Posted: Dec 4, 2012 8:07 PM by Alan Cutler
Updated: Dec 4, 2012 9:04 PM
After scoring only 105 points in two games, both losses to Notre Dame and Baylor, the Cats needed to change.
Even though Samford isn't nearly on the level of those two teams, after some tough practices, you wanted to see if the Cats would play with more energy.
The energy was much better. If you like to compare scores, Louisville beat Samford 80-54. It seemed obvious after about five minutes, that Samford might have trouble reaching that number. It took Samford close to four and a half minutes to score. Tim Williams broke the ice for Samford to make it 7-2.
Nerlens Noel who had a terrific half with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals, gets a steal and jam to make it 21-4 UK.
Kyle Wiltjer whose been struggling makes a strong inside move and is fouled. The Samford bench gets a technical. Wiltjer makes three free throws to turn it into a five point play and the Cats go up 37-7.
Alex Poythress who made all six of his shots and leads everyone with 13 throws down a big dunk after a nice pass from Julius Mays to give UK the 39-10 lead.
At the half, it's all UK 45-14. UK is hitting 53% from the field. Samford is at only 20%.
Samford wakes up to start the second half going on a 9-0 run.
With Rupp very quiet for parts of the second half, it was easy hearing Cal scream "rebound" and a few other encouraging words to his team.
UK outscored Samford 43-42 in the second half and wins going away 88-56.
Six Cats were in double figures led by Archie Goodwin who had 18, Alex Poythress had 16, Nerlens Noel chipped in 13, Willie Cauley-Stein had 12, Julius Mays and Kyle Wiltjer had 10. At the end of the game, Jon Hood hit two 3's in a row to wake up the crowd. He finished with 6 points.
UK hit 58% from the field. Samford was at 39%. But in the second half, and Cal won't like this, Samford hit 51%.