BOZICH | Kentucky took care of business and Louisville, 86-63 | Sports

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) — Want to be shocked by the way your favorite team played Saturday in Kentucky’s 86-63 men’s basketball win over Louisville at Rupp Arena?

You can certainly do it.

Kentucky outscored the Cardinals 16-4 and then waited forever to knock off Louisville. The Wildcats started the second half as if they were convinced the game was already over. The UK defense was less than extraordinary.

Louisville saw UK start the game as the aggressor, the way the Cardinals let the entire college basketball world be the aggressor this season. The Cards played almost 7 minutes before getting their first individual rebound. what’s the rush

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Want to be energized by the way your favorite team played?

Well, you can do it, too.

John Calipari put Jacob Toppin back in the Wildcats starting lineup and Toppin delivered his best game in weeks. Correct that. Toppin delivered his best game never.

After scoring 9 total points in UK’s last four games, Toppin scored 24 in the win. Mid-range jump shots are supposed to be out of style in today’s game, but Toppin was terrific from 15 to 17 feet. He put the exclamation point on the win by rushing from the left corner past two Louisville defenders for a two-handed rebound slam missed by teammate Oscar Tshiebwe.

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And I don’t want to catch Tshiebwe. Never young Tshiebwe. He also had 24, along with his signature 13 rebounds.

Toppin and Tshiebwe combined to make 20 of 28 field goal attempts. This is 71.4%. This is winning basketball.

So what was the good news for Kenny Payne’s side in a 23-point defeat?

For the Cards the first three minutes of the second half were joy. Down 45-30, Louisville scored seven straight points and sparked some trouble in the building.

Layup by Brandon Huntley-Hatfield. Mike James three point field goal. Two free throws by El Ellis.

With Kentucky missing its first three field goal attempts and the Wildcats throwing the ball twice, the Cardinals had two opportunities to cut the lead to 5 or 6.

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Kentucky scored the next six points. The trouble disappeared. So did some thoughts of a complete Louisville rally, despite another determined performance by Ellis, who led the Cards with 23 points.

It’s conference play for both teams next week. Kentucky will host Louisiana State on Tuesday night before visiting Alabama on Saturday. Louisville returns to the KFC Yum! Center for a pair of home games — Tuesday night against Syracuse and Saturday against Wake Forest.

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