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Notre Dame


UK's Alex Poythress  puts up a contested shot inside in the loss at Notre Dame. (Victoria Graff photo)

UK’s Alex Poythress puts up a contested shot inside in the loss at Notre Dame. (Victoria Graff photo)

– Kentucky falls to 4-2 while Notre Dame improves to 7-1.
– The Wildcats are 42-19 all-time against Notre Dame and 5-3 in Purcell Pavilion.
– The Wildcats are 172-74 all-time against the Big East.
– Ranked Kentucky teams are 31-4 all-time versus Notre Dame and have won 12 of the last 13 times it entered a game against the Fighting Irish ranked.
– Kentucky returns to action Saturday hosting the Baylor Bears. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on CBS.

Team game notes
– The Wildcats used the starting combination of Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress, Kyle Wiltjer and Julius Mays. UK is 3-2 with that line-up.
– Jarrod Polson was the first sub off the bench for UK. It is the third time Polson was UK’s first sub in.
– Kentucky extended its streak of games with a 3-pointer to 833 games, the third-longest streak in the country.
– UK shot 40.4 percent from the field, snapping a streak of three-straight games shooting better than 50 pct. from the field.
– The Wildcats trailed the Irish 36-25 at the half. It was UK’s largest halftime deficit this season.
– Kentucky is 0-2 when trailing at the half this season.
– Notre Dame’s 20-point second half lead was the largest deficit UK has faced this season.
– This was only the second double-figure loss in Calipari era. The other was against UConn in the 2010 Maui Invitational against UConn, 84-67. Kentucky bounced back from that loss to advance to the school’s 14th Final Four.
– UK’s 50 points were the fewest points in the Calipari Era. The previous low was 55 against UConn in the 2011 Final Four.

Individual game notes

#3 Nerlens Noel
– Finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and two steals.

#4 Jarrod Polson
– Took his first charge of the season.

#10 Archie Goodwin
– Grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and dished out a team-high five assists.
– Broke a streak of six-straight games scoring in double-figures.

#12 Ryan Harrow
– Saw first action since season-opener against Maryland.

#33 Kyle Wiltjer
– Finished with five rebounds and two steals.

#34 Julius Mays
– Has hit a 3-pointer in every game this season.
– Has connected on seven 3-pointers in last two games.
– Hit a season-high four 3-pointers and was UK’s leading scorer for the first time this season.
– Shooting 10-11 from the free throw line this season.


Alex Poythress works inside against LIU Friday. (Victoria Graff photo)

Alex Poythress works inside against LIU Friday. (Victoria Graff photo)


Kentucky freshman Alex Poythress had no problem with the aggressive style Morehead State and Long Island-Brooklyn both used against UK last week.

“You want teams coming at you. You don’t want no easy games. You don’t want no cakewalk game early. You just don’t want to breeze through your schedule,” said Poythress, the first UK freshman to have four straight 20-point games since 1979. “You want some tough opponents and people that will challenge you early. I think that is what all our opponents have done.”

He’s sure it will happen again Thursday, too, when UK plays at Notre Dame (6-1) in its first true road game of the season.

“It is going to be our first road test and we have to come prepared. We have to get off to a great start and not have slow starts like we have been having. I think we should be fine. We have couple days to prepare, so we should be ready,” he said after Friday’s win over Long Island-Brooklyn. “I know I am anxious to see how the Notre Dame fans react and what they have to say to us. It should be a pretty nice environment.”

Kentucky had trouble shutting down both Morehead and Long Island in the first half last week. Against Long Island, UK went on a big scoring run to end the first half and dominated the second half to win 104-75.

“We just tried to buckle down in the second half. They were hitting too many shots. I think they were hitting around 60 percent from the field and that is unacceptable here,” Poythress said. “We just made sure that we were blocking out and grabbing the board and that everybody was rebounding on the defensive end.

“We were just battling. It should not have been that close at halftime. Once we turned up the defense, we were fine.”

He’s not sure there is a specific reason for UK’s slow starts defensively.

“I don’t think there is no reason. Just getting used to the game play really. He (John Calipari) just keeps coaching us hard to we realize we have to get it going from the start,” Poythress said.

Calipari continues to insist that his freshman-dominated team is “just learning” as it plays.

“That’s why we wanted to play these kind of teams that would come after us, not be afraid, come in here with an attitude that they could win,” Calipari said Friday. “Then the way we’ve been starting these games, whether I got the wrong starting unit in there I don’t know, but the way we’ve been starting these games, we let these people think they can beat us.  They go in at halftime saying, ‘We can beat these guys.’ So we’re learning that right now.”

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The UK men’s basketball team will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Nov. 29 in the 2012 SEC/Big East Challenge, ESPN announced on Friday. The squads will meet in South Bend, Ind., at a time yet to be determined.

The SEC/Big East Challenge will feature 12 schools in the SEC competing against 12 schools from the Big East over a three day period beginning Nov. 29.

The Wildcats lead the all-time series against the Irish, 42-18; however Notre Dame holds an 8-6 advantage over Kentucky in South Bend. UK defeated the Irish in the most recent meeting, 72-58 in Louisville during the 2011 season. The last time the two teams met in South Bend, the Irish bested the Cats, 77-67, in the 2009 NIT, ending UK’s season.

Only matchups and dates have been determined. Game times and networks will be announced at a later date.


Thursday, November 29th
·         Kentucky at Notre Dame
·         South Carolina at St. John’s
·         Seton Hall at LSU
·         Marquette at Florida

Friday, November 30th
·         Georgia at South Florida
·         DePaul at Auburn
·         Tennessee at Georgetown
·         Syracuse at Arkansas

Saturday, December 1st 
·         Mississippi State at Providence
·         Rutgers at Ole Miss
·         Alabama at Cincinnati
·         Villanova at Vanderbilt


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