No. 2 Kentucky easily handles Eastern Kentucky 91-49
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Nick Richards had 21 points and 10 rebounds, Immanuel Quickley added 16 and No. 2 Kentucky scored the game’s first 14 points to cruise past Eastern Kentucky 91-49 on Friday night.
Seeking to follow up Tuesday’s victory over top-ranked Michigan State, the Wildcats (2-0) made six of their first 10 shots, including a couple of baskets by Richards. The Colonels, meanwhile, missed their first nine attempts before Darius Hicks’ three-point play with 12:57 remaining in the first half.
Kentucky had some sloppy stretches that allowed EKU (1-1) to get within 37-23 before regrouping to lead 46-25 at the break. The Wildcats led by 44 in the second half and finished 34 of 62 from the field (55 and dominated the boards 54-25.
Richards’ point total was just four off his career high against Fort Wayne as a freshman. The junior forward also had four blocks.
Nate Sestina had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Kentucky. Ashton Hagans, Keion Brooks Jr. and Kahlil Whitney each added 11 points.
Michael Moreno had 14 points for EKU, which shot 25% and committed 21 turnovers.
The Wildcats played without sophomore forward EJ Montgomery, who was declared out before the game with a right ankle injury sustained against Michigan State.
Kentucky’s second win this week should earn the nation’s No. 1 ranking when the poll is released Monday.
Eastern Kentucky: Other than a first-half stretch in which the Colonels’ shooters found their stroke, it was a generally rough night from the floor. They made just 8 of 33 from beyond the arc and only 8 of 31 from inside.
Kentucky: The Wildcats didn’t need big baskets from freshman Tyrese Maxey, who had nine points in 26 minutes after scoring 26 against the Spartans. Plenty contributed to their improved shooting performance and a dominant effort on the glass. The Wildcats improved to 13-0 over the neighboring school, a half hour south of Lexington.
Eastern Kentucky: Hosts Ohio-Chillicothe on Tuesday.
Kentucky: Hosts Evansville on Tuesday.