Cats defense wakes up in the second half against UNCG

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics)- Reid Travis scored 22 points, Keldon Johnson added six of his 13 points during a 14-2 second half run that helped No. 10 Kentucky beat UNC Greensboro 78-61 on Saturday for its seventh consecutive victory.

The visiting Spartans seemed poised to take control with a 55-50 edge with 13:08 remaining before Kentucky (7-1) had consecutive 3-point plays by Travis and Ashton Hagans for a 56-55 lead.

Demetrius Troy’s jumper put UNCG (7-2) back ahead but that was the last lead. The Wildcats made defensive stops during an 8-0 run led by Johnson, who followed two free throws with consecutive dunks for a 64-57 lead with 6:02 left.

Tyler Herro (18 points) added consecutive baskets to make it 68-59 before capping the comeback with a 3-pointer with 40 seconds left. Kentucky shot 50 percent after halftime while holding the Spartans to 28 percent in the second half and 36 percent overall. Johnson also had 11 rebounds.

Francis Alonso had 22 points but just three after halftime as UNCG had its six-game winning streak end.


Kentucky got tested, but likely will stay in the Top 10.


UNC Greensboro: Came off a record 78-point victory over Division III Greensboro College. They pushed their tempo for much of the game and had Kentucky out of sorts before losing their composure and managing just three baskets over the final 10 minutes.

Kentucky: Coach John Calipari hinted this would be the first of several tests. Travis, Johnson and Herro came up big when they needed it on both ends with timely stops and baskets that pushed Kentucky ahead for good. Johnson’s play was even more impressive after he left in the first half with an injured ankle.


UNC Greensboro visits Elon on Friday in its final road non-conference contest.

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