James Young scored 21 points, Willie Cauley-Stein led a dominating performance in the middle with six blocks and Kentucky pulled away to beat LSU 85-67 in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament Friday night.
The Wildcats (23-9) closed the regular season with three losses in their last four games, prompting coach John Calipari to switch things up at practice and beseech his team to find “its mojo.” His talented group of freshmen heeded the call.
Kentucky took control with a 23-3 run in the first half, withstood a rally by the LSU (19-13), and pulled away with the sort of dominating performance expected from a team that some thought could win every game.
Cauley-Stein teamed with fellow 7-footer Dakari Johnson to give the Wildcats a presence in the lane the Tigers simply could not match. Johnson had 9 points, 10 rebounds and two of Kentucky’s 10 blocks.