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CATS' DEFENSE THE KEY TO EASY 89-57 WIN

Date story was published: Wednesday, November 27, 1985

Kentucky's defense paralyzed the Polynesians here yesterday, leading to an easy 89-57 victory over Chaminade University.

UK took the lead early and put Silverswords, who are known for upsetting big teams here, out of the game in the first 10 minutes.

Chaminade, which had "Miracle T-=shirts" on sale outside packed McCabe Gym, crumbled under UK's defensive pressure. It seemed fitting that in a gym that resembled a high school's, Chaminade turned the ball over 23 times the first 24 minutes.

UK built its lead to 21 points in the first half and coasted from there.

Senior forward Kenny Walker led the Cats with 23 points.

The Wildcats, now 2-0, will conclude their two-game Hawaiian trip tonight with a game against the University of Hawaii.

Chaminade fell to 1-3.

What little hope Chaminade had of upsetting Kentucky vanished in the opening four minutes of the second half.

In that span, the Silverswords committed five turnovers.

The most impressive was a sleight of hand and body by Ed Davender. The sophomore guard began by making a move familiar to UK fans. He darted into the passing lane near the top of the key.

When the pass was not made, Davender turned to follow his man back into the lane area.

Suddenly, Davender turned again and stuck a hand into the original passing lane. It found the pass intended for a second Chaminade player, who had moved to the top of the key area.

Not everything went well for UK. The Cats turned over the ball on three straight possessions early in the second half. On the third, when Roger Harden stepped on the end line taking the ball out, Sutton substituted for all five starters. He put in Leroy Byrd, Irving Thomas, Cedric Jenkins, Richard Madison and Paul Andrews with the instruction of "get the ball in play."

At all other times, that was a problem unique to Chaminade.

Defense got the Wildcats in front to stay. UK played man-to-man the entire half and mixed in a trapping press.

Chaminade committed 18 turnovers in the half.

Kentucky took the lead for good when Walker hit a basket inside with 17:12 remaining in the half. The Cats added three more points in the run, took a 9-4 edge and never looked back.

Chaminade committed a turnover a minute in the early going.

Later, Kentucky's pressure forced two Chaminade timeouts within a 56- second span. The first, which came with 9:46 remaining, followed plays by Winston Bennett at both ends of the floor. The junior forward intercepted an overthrown feed inside at the defensive end. Then, when UK settled into a set offense, Bennett banked home a 15-footer.

The shot gave UK a 24-14 lead.

The lead grew to 28-14 when Rob Lock and James Blackmon rebounded misses and put them home.

Chaminade committed back-to-back turnovers at that point against the UK press, forcing Coach Merv Lopes to call another timeout with 8:52 to go.

To show what kind of afternoon it was for Chaminade, center Dwayne Bailey threw away a wild pass against the press after the timeout.

Whatever doubt there was about the outcome was put to rest when Kentucky ran off 10 straight points near the end of the half.

Chaminade helped with five more turnovers.

Davender got eight of the points, converted two steals into driving layups, hitting a jumper and making two free throws. Davender led UK with 14 first-half points.

UK's good shooting was another factor for the big first half.

At the 9:50 mark, when Bennett's banker put the Cats up 24-14, UK had missed only three shots. The last miss was Harden's jumper with about 15 minutes left in the half.

Even UK's fears about the officiating seemed unnecessary.

UK was not charged with its first team foul until 11:18 remained in the first half. The Cats had only six team fouls in the first half.

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