LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Brandon Boston Jr. had 15 points and seven rebounds, Devin Askew and Terrence Clarke each added 12 points and No. 10 Kentucky cruised past Morehead State 81-45 in the season opener Wednesday night.
Starting with more roster turnover than usual with 10 new faces, including seven highly-regarded freshmen and two transfers, the young Wildcats were surprisingly solid in their first real action together. They never trailed and steadily built a double-digit lead that reached 34 points with about five minutes left.
Boston, a 6-foot-7 guard, was 7 of 14 from the field, and Askew and Clarke each made 5 of 9 attempts. Graduate transfer Davion Mintz added 10 points off the bench as Kentucky rolled in its first game of the Bluegrass Showcase. Freshman forward Lance Ware contributed five rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 19 minutes.
The Wildcats shot 56% and outrebounded the Eagles 37-25.
Johni Broome had 12 points and Julius Dixon 11 off the bench, while James Baker Jr. added 10 for Morehead State. The Eagles shot 34% in falling to 0-11 against the Wildcats.
Morehead State had some early juice but were overwhelmed on both ends by Kentucky’s size and quickness. That led to 20 Eagles turnovers for 20 Wildcats points, and they struggled keeping up with Kentucky’s movement on its end. The bright spot was the Eagles’ 26 points in the paint, six fewer than Kentucky, but they were close most of the night.
Kentucky played like a team tired of facing each other and showed chemistry despite all that youth. The Wildcats pushed the tempo and passed well, posting 18 assists on their 33 baskets. Nine players scored overall.
Morehead State will face Richmond on Friday.
Kentucky will host Richmond on Sunday.
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