UK Men's Basketball

UK beats Boston with big second half

John Calipari after win over Boston U

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari talks about his team's 82-62 win over Boston U.
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Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari talks about his team's 82-62 win over Boston U.

As expected, Kentucky dominated around the basket Tuesday night in beating Boston U 82-62.

UK enjoyed a 58-16 advantage in points from the paint against a Boston team that came into the game having been outrebounded this season by an average of almost seven rebounds (33.0-39.8).

That helped Boston opponents make more free throws (80) than the Terriers had attempted (72). “That’s a dangerous place to me,” Boston U Coach Joe Jones said on Monday. “I’m a little concerned about that. But that’s kind of who we are right now.”

Kentucky, newly voted No. 1 on Monday, made Rupp Arena such a dangerous place for Boston U.

Five UK players scored double-digit points. Skal Labissiere led with 16 points. Tyler Ulis had 15 points, six rebounds and six assists. Alex Poythress posted a double-double (10 points and 10 rebounds), while Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

But UK Coach John Calipari lamented his team making only three of 15 three-point shots.

“We have to make some threes . . . ,” Calipari said. “You can’t win good games (without making three-point shots).”

Then Calipari added, “We’re still scoring a lot of (points). Think about what I’m saying. What if we made five or seven more threes?”

When a reporter suggested Kentucky had good shooters, Calipari quipped, “We do have good shooters. We just don’t have good makers.”

Still, Kentucky improved to 5-0 without undue difficulty. Calipari said he was still having to prod players to be more active.

But he singled out freshman Charles Matthews as a player who answered the call.

“I thought Charles Matthews was outstanding,” the UK coach said. “He moved into the rotation. If he makes free throws, he’s in that seven-man rotation.”

Boston U, which came into the game ranked No. 123 by numbers maven Ken Pomeroy, got 15 points from John Papale. Nate Dieudonne, the Trinity High graduate, added 11.

“I love Nathan Dieudonne,” Jones said. “He just wants to win. He could care less of personal stats.”

After beating Wright State last week, Calipari groused that there might be 20 better teams then No. 2 ranked UK.

The first half against Boston U might have led Calipari to amend that statement and make it at least 21.

Boston U, which started three seniors, hung in there with timely three-pointers and execution. The Terriers took their only lead, 33-32, on a nifty backdoor cut in which freshman Isaiah Briscoe lost senior John Papale. That play completed a 12-2 Boston run.

Kentucky responded. Skal Labissiere’s post-up, part of UK’s 30-8 advantage in points from the paint, erased the Cats’ only first-half deficit.

Then a 6-0 flurry in the final minute enabled Kentucky to take a 40-33 halftime lead. Boston’s only points after Papale’s layup with 3:39 left came on a free throw.

The game began with Kentucky seemingly in route to a crunching victory. The Cats took a 6-0 lead inside the first minute and extended the margin to 10-0. That prompted a Boston timeout with 17:12 left.

“We were obviously rattled right away,” Jones said.

Surprisingly, that was UK’s largest first-half lead.

The Terriers’ switch to a zone defense seem to blunt UK’s momentum. Boston also hit three of five three-point shots to get back in the game.

Boston came into the game shooting 41.7 percent on threes. “Right now, we are a three-point shooting team,” Jones said on Monday. “That’s what we do.”

Kentucky had the best of it early and often in the second half.

“You have to be able to sustain . . . ,” Jones said. “As game goes along, it gets harder to sustain. . . . Over time, they sort of wore us down.”

Boston picked up five fouls before the first TV timeout of the second half. Justin Alston, the Terriers’ tallest starter at 6-8, picked up his fourth with 16:08 left. With UK already ahead 34-8 in points from the paint, that seemed to shut the door on Boston’s chances at an upset.

Kentucky extended its lead to as much as 13, but Boston would not wilt. The first three-pointer of sophomore Nick Havener’s career, banked in no less, helped the Terriers close within eight with less than 12 minutes left.

The margin was still eight when play got too rough. Replays showed Marcus Lee shoved Dieudonne to the floor, which prompted Havener to push Lee.

After checking the monitors, the referees called a foul on Dieudonne, then contact deadball technicals on Lee and Havener.

The resulting free throws left Kentucky with a 62-53 lead. A Poythress dunk restored a double-digit lead with 9:50 left.

Yawn

Because of the Thanksgiving travel crush, the Boston U team booked a Wednesday flight out of Bluegrass Field at 6 a.m. That necessitated a 4 a.m. departure from the team’s Lexington hotel.

Jerry Tipton: 859-231-3227, @JerryTipton

No. 1 KENTUCKY 82, BOSTON U. 62

BOSTON U.

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

PF

PT

Papale

36

5-12

2-2

3

2

1

15

Mosely

29

2-11

4-4

1

0

4

10

Dieudonne

37

5-10

1-2

4

3

3

11

Foreman

32

4-8

2-3

2

3

2

11

Alston

15

1-3

0-1

2

1

4

2

E Johnson

8

0-4

2-2

0

0

2

2

Havener

18

2-4

2-2

5

0

5

7

Mbargorba

6

0-1

1-2

3

0

1

1

Goff

13

1-1

0-0

1

0

0

3

Chambers

2

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

B Johnson

2

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

Haines

2

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

Totals

200

20-54

14-18

27

9

22

62

Percentages: FG .370, FT .778. 3-Point Goals: 8-24, .333 (Papale 3-10, Mosely 2-9, Havener 1-1, Goff 1-1, Foreman 1-2, Dieudonne 0-1). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 2 (Dieudonne 2). Turnovers: 17 (Foreman 8, Dieudonne 2, Alston 2, Papale 2, Havener, E. Johnson, Mbargorba). Steals: 6 (Foreman 2, Papale, Mosely, Alston, Havener). Technical Fouls: Havener.

KENTUCKY

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

PF

PT

Lee

18

4-4

1-4

2

0

3

9

Labissiere

29

7-13

2-5

7

0

3

16

Ulis

34

4-12

6-6

6

6

1

15

Briscoe

35

4-10

3-7

7

5

2

11

Murray

31

5-9

0-0

3

2

4

12

Matthews

18

1-1

1-4

7

2

0

3

David

1

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

Mulder

1

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

Poythress

21

7-8

0-0

10

0

3

14

Hawkins

3

0-1

0-0

0

0

1

0

Willis

9

1-6

0-0

2

0

1

2

Totals

200

33-64

13-26

45

15

18

82

Percentages: FG .516, FT .500. 3-Point Goals: 3-15, .200 (Murray 2-5, Ulis 1-5, Hawkins 0-1, Briscoe 0-1, Willis 0-3). Team Rebounds: 1. Blocked Shots: 5 (Labissiere 3, Lee, Briscoe). Turnovers: 12 (Lee 2, Labissiere 2, Ulis 2, Murray 2, Matthews, Poythress, Briscoe). Steals: 12 (Ulis 3, Briscoe 3, Willis 2, Matthews, Labissiere, Lee, Poythress). Technical Fouls: Lee.

Boston U.

33

29

62

Kentucky

40

42

82

A—22,623. Officials—Anthony Jordan, Karl Hess, Olandis Poole.

Friday

Kentucky vs. South Florida

When: 5 p.m.

Where: American Airlines Arena in Miami

TV: ESPN

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