Kentucky 84, Arkansas 67

Andrew Harrison and Trey Lyles each score 18 points as No. 1 Kentucky leads by as much as 31 points and stays unbeaten and downs No. 18 Arkansas 84-67 Saturday and ending a three-game losing streak to the Razorbacks before 23,000-plus fans at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Arkansas could not handle a hot start by No. 1 Kentucky Saturday afternoon.

An alley-oop from Karl Anthony Towns to Trey Lyles just eight seconds into the game got the Wildcats rolling to a 84-67 win to clinch the Southeastern Conference regular-season title.

The loss snapped the Razorbacks’ seven-game winning streak and dropped their record to 23-6 overall and 12-4 in conference play. Kentucky improved to 29-0 overall and 16-0 in the SEC.

The first play set the tone for the rest of the game, as the Wildcats stretched its lead to 11-2 and led by at least nine points the rest of the game.

“I just think we didn’t have that extra burst today, that energy you have to play at,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. “They did a good job of attacking us. They really came out and put us back on our heels.”



Early in the first half, the Razorbacks were timid on offense and when they shot the ball, they were forced shots. Five of Arkansas’ first 10 shots came from Alandise Harris, two of which he made, and it finished the half shooting only 29.6 percent from the floor.

As the half progressed, though, Arkansas started to cut into the lead, which had ballooned to 16 points. After it chipped the lead to as low as nine, Arkansas allowed Kentucky to go on a 6-0 spurt in the final minute and 27 seconds and take a 16-point lead into the half.

The Razorbacks showed life in the second half, with a 5-0 run after an early layup by Towns, but couldn’t get any closer than 13 points.

The tipping point came with just over 12 and a half minutes left. Ky Madden was blocked by Towns, which led to a fast-break dunk by Devin Booker. On the other end of the court, Anderson was given a technical for arguing that Madden was fouled.

After the dunk and the technical free throws, the Wildcats led 63-40.



At one point, Kentucky’s lead reached 31 points, but Arkansas was able to outscore the Wildcats 20-6 in the last eight minutes of the game.

Bobby Portis had the best shooting night for the Razorbacks, finishing 6-of-11 from the floor. His 15 points and 8 rebounds were second only to Michael Qualls, who finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds.

Harris (12) and Madden (11) also reached double figures for Arkansas.

Kentucky’s tone-setter, Lyles, made his first four shots and finished with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting. It matched his career-high point total, which he set Wednesday at Mississippi State.

Andrew Harrison also finished with 18 points for Kentucky, but he did most of his damage at the free throw line, making all eight of his attempts.

The Wildcats had double-digit scoring efforts from Tyler Ulis (14) and Booker (10), as well.

“They have some good quality depth and it was on display today,” Anderson said. “They had different guys stepping up for them and when you have something like that on your team, you’re brewing up something special.”

Despite the loss, Anderson said he isn’t worried about his team’s confidence going into their final two regular-season games before the SEC Tournament.

“As you get to this time of year, there’s a lot of physicality that takes place, and so we’ve got to learn how to play through that,” Anderson said. “I didn’t think we did a good job of that today.”

The Razorbacks travel to South Carolina Thursday, before ending the season with a home game against LSU on March 7.

Notes

-Kentucky has played six AP-ranked opponents this season and won by average margin of 17.2 points.

-Arkansas’ 37.5 field goal percentage is the second highest by a ranked team against the Wildcats this season.

-The Wildcats made 15 of their first 20 shots in the second half, which is 75 percent.

-The Razorbacks missed all nine of their first-half 3-point shots, putting their 866-game streak with a 3-pointer at risk. However, they made their first three of the second half and finished 5 of 18 (27.8 percent).

-Arkansas is 1-10 all-time against AP No. 1 teams. Its only win came against North Carolina in 1984.

-Even with the win, John Calipari is 3-4 against Arkansas as Kentucky’s head coach. The Razorbacks are the only SEC team with a winning record against him during his tenure with the Wildcats.



Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson had won his last three games against Kentucky and four of his last five before Saturday.





Kentucky head coach John Calipari's team is off to the best start in the program's history.





Willie Cauley-Stein scores inside against Arkansas' Rashad Madden and Manuale Watkins





Devin Booker slams one home.





Booker shoots over Arkansas defenders Jabril Durham, Jacorey Williams and Anthlon Bell





Karl Anthony Towns goes inside against Alandise Harris


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