Recent history repeated itself at Rupp Area on Tuesday, as No. 1 Kentucky struggled to fend off Boston University before muscling up in the second half for an 82-62 victory.
Last November, the Terriers stayed within five of the Wildcats at the break, but eventually fell by 24 in Lexington. Things weren’t much different this time around.
The turning point: Sophomore guard Tyler Ulis left the game after getting hit in the head with a little over six minutes remaining. He later returned, but the Wildcats caught fire in his absence, extending a 14-point lead to 24 over the next four minutes.
MVP: Skal Labissiere. The freshman was a force in the paint on both sides of the floor, terrorizing the Terriers with his wingspan on hook shots and swats alike. He finished with 16 points (7-for-13), seven rebounds and three blocks while affecting several more shot attempts.
Memorable moment: Marcus Lee somehow avoided an ejection after shoving Boston’s Nathan Dieudonne to the ground at the 10:54 mark of the second half. Lee was upset after Dieudonne grabbed his arm to prevent a shot in the lane. The referees called technicals on Lee and Boston’s Nick Havener, who shoved Lee in retaliation.
Cleaning up the glass: Ulis, Isaiah Briscoe, Jamal Murray, Lee and Labissiere comprised the starting lineup for the third straight game … Senior Alex Poythress was the first sub off the bench, just over four minutes in … The Wildcats jumped out to a 10-0 lead, then the Terriers countered with nine straight points … The Wildcats finished 13-for-26 (50 percent) from the free throw line … Poythress was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field, with a handful of dunks. He finished with 15 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals.
What’s next: No. 1 Kentucky at South Florida (Miami), Friday at 5 pm ET (ESPN)