USA Today/Marvin Gentry

Alex Poythress bounces back with career-high 25 points to lead Kentucky Wildcats over Alabama

After being called out by his coaches and teammates for a lackluster performance in Kentucky's loss at LSU, Alex Poythress responded with one of the best games of his career Saturday night at Alabama.

The senior forward scored 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds in leading the No. 9 Wildcats to a 77-61 win over the Crimson Tide. Poythress was 8-for-10 from the field and went 9-for-11 at the free throw line.

"Outstanding," UK head coach John Calipari simply put it.

Kentucky (12-3, 2-1 SEC) also got 21 points from freshman guard Jamal Murray and 12 points from freshman guard Isaiah Briscoe. Junior center Marcus Lee, who had also been largely ineffective at LSU, chipped in with eight points and 11 rebounds on a night when the Cats owned the glass 43-25. UK had been outrebounded by 14 in Baton Rouge.

"I thought we fought," Calipari said. "Alex and Marcus played the way they can play."

The Cats shot 55 percent from the field while holding Alabama to 35 percent. 

Retin Obasahan led the Crimson Tide (9-5, 0-2 SEC) with 21 points.

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

KEY MOMENT:

Kentucky, which had led by as much as 16 in the first half, saw the margin trimmed to four with 14 minutes remaining in the game. Two free throws by Poythress started a decisive 12-2 run over the next five minutes to help the Cats regain a double-digit lead they would never surrender. Briscoe scored six of his points during the spurt. UK closed the game out strong by missing only two shots from the field during the final 11:01.

BY THE NUMBERS:

:17 - The first seconds of the game were the only ones in which UK did not hold the lead.

1st - Road win for Cats this season.

0 for 7 - Cats won despite Lee and Briscoe combining to miss all of their free-throw attempts.

3 - Lowest bench point total for UK this season.

27 - Poythress and Murray combined for all of the Cats' first 27 points.

8-8-5 - Points, assists, rebounds for UK point guard Tyler Ulis.

QUOTABLE:

"If your team doesn't have post presence, you're a fraud." -- UK coach John Calipari on the difference in the Cats' frontcourt at LSU and at Alabama.

UP NEXT: 

Kentucky returns home to face Mississippi State on Tuesday at Rupp Arena. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Bulldogs (7-6, 0-1 SEC) lost 82-68 on Saturday at Arkansas.


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