The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Bud Walton Arena - Fayetteville, AR

No. 23 Kentucky bounces back with win at Arkansas

2565 days ago
Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Tyler Ulis scored 24 points to lead four Kentucky players in double figures as the No. 23 Wildcats bounced back from a loss at Auburn with an 80-66 victory at Arkansas on Thursday night.

The win is the first for John Calipari as coach of the Wildcats in Bud Walton Arena, where he improved to 2-4 all-time -- including a win with Memphis in 2003.

Jamal Murray added 19 points, Derek Willis 12 and Skai Labissiere 11 for Kentucky (14-4, 4-2 Southeastern Conference), which avoided losing two straight games for the first time since 2014.

Dusty Hannahs led the Razorbacks (9-9, 3-3) with 20 points, while Anthlon Bell had 16 and Moses Kingsley 13.

Kentucky allowed a season-worst 12 3-pointers in its loss at Auburn last week, but the Wildcats had no such problems shutting down the outside attack of the SEC's top shooting team on Thursday night.

With Kentucky extending its perimeter defense to shut down Arkansas' SEC-leading 3-point tandem of Hannahs and Bell, the Wildcats managed to hold Arkansas to a season-worst 2-of-12 shooting from behind the arc -- including 2 of 9 by Hannahs and Bell.

Offensively, Ulis scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half -- finishing 14 of 15 at the free throw line and 2 of 3 on 3-pointers -- as Kentucky led for all but the game's opening free throw.

Arkansas entered the game second in the country in 3-point field goal percentage (47.2), but it struggled mightily to find success from the outside in the first half -- missing all three of its 3-point attempts as the Wildcats built a 36-24 halftime lead.

The Wildcats, who haven't lost two straight games since 2014 against the Razorbacks and South Carolina, led by as many as 14 points late in the half. They did so in large part behind a dominating frontcourt performance, one that including a 24-17 rebounding edge and 15 second-chance points.

Willis was 5-of-8 shooting, hitting a pair of 3-pointers, as Kentucky extended its lead to as many as 18 points in the second half.

TIP INS

Kentucky: Ulis has now scored 20 or more points in five of his last six games, and he added five assists ... The Wildcats finished with 16 offensive rebounds and 19 second-chance points.

Arkansas: The Razorbacks previous low this season for 3-pointers was four in a win over North Florida on Dec. 22. Their 16.7 shooting percentage for the game was also a season low.

UP NEXT

Kentucky: hosts Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Arkansas: is at Georgia on Saturday.