USA Today/Derrick E. Hingle

LSU Tigers summon their best in 85-67 romp over No. 9 Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky spent the last three days trying to come up with a plan to slow down LSU freshman phenom Ben Simmons.

It may have been more beneficial to pay attention to the rest of the Tigers.

Tim Quarterman flirted with a triple-double, posting 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in leading LSU to an impressive 85-67 beating of the No. 9 Wildcats on Tuesday night in Baton Rouge, La. Craig Victor had a season-high 15 points and 12 rebounds, and the dynamic Simmons overcame foul trouble to give the Tigers a third double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

LSU, which had been one of the nation's most disappointing teams in pre-conference play, improved to 9-5 overall and 2-0 in the SEC. The Tigers were coming off a 90-82 upset of another league contender, Vanderbilt, on Saturday in Nashville.

Kentucky (11-3, 1-1 SEC) turned in its worst performance of the season, shooting 41 percent from the field, missing 11 free throws and turning the ball over 14 times.

The Wildcats got 23 and 21 points, respectively, from guards Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray, but almost no production whatsoever from its frontcourt. Veteran big men Marcus Lee and Alex Poythress both fouled out early in the second half with a combined four points and six rebounds to their credit.

"We got killed at the 4 and 5 (positions), Alex and Marcus Lee and Skal (Labissiere) and Derek Willis," UK coach John Calipari said. "Absolutely murdered. And we're not good enough when that happens... I was happy that a couple of the guards said some stuff after the game. It was better than coming from me."

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

KEY MOMENT:

Kentucky came off the bus flat, falling behind by nine in the opening moments of the game. The Cats trimmed the lead to five with 11:22 remaining, but Derek Willis missed a layup off an offensive rebound and LSU's Quarterman buried a 3-pointer on the other end to make it 56-48. Kentucky clawed within four moments later, but once again Quarterman was there to knock down a deep 3-pointer to keep the Cats at bay. Victor followed that with an old-fashioned three-point play at the 8:48 mark to help LSU reclaim a double-digit lead. UK would never threaten again.

BY THE NUMBERS:

1st - Career 3-pointer for UK's Mychal Mulder, who chipped in with five points and eight rebounds off the bench.

3rd - Worst loss in Calipari Era after 88-58 at Tennessee in 2013 and 84-65 at Florida in 2014.

11.7 - Cats' average margin of loss to three unranked teams this season: UCLA, Ohio State and LSU.

22 - LSU points off turnovers.

44-24 - LSU points in the paint advantage, the most points in the paint the Cats have surrendered this season.

46-32 - Tigers' rebounding advantage. The minus-14 was UK's worst differential of the season.

QUOTABLE:

"This is a wake-up call for the front line. It has nothing to do with anybody else. Those guys have to either play or let somebody else play. That's how it is. I told Isaac (Humphries) and Tai (Wynyard), earn minutes in practice, and I'll play you." - UK coach John Calipari.

UP NEXT:

Kentucky heads to Alabama (9-3, 0-0 SEC) for a 6 p.m. ET tipoff on Saturday night. The game will be broadcast by the SEC Network. The Crimson Tide will play their first league game on Thursday night at Ole Miss.


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