No. 9 Kentucky gets tested in Guardians Classic
Lexington, KY (Sports Network) – Rajon Rondo scored 19 points, including 11
after halftime, as ninth-ranked Kentucky survived an early second-half push
from Lipscomb and pulled away to a 67-49 victory at Rupp Arena in the second
round of the Guardians Classic.
Ravi Moss added 13 points while Ramel Bradley chipped in 12 for the Wildcats,
who shot 50 percent from the floor but connected on only 12-of-19 shots from
the charity stripe.
Kentucky advanced to Kansas City, where they will play a semifinal game versus
the Iowa/Colgate winner on Saturday.
Eddie Ard scored a game-high 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting and James
Poindexter added 10 points for the Bisons, who shot only 38 percent from the
floor but grabbed 14 offensive rebounds.
The game had a distinct March feel for a mid-November preseason tournament, as
the small school from the Atlantic Sun pushed the storied SEC power for the
first 30 minutes.
For several minutes in the second half, the Rupp Arena crowd was silent,
watching a determined Bisons squad get within two points of the Wildcats on
A Trey Williams three-pointer could have given Lipscomb the lead with 13:58
remaining in the game. After a Rando layup, Shaun Durant made a solid
drop step and power move for a lay-in that cut the lead back to two at 38-36.
Down four, 44-40, just under the 10-minute mark, Poindexter was elbowed in the
face while going for a loose ball and left the game. With the Bisons’ primary
ballhandler and one of their primary scorers on the bench, Kentucky slowly
Bradley hit two jump shots to start a spurt, then finished the scoring run
with a pull-up jumper from the foul line extended to give the Wildcats a 61-45
lead with 2:45 left.
After Poindexter left the game, Kentucky outscored Lipscomb 23-9.
The Wildcats led 30-22 at halftime behind eight points from Rando. The
advantage was due to a Bisons’ field-goal drought of 7:20 after tying the game
at 11. Kentucky then ripped off 11 consecutive points before Williams drained
a three-pointer to end the dry spell and cut the deficit to single digits.
Kentucky has been ranked in the Associated Press top-10 for 36-straight polls,
which is the longest streak in the nation…UK has held 67 of its last 68
opponents below 50 percent shooting..This is Kentucky’s 30th season in Rupp
Arena…Durant grabbed 12 rebounds to go along with eight points…The Bison
only connected on 4-of-17 three-point attempts…Kentucky’s bench scored 34
points, over half of the team’s total.