USA Today/Steve Mitchell

RECAP: Kentucky Wildcats top South Florida 84-63 in matchup between Calipari, Antigua

In a holiday family meeting between Kentucky coach John Calipari and longtime assistant Orlando Antigua, the top-ranked Wildcats rolled to a 84-63 win over South Florida on Friday at the Hoophall Miami Invitational.

Top-ranked Kentucky got 49 points from freshman trio Jamal Murray (21), Skal Labissiere (17) and Charles Matthews (11) to lead the way.

"Charles did well," Calipari said of the young swingman. "He's worked his way into that rotation now."

Another UK newcomer, Isaiah Briscoe, added six points, six rebounds and seven assists filling in for sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis, who left the game late in the first half with a hyperextended elbow. UK lists his status as "day to day."

The Wildcats (6-0) delivered a well-rounded offensive performance, shooting 50 percent (31 of 62) from the field, 46 percent (6 of 13) from behind the 3-point arc and 84 percent (16 of 19) at the line. UK led by as much as 31 points midway through the second half before Calipari used his bench extensively down the stretch.

Defense was also strong for UK when the game was still in doubt, converting 14 USF turnovers into 23 points.

South Florida (1-5) got 13 points off the bench from guard Jahmal McMurray and 12 from big man Jaleel Cousins, the younger brother of former UK standout and NBA all-star DeMarcus Cousins.

In this AllWildcats "Rapid Recap" feature, we touch on some quick-hitters from the UK win...


South Florida hung around for most of the first half until the Cats closed with a bang, using a 15-0 run to take a 42-21 lead at the break. Labissiere scored eight of his 10 first-half points during the decisive run, including three impressive dunks off lob assists from Murray and Briscoe. Kentucky held USF to one field goal over the final 7:44 of the half.


1st - Career double-figure scoring game for Matthews.

1st - Career points for UK walk-on Johnny David on a pair of free throws with 31 seconds remaining in the game.

7 - UK players recorded a steal, including 2 each for Ulis and Briscoe.

8 - Turnovers for the Cats despite playing without their starting point guard for the final 25 minutes.

19 - NBA scouts on hand to see the Cats and Bulls in Miami.

37th - Consecutive regular-season win for Kentucky.


"Not very good." -- UK coach John Calipari when asked how good the Cats can be if Tyler Ulis is sidelined for a prolonged period of time.


The Cats return to action Monday against Illinois State in a 7 p.m. ET tipoff at Rupp Arena. The game will be broadcast by ESPN2.

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