and we got a little tentative. And that's on me. That's not on the kids."
Twenty-one offensive rebounds testified to the hustle that followed the bustle about Kentucky's lack of competitiveness at Notre Dame. But UK scored only eight second-chance points.
"We are not very strong," Calipari said. "We got the ball. We couldn't get it in the basket."
That strength part may not change.
"Every team we play is going to be stronger than us," Cauley-Stein said. "We're freshmen."
What might change is the dimension of the opponent. Baylor's 7-foot-1 freshman Isaiah Austin, 6-9 Cory Jefferson and burly 6-8 Rico Gathers made scoring around the basket a chore.
"They're definitely the longest team we've played so far this year," Cauley-Stein said. "Honestly, I don't think we realized it. You know, we still were trying to go the same as we would against, like, a 6-1 kid."
In the first half, Kentucky had plenty of hustle plays. Competitive spirit abounded.
But 28.6-percent shooting and 11 turnovers left Kentucky staring at a 34-29 halftime deficit.
The final turnover seemed large. Archie Goodwin, who had a season-high five turnovers, lost the ball on a drive inside the final five seconds. That enabled Baylor to zip downcourt and get the ball to Brady Heslip, who had been named by The Sporting News, Yahoo and Lindy's as the Big 12 Conference's best shooter. His three-point shot nestled into the basket as the halftime buzzer sounded.
The fast pace gave Kentucky more opportunity to show will, spirit and hustle. The two teams combined for 125 shots (an average of one every 19.2 seconds). UK surpassed its 47 shots at Notre Dame with almost 14 minutes left.
Goodwin dived to the floor for a loose ball inside the first three minutes. Later in the first half alone, Cauley-Stein, Kyle Wiltjer and Alex Poythress left their feet for loose balls.
Obvious want-to rebounds by Poythress and Nerlens Noel helped Kentucky win the battle of the boards 48-37.
A second-half comeback did not come quickly. When Noel picked up his third foul with 18:33 left (reaching around a Baylor player trying to rebound his own shot), comeback hopes dimmed.
Baylor extended its lead to 43-33 with 15:38 left. Pre-season Big 12 Player of the Year Pierre Jackson gave the Bears their largest lead by taking Wiltjer's fumble and speeding to a fast-break layup.
With the crowd repeatedly encouraging the Cats, Kentucky kept competing.
The Cats got as close as 49-46 with 8:22 left. Jackson countered with a pull-up jumper while being fouled by Goodwin.
"We're blessed to have more experience in the backcourt," Baylor Coach Scott Drew said.
Three times thereafter, UK got within four. But Baylor answered each time.
Calipari lamented UK's late fouls. Jackson made four of four free throws and Heslip two of two inside the final four minutes.
"They were struggling to score and giving us our chances," the UK coach said. "That's what happens when you have a bunch of freshmen out there."
Jerry Tipton: (859) 231-3227. Twitter: @JerryTipton. Blog: ukbasketball.bloginky.com