Terrence Jones,a 6-8 forward, led the Wildcats with 35 points as he set a Kentucky freshman scoring record for the Wildcats after being removed from the starting lineup despite leading the team in scoring with an average of 17.6 points per game. Jones hit 11-17 field goals and 4-5 threes while adding eight rebounds.
Auburn was also led in scoring by a freshman. Allen Payne scored 15 points in front of friends and family who made the trip to Rupp Arena from nearby Cincinnati.
Payne hit 5-11 field goals, including two treys on four attempts, and finished the SEC game with 15 points and five rebounds.
Auburn coach Tony Barbee said he liked his team's hustle and rebounding, but noted the Tigers didn't match up well physically vs. the taller and deeper Wildcats.
Barbee had praise for Payne and junior forward Kenny Gabriel, who contributed 13 points and nine rebounds, but added, "We have to get scoring from more than two people."
For the game the Tigers made just 31-61 field goals (34.3 percent) while the home team made exactly half of its 59 field goal attempts.
Auburn hung with the Wildcats on the boards, losing the rebounding battle by just one (39-38), something Barbee said was a sign of good effort from the Tigers who fell to 7-9 overall and 0-2 in the SEC going into a Sunday 1 p.m. home game vs. Mississippi State.
The Tigers were 3-11 on treys while UK hit 11-26. Auburn was 9-15 at the foul like while Kentucky made 9-17 free throws.
Auburn finished the night with 15 turnovers, one more than the Wildcats who improved to 13-3 overall and 1-1 in the SEC.
The game was Barbee's first as Auburn head coach to go against his college coach, John Calipari, who is head coach of the Wildcats.
Sophomore center Rob Chubb added 10 points and four rebounds for the Tigers, but the team's leading scorer, sophomore guard Earnest Ross, struggled. He finished with a single point and was 0-8 from the field.