Cats defeat Broncos 70-55, Young leads four freshmen in double figures

jtipton@herald-leader.comDecember 10, 2013 

With the ice of Dallas in the past, Kentucky took a steady step forward with a 70-55 victory over Boise State on Tuesday night.

UK mixed perimeter shooting from James Young with inside power and tight defense to make amends for Friday's loss to Baylor.

Taking those keys in reverse order, Kentucky held Boise State well below its average of 91.9 points (second in the nation). Willie Cauley-Stein blocked nine shots for the second time in three games, this time with his hair dyed blond.

Julius Randle posted his customary double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds) as UK improved to 8-2. Young led the Cats with 21 points.

Boise State, which played its first game on ESPN since 1999, lost for the first time in nine games.

Boise was one of 15 undefeated teams.

For a half, Boise State's vast experience (all five starters, and eight of the top nine scorers back from last season's NCAA Tournament team), showed. Despite playing in front of the largest crowd in the program's history (21,565 — previous record 20,398 at Brigham Young on Dec. 13, 1996), the Broncos stayed within striking distance.

It wasn't fatigue that got Boise State, which had to endure a bus trip from Chicago to get to Lexington. That trip included an hourlong stop for sandwiches at a Subway in Lafayette, Ind.

Before the game, Boise State Coach Lee Rice put a condition on his team's advantage in experience.

"You have to be able to make it a factor." he said. "First of all, you have to be able to keep the game close enough to where it becomes a factor. And that's easier said than done. They can steam roll you when they get it going, and they can physically steam roll you."

No steam rolling by UK in the first half.

The Cats led 41-31, which was the largest lead of the first 20 minutes.

Perhaps as a concession to Boise State's sagging zone, Kentucky took 13 three-point shots in the first half. UK averaged 16.2 shots from beyond the arc going into the game.

UK made only four, but Young had them all in a 17-point half. His fourth three-pointer, which came with 4:04 left, gave UK its first eight-point lead.

Boise State's mission was to limit the advantage UK enjoyed in athleticism and size. The latter failed to materialize as UK outrebounded the Broncos 23-12, which was in contrast to the 41-25 beating on the boards the Cats suffered against Baylor on Friday.

"I told media in Boise, when I play my 10-year-old son Kade in the driveway, he can do everything right," the Boise State coach said. "He can block me out, but I'm going to get that rebound. Sometimes that's the way it is with (Kentucky). They can go right over the top of you. You can be in the right position, you can block them out and they're just so long and athletic, that there's nothing really you can do sometimes."

Discipline is the way to counter such superiority, Rice said.

"We just have to continue doing the right things," he said. "Continue doing what we do and not get rattled, especially starting the game.

"We move the ball, maybe as good or better than anybody in the country at times. We share the ball really well and we have good patience about us, and good shot selection.

"Now they're going to try to have something to say about that. Where we don't get to move it as much as we want to, where we don't get to select the shots we want to take."

Boise State strayed from the milk-the-clock patterns that helped keep it close in the first half.

Kentucky steadily expanded its lead as the second half unfolded. The Cats went inside for driving points or post-ups or free throws. UK took only two three-point shots (missing both) in the first eight minutes.

Randle reached another double-double with two free throws at the 11:42 mark. It was his eighth double-double, He came into the week tied for the nation's lead with seven.

An Andrew Harrison lob that Young dunked put the lead at 62-43 with 8:33 left and prompted a Boise State timeout. As his team gathered at the bench, Rice stood alone with his head down presumably pondering what options might be available.

Unlike against Baylor, Kentucky did not let the advantage evaporate. Boise State got no closer than 11 thereafter.

*******************

BOX SCORE

Boise State (55)

Name mi fg-a 3-pt ft-a rb a pf tp

Watkins 37 2-6 0-0 2-2 8 0 2 6

Drmic 38 7-22 2-8 2-2 4 1 3 18

Marks 25 6-18 2-3 0-0 2 1 4 14

Elorriaga 37 1-5 1-5 0-0 2 1 3 3

Hadziomerovic

29 2-6 0-1 2-2 3 1 4 6

Thompson 25 4-11 0-0 0-0 3 1 1 8

Bropleh 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0

Duncan 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Team 4

Totals 200 22-69 5-17 6-6 27 5 17 55

Kentucky (70)

Name mi fg-a 3-pt ft-a rb a pf tp

Cauley-Stein25 3-3 0-0 0-2 7 0 2 6

Randle 28 7-11 0-0 3-4 11 1 1 17

Young 31 7-15 4-11 3-4 9 0 0 21

Harrison 38 6-12 0-4 1-1 4 1 0 13

Harrison 31 4-7 0-1 5-7 3 2 3 13

Polson 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Poythress 17 0-1 0-0 0-0 3 1 2 0

Hawkins 18 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 2 3 0

Johnson 11 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0

Team 5

Totals 200 27-51 4-17 12-18 43 7 12 70

Boise St. 31 24—55

Kentucky 41 29—70

Field-goal shooting: Boise St. 31.9, Kentucky 52.9. Free-throw shooting: Boise St. 100, Kentucky 66.7. Technicals: None. Turnovers: Boise St. 8 (Marks 2, Thompson 2, Bropleh 1, Drmic 1, Watkins 1, team 1), Kentucky 19 (Young 5, Randle 4, Harrison 3, Harrison 3, Cauley-Stein 2, Hawkins 1, team 1). Blocked shots: Boise St. 1 (Watkins 1), Kentucky 10 (Cauley-Stein 9, Randle 1). Steals: Boise St. 8 (Elorriaga 3, Hadziomerovic 2, Thompson 2, Marks 1), Kentucky 4 (Harrison 3, Cauley-Stein 1). Officials: Ted Valentine, Lee Cassell, Ron Groover. Attendance: 21,565.

Records: Boise St. 8-1; Kentucky 8-2.


NEXT GAME

No. 11 Kentucky at No. 18 North Carolina

When: 5:15 p.m. Saturday

TV: ESPN

Jerry Tipton: (859) 231-3227. Twitter: @JerryTipton. Blog: ukbasketball.bloginky.com.

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