LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Tyler Herro had 16 points, Keldon Johnson added 15 and No. 10 Kentucky cruised past Monmouth 90-44 on Wednesday night for its sixth straight victory.
The Wildcats (6-1) never trailed, though the winless Eagles (0-8) used a 12-5 spurt to get within 22-18. Kentucky took charge from there, closing the first half on a 22-4 run over 8:46 for a 44-22 halftime lead and stretching the lead to as many as 47 with 2:40 remaining.
Herro was strong on both ends, making 6 of 10 attempts to pace Kentucky’s 57 percent shooting, including 64 percent in the second half. The freshman guard added eight rebounds and matched a career-high with five steals. The Wildcats scored 28 points off 16 turnovers by the Eagles.
Quade Green had four 3-pointers for 14 points, and Reid Travis scored 13 for the Wildcats. Kentucky also held Monmouth to 28 percent shooting, a season low for an opponent, and allowed its fewest points this season.
Guard Ray Salnave had 14 points for Monmouth, which shot just 2 of 16 from behind the arc.
Barring a collapse or struggle against UNC Greensboro, this rout should keep Kentucky in the Top 10.
Monmouth: The Eagles have played most opponents close. That wasn’t the case this time as a lineup with no starter taller 6-foot-8 couldn’t match Kentucky’s length. They were outrebounded 40-25 and dominated 34-18 in the paint. Shooting 23 percent after halftime also hurt.
Kentucky: After struggling to get past lesser opponents, the Wildcats left no doubt in building a good cushion by the break. More important was that everybody contributed, allowing them to stay on the gas and get a confidence-building win.
Monmouth visits Bucknell on Saturday in the second of four consecutive road games.
Kentucky hosts UNC Greensboro on Saturday.