LEXINGTON, Ky. — No. 10 Kentucky crushed Morehead State 81-45 in the season opener for both teams on Wednesday night. The Wildcats led 45-26 at the half and kept the victors quiet for most of the second half.
Brandon Boston Jr., one of the top prospects this season, collected 15 points and seven rebounds to lead three other players in double-digit scoring in the Bluegrass Showcase win for Kentucky.
Devin Askew and Terrence Clarke each added 12 points and graduate transfer Davion Mintz contributed 10 points off the bench for the Wildcats (1-0), who shot 55.9% from the field and held Morehead State to just 19 points in the second half.
“what I was encouraged about is we looked like an organized basketball team,” said Kentucky coach John Calipari. “Ten guys, never played together, never played for me….I like this group.”
Clarke was encouraged about the performance.
“I feel like today was a really good game, great team win,” he said. “I think just seeing the things I’ve seen on the court, we are a great team, but everyone has to play the full court and full defense.
“This is our first game and I think everyone was very anxious and ready to play, just getting that first game under our belt and looking forward to Sunday.”
Johni Broome and Julius Dixon each paced the Eagles (0-1) with 11 points – the latter collecting his tally off the bench – while James Baker Jr. added 10 for Morehead State, which shot 34.0% from the floor and missed 18 of its 21 attempts from 3-point range.
“Obviously, it wasn’t the result that we wanted, but certainly we know we can’t down play the fact that we are fortunate to be playing right now,” Morehead State coach Preston Spradlin said.
Spradlin said his team learned a “valuable lesson” against Kentucky and he hopes his players will use it to develop.
“It was a really valuable lesson for our guys tonight,” the coach said after the defeat. “The big takeaway for us tonight was that we did not play the way we want to play. We may have executed our offense better and defended better than we would have, and the score may have been the same, but I can live with that one.
“I think our guys learned a lesson that we weren’t expecting them to win one on one battles with the guys at Kentucky, we weren’t. We needed them to buy into playing team basketball like we’ve been doing in practice.”
The Eagles fell to 0-11 against the Kentucky.
Morehead State will face Richmond on Friday, with Kentucky hosting Richmond on Sunday.