FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 93, Belmont 80
Kentucky is 9-3 and Belmont is 8-5.
This was the first meeting between UK and Belmont. Coach John Calipari is 2-0 vs. the Bruins.
Kentucky is 36-0 against teams currently comprising the Ohio Valley Conference.
After the Christmas break, Kentucky will play host to Louisville on Saturday, Dec. 28. Game time is 4 p.m. and will be televised on CBS.
Kentucky started Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, James Young, Julius Randle and Willie Cauley-Stein.
Belmont grabbed the first lead on a three-pointer by Drew Windler on the Bruins’ first possession. Belmont never trailed in the first half.
Tied at 12, Belmont went on a 13-2 spurt to go ahead 25-14, its largest lead of the game.
After the Wildcats missed their first seven 3-point attempts, Jarrod Polson sank one at the 8:14 mark.
Trailing 41-32, UK tied the game with a 9-0 run.
Windler, who tallied 14 points in the opening stanza, put the Bruins ahead 43-41 at halftime with a pair of foul shots with 1.6 seconds remaining.
UK is now 2-2 this season when trailing at intermission.
Kentucky tied the game at 44, 46 and 48 before taking its first lead of the game, 50-48, at the 16:20 mark on a driving layup by Aaron Harrison. He followed with a rim-rattling jumper to make it 52-48.
Kentucky gradually edged away, leading by as much as 14 points at 92-78.
Kentucky has won 16 consecutive home games and is 75-2 in Rupp Arena under Coach John Calipari.
Kentucky shot 55.2 percent from the field, the fifth time this season the Wildcats have gone over 50 percent.
Entering the game with a rebound margin of +12.4 per game, UK had a +17 margin today at 42-25.
UK’s inside advantage led to a 52-34 edge in points in the paint.
Julius Randle piled up a career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds.
His ninth double-double of the season.
His fifth 20-point game of the season.
He has scored in double figures in all 12 games this season.
It is his fourth 20-point game of season, including back-to-back with the North Carolina game.