The player Jimmy Dykes predicts will be the 3rd most impactful NBA rookie of the decade again led Kentucky to victory Tuesday night in Rupp Arena, this time in front of a national audience, compliments of ESPN. John Wall set a new UK record with 16 assists to go along with 9 points in a 104-61 victory over the Hartford Hawks.
With the Wildcats up by more than 40 points, Calipari inserted Wall back into the lineup, just past the 8:00 mark, giving him the chance to tie Travis Ford’s school record of 15 assists (set against Eastern Kentucky in 1993). Wall would tie the mark with an entry pass to a posted-up Josh Harrellson, who subsequently drained a turnaround jumper, giving Wall assist number 15. The record breaker came via Perry Stevenson, who knocked down a foul line jumper immediately after a drop off pass from Wall.
Hartford never had a chance in this one; the Wildcats jumped all over the Hawks from the start, scoring the game’s first 8 points and hitting five 3-pointers in the first seven minutes. By the end of the first half, Wall already had 11 assists, Kentucky had shot 50% from three (8-16), 56% from the floor (22-39), and the freshman duo of Orton and Cousins had combined for 25 points and 10 boards.
Darnell Dodson was responsible for half of UK’s 3-point barrage in the first twenty minutes, going 4-7 from beyond the 3-point stripe. UK lead Hartford 57-31 at the half.
Things only got worse for Hartford from there. Darius Miller got hot, scoring 8 points in the first three minutes of the second half, widening the margin to 67-31. Over the next two minutes, a Patrick Patterson layup and two more Miller jumpers increased Kentucky’s lead to 41, and by the time Dodson nailed his fifth 3-pointer of the game at the 10:53 mark, UK’s lead was nearly half-a-hundred (87-40).
The final ten minutes were played primarily by the subs. The aforementioned jumpers by Harrellson and Stevenson came in addition to two more 3-pointers from Dodson and Mark Krebbs.
Ramon Harris closed out the Hawks with the final four points of the game, bumping the ‘Cats over the century mark for the 2nd time this season.
Kentucky’s record improved to 14-0, while the loss drops Hartford to 2-10 on the season.
This win gives John Calipari his 40th straight regular season victory.
Darius Miller finished with a season-high 16 points, going 6-8 from the field and 4-6 from three.
The big-man duo of DeMarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton combined for 29 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 blocks.
Darnell Dodson finished the game with 19 points, on 6-10 shooting from beyond the arc.
Eric Bledsoe did not play tonight due to a nagging ankle injury he re-tweaked in practice this week.
As mentioned, Wall finished the game with a school-record 16 assists. He also committed only one turnover.
Kentucky’s next game will be Saturday, January 2nd, at home against Louisville. Lexpatriates will have PLENTY between now and Saturday to get you ready for the big game.
Filed under: Kentucky Basketball | Tagged: Daniel Orton, Darius Miller, Darnell Dodson, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, Hartford Hawks, John Calipari, John Wall, Josh Harrellson, Mark Krebbs, Patrick Patterson, Perry Stevenson, Ramon Harris, Travis Ford |