Six different Wildcats scored in double figures, led by 19 from freshman forward Karl-Anthony Towns and 18 from sophomore guard Aaron Harrison, while two other UK players finished with nine in a remarkably-balanced performance.
“Sixty-two points in the paint… ” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said of the Wildcats. “Their centers dominated. We were trying to front the post, and they pounded it in there any time they wanted to. They were very physical, offensively. It’s nothing like anything we see all year long. What they do offensively as far as pounding it inside, there’s nobody in the league that’s even close to that.”
The 6-foot-11 Towns also tallied a game-high 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. Sophomore center Dakari Johnson added 13 points and six rebounds off the bench, while Willie Cauley-Stein and Marcus Lee chipped in with a combined 15 points and 12 rebounds. The four UK big men combined to hit 21 of 23 shots from the floor.
"We’ve been snowed in all week. We’ve been bored and couldn’t leave our rooms, so we had to get all of our energy out, and we did that today," Lee said.
"I thought Karl and Dakari were outstanding today," UK coach John Calipari said. "The other guys all played pretty well, but those two stood out."
Kentucky led 30-4 at one point and took a 52-26 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Auburn (12-15, 4-10 SEC) got a game-high 29 points from Antoine Mason, the highest figure posted by a UK opponent this season. The Tigers’ senior guard went 5-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc playing under the emotional strain of his father, former NBA standout Anthony Mason, fighting for his life after suffering a heart attack last week due to congestive heart failure.
In this AllWildcats "Rapid Recap" feature, we touch on some of the night's highs and lows:
WHAT WE LIKED: It was something of a throwback college basketball game with 185 points scored between the two teams. Kentucky and Auburn both played up-tempo, the officiating crew kept whistles to a minimum while maintaining order, and it resulted in a thoroughly entertaining – albeit one-sided – game. The Wildcats gave the 23,403 fans who braved the snow and ice blanketing the Bluegrass State all week a great show, including a number of highlight-reel dunks.
KEY MOMENT: Kentucky raced to a 23-2 lead in the game’s first eight minutes and never looked back. Seven different Wildcats had scored before Auburn registered its third point of the game.
STAT OF THE DAY: UK won points in the paint by an eye-popping 62-24 count.
BY THE NUMBERS:
1/2 – Auburn forward Cinmeon Bowers entered the game leading the SEC at 10.7 rebounds per game, but tallied only five boards against UK.
9:1 - Assist-to-turnover ratio for UK point guard Andrew Harrison to go along with his 12-point night.
27 – UK matched the 1995-96 national championship squad for longest single-season winning streak in program history.
45-2 – The Cats' record against Auburn in Lexington.
100 – Number of home wins for Calipari as UK coaach against only four losses.
2002 – UK's highest scoring output since a 115-87 win against Tennessee State 12 seasons ago.
QUOTABLE: "One of the things everybody says is you’ve got to make 3s to beat us. Well, they made 11. Mississippi made 12. Maybe that’s not the answer.” – UK coach John Calipari.
UP NEXT: Kentucky returns to action Wednesday at Mississippi State in a 7 p.m. ET tipoff on the SEC Network. The Bulldogs (12-15, 5-9 SEC) played well on Saturday against No. 18 Arkansas, but lost 65-61 in Starkville.