Tyler Harris chipped in with 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Tigers snapped an 18-game losing streak to the Wildcats.
Auburn (8-8, 2-3 SEC) lived and died by the 3-point shot, knocking down 12 of their 26 attempts on the day. The Tigers shot just 38 percent from the field, but held an 18-point advantage over UK from beyond the arc.
Tyler Ulis flirted with a triple-double for UK, posting 17 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Jamal Murray added 20 points, and Derek Willis had his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to rescue the Cats, who shot 35 percent from the field.
"You get up 10 or 12, it's your ballgame, but we've got players who don't make winning plays," UK coach John Calipari said.
Kentucky (13-4, 3-2 SEC) fell two games behind league leader Texas A&M.
In this AllWildcats "Rapid Recap" feature, we touch on some quick-hitters from UK's victory...
Kentucky led by 12 early in the second half before the wheels fell off. Auburn mounted a 21-4 run against the suddenly-lax Cats with the help of two 3-pointers by Canty, one by Bryce Brown and another by Harris. UK made only two of 11 shots during the stretch as the Auburn crowd started sensing vulnerability. A 6-0 spurt by the Cats put them back ahead 67-65 with 1:40 to go, but UK made only one of its final five attempts from the field as Auburn closed with a 10-3 run. Fittingly, Canty and Harris scored nine of the final 10 points for the Tigers.
BY THE NUMBERS:
9 & 7 - Combined points and rebounds for UK starting frontcourt players Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee in 40 minutes of action.
+10 - Rebounding edge for Cats.
11 - Ties and lead changes.
15 - Losing streak against ranked opponents snapped by the Tigers.
32-16 - Kentucky edge in points in the paint.
2000 - The year of Auburn's last win in the series.
"Playing on the road is hard, especially with a young team that doesn't understand winning basketball plays." - UK coach John Calipari.
The Cats return to action Thursday at Arkansas in a 7 p.m. ET tip on ESPN. The Razorbacks (9-7, 3-1 SEC) play later tonight at LSU.