Posted: Dec 29, 2012 5:01 PM by Kyle Scott
Updated: Dec 29, 2012 5:04 PM
Coach Calipari told the media he didn't know who his starting five would be when his Cats traveled to Louisville to play the no. 3 Cardinals. And it was clear that he thought long and hard about it.
Cal went with Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein in the frontcourt and three guards in the backcourt -- Ryan Harrow, Archie Goodwin and Julius Mays.
For the first time this season, Alex Poythress came off the bench. Kyle Wiltjer came off the bench for the second game in a row.
The strategy paid off early as the Cats led for a significant part of the first half, including a six-point lead midway through the half (18-12). Peyton Siva made an acrobatic lay-up to break a three minute scoreless drought for Louisville. The Cardinals went on a 13-2 run of their own to take the lead for the latter part of the half.
Poythress could have ended the scoring drought with two free throws; instead, it was a Noel dunk that broke the drought. Noel stole the ball from a Cardinal following a Poythress miss.
Kentucky tied the game at 25 (six ties in the first half), but Louisville continued to force turnovers and Siva made two three-pointers to help give the Cardinals a 36-28 halftime lead.