Second half offers early teaching point for Kentucky in season-opening blowout

Karl Towns - photo by James Crisp | AP
Karl Towns – photo by James Crisp | AP

isn’t known for his brevity, but it took him only nine words to sum up Kentucky’s season opener.

“First half was good,” Calipari said. “Second half was not good.”

The first half saw suffocate defensively and build a commanding 43-16 lead. The Wildcats (1-0) held the Antelopes (0-1) to 25 percent shooting and forced 13 turnovers. In the second half, Grand Canyon refused to back down, actually outscoring by two points through the first 13-plus minutes before the Cats finished strong for an 85-45 victory.

“I think the first half we played at a pretty good level,” said Willie Cauley-Stein, who was all over the floor with 12 points, five rebounds, four blocks and two steals, ‘and then the second half we kind of let go of the rope a little bit and didn’t play as physical and as determined.”

The physicality is what most caught Coach Cal’s attention.

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