Kentucky rebounds after sluggish start for win over Stony Brook
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP)—Patrick Patterson had 19 points and matched his career-high 12 rebounds as Kentucky survived a sloppy start and pulled away from Stony Brook 62-52 Tuesday night.
If Kentucky (4-1) was looking to dominate in its final tuneup before playing top-ranked North Carolina Saturday, the team fell far short. This was more about survival, conscious of a recent home upset by Gardner-Webb.
Stony Brook (0-6) trailed by 19 points in the second half but clawed back to cut the lead to 43-37 with less than seven minutes left on a 3-pointer by Michael Tyree. Perry Stevenson dunked home a missed shot seconds later, as the Wildcats padded the lead.
At least for one game, Stevenson—a specialist at blocking shots—provided Kentucky a scorer in the post alongside Patterson. He recorded his first career double-double with personal bests of 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Both teams were ice-cold out of the gate, combining for just 10 points in the first 10 minutes.
Kentucky misfired on 12 of its first 13 shots in that span, connecting only on Patterson’s put-back of Joe Crawford’s missed 3-pointer. Kentucky didn’t score again from the field until Patterson’s dunk with 9:32 left in the half.
Stony Brook couldn’t take advantage of Kentucky’s early shooting woes. The Wildcats trailed by just two points after Patterson’s dunk and took the lead for good at 14-12 four minutes later on Stevenson’s jumper from the free-throw line.
Kentucky went on an 8-0 run the last two minutes of the first half and led 26-14 at the break.
But if Kentucky’s offense was poor, Stony Brook’s was worse. The Seawolves didn’t get their first assist until four minutes into the second half and finished with just five in the game.
Defensively, the Seawolves were outmatched by the bigger Wildcats. Seven different Kentucky players blocked shots, compared with none for Stony Brook.
Stony Brook’s Mitchell Beauford led all scorers with 20 points.