The senior forward recorded his second consecutive double-double on Tuesday, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds off the bench in leading the Wildcats to an 82-62 win over Boston University in their first test as the nation's new No. 1 team.
"I mean, that's who he is, and that's where we got to get him back to," Kentucky coach John Calipari said of Poythress. "... I'm kind of demanding it, and I love what I'm seeing."
Calipari added that Poythress, who had 10 points and 10 rebounds on Friday in the Cats' win over Wright State, may be ready to make a return to the starting lineup.
"(The knee) is getting better each and every day," Poythress said. "I'm just taking it day by day."
Kentucky (5-0) placed four other players in double-figures: Skal Labissiere (16), Tyler Ulis (15), Jamal Murray (12) and Isaiah Briscoe (11). Marcus Lee added nine points for UK, which shot 52 percent from the field while holding the Terriers to 37 percent.
Boston (2-3) was led by guard John Papale with 15 points.
In this AllWildcats "Rapid Recap" feature, we touch on some quick-hitters from UK's victory...
For a second year in a row, Boston was able to hang around with the top-ranked team in the country deep into the second half. Kentucky could not shake the Terriers until an 18-2 run that began with a dunk by Poythress with 8:20 remaining stretched a single-digit lead to 24 inside the final two minutes. Poythress had two other dunks and a strong putback on an offensive rebound during the decisive run.
BY THE NUMBERS:
4th - Double-double by Poythress in his UK career.
24 - Second-chance points for the Cats, who held a 45-27 rebounding advantage, including 18 on the offensive glass.
:26 - Time that Boston held a lead (32-31, 3:40 1H) in the game.
36 - Consecutive regular-season wins by Kentucky.
50% - UK's night at the free throw line, 13 of 26.
58-16 - The points in the paint differential between UK and Boston.
"If he's not ripping you, that means he doesn't care about you. He expects the best and doesn't settle for less." -- Alex Poythress on being pushed hard by UK coach John Calipari.
Kentucky returns to action Friday against South Florida in the Hoophall Miami Invitational. Tipoff is slated for 5 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Bulls, coached by former Calipari assistant Orlando Antigua, improved to 1-4 on the season with a 63-61 win over Albany on Tuesday night. Kentucky defeated Albany 78-65 in its season opener on Nov. 13.