Kentucky 85, Grand Canyon 45
November 14, 2014
Rupp Arena – Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky opens the year with a 1-0 record, while Grand Canyon drops to 0-1.
This was the first meeting in the series. Grand Canyon was the first of three first-time opponents during the 2014-15 regular season.
UK is the nation’s all-time wins leader with 2,141 victories.
John Calipari is 153-37 overall as the head coach of Kentucky and is 84-4 in Rupp Arena.
Tonight’s attendance was 22,533.
The Wildcats are 511-64 all-time in Rupp Arena.
UK is 92-19 all-time in season openers, and 6-0 under Calipari.
Kentucky owns an all-time record of 179-27 as the No. 1 team in the country.
The Wildcats have won 19 of their last 21 contests as the Associated Press’ top-ranked team.
Calipari is 63-9 as the leader of the top-ranked team in the country and 22-4 when leading a Kentucky team ranked No. 1.
Kentucky’s starting lineup consisted of Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Marcus Lee was the first sub off the bench at the 17:29 mark of the opening half.
Andrew Harrison hit a 3-pointer at the 19:14 minute mark of the first half to extend UK’s 3-point streak to 900 consecutive games. It is the second-longest streak in the country.
Andrew Harrison scored UK’s first seven points to lift the home team to an early 7-0 lead.
UK engineered a 9-0 run sparked by its second platoon of Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Marcus Lee and Dakari Johnson to take a 19-6 run with 11:49 to go in the opening half.
Kentucky’s lead stretched to as large as 17 with 8:42 to go.
In the first seven minutes of action for the second platoon, UK did not give up a single basket and outscored the ‘Lopes 13-0.
The 16 points by Grand Canyon were the fewest points allowed in the first half since UK yielded 14 to Samford on Dec. 4, 2012.
Kentucky shot 44.1 percent from the field in the opening half and assisted on six of 15 made field goals.
Johnson reached double-figures in the rebounding column with just under eight minutes to play in the second half, and just his 15th minute of game action.
After Grand Canyon cut the lead to 25 with 6:50 to go in the second half, Kentucky ended the game on a 19-4 run to grab its 40-point win.
Kentucky allowed Grand Canyon to score 45 points in the games, the fewest points scored against Kentucky since Tennessee scored 44 against the Wildcats on Jan. 31, 2012. The Wildcats were also ranked No. 1 nationally in that 2012 game vs. Tennessee.
Grand Canyon’s 45 points scored is the fewest allowed by Kentucky in a season opener since allowing 40 to Central Arkansas on Nov. 6, 2007.
The Wildcats 40-point margin of victory was their most in a game since defeating Eastern Michigan by 52 points (90-38) on Jan. 2, 2013.
Andrew Harrison paced Kentucky with 16 points, adding three rebounds and three assists.
Harrison now has three or more assists in eight of his last 10 games dating back to last season.
This was the sixth time in Harrison’s short tenure with Kentucky he has led the Wildcats in scoring.
It marked the 19th double-figure scoring effort of his career.
Aaron Harrison finished with seven points on 3-of-7 shooting.
He did not make a 3-pointer in the game, breaking a stretch of 12 consecutive games with a 3-pointer made dating back to last season.
Dakari Johnson led Kentucky in rebounds with 13, marking the fourth time in his short career he has led Kentucky in that category. Johnson had 10 points as well, recording the first double-double of his career. This was the second double-digit rebounding game of his career.
Trey Lyles scored 14 points in the game behind 6-of-10 shooting with one 3-pointer and four rebounds.
Willie Cauley-Stein posted 12 points in the game for his 22nd career double-figure scoring game. Cauley-Stein added five rebounds and four blocks. It was the 20th time in his career he has earned four or more blocks. He has 170 career blocks at Kentucky.
Karl-Anthony Towns had a strong debut for Kentucky with eight points on 3-of-7 shooting with eight rebounds and three blocks.