Poythress’ breakthrough, game-saving performance gives Cats reason to smile

Alex Poythress - photo by Walter Cornett | WildcatWorld.com
Alex Poythress – photo by Walter Cornett | WildcatWorld.com

Wrapped in ’s arms, soaked in his coach’s bear hug, the crowd’s applause and a relieving – if not must-have – victory at on Saturday with one final grin that said it all.

“That’s the first time he smiled all year,” Coach Cal said.

It wasn’t quite the only smile of the year from Poythress, but to say it was the first isn’t a tremendous exaggeration for the “stone-faced” freshman who has often been the focal point of ’s inconsistencies and frustrations this year.

Poythress was the savior in ’s 75-70 victory, posting his first career double-double on Saturday with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Counting smiles, it may have been close to a triple-double effort, but it was undoubtedly a career high in the smile department.

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