Kentucky Wildcats roll to 156-63 win in final exhibition tune-up

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The basketball home of the Kentucky Wildcats got a significant facelift in the off-season with a massive center-court video scoreboard and a booming sound system.

After Sunday, Rupp Arena may require some new rims, too.

Kentucky rolled to a 156-63 win over Asbury College in the No. 2 Wildcats's final exhibition tune-up for the upcoming season. The blowout included 29 dunks by UK, which at one point held a lead of 102 points.

Freshman guard De'Aaron Fox led eight Cats in double figures with 25 points in only 17 minutes of play. He also grabbed five rebounds, dished out four assists and recorded four steals. Senior guard Mychal Mulder followed with a double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, while Wenyen Gabriel (16), Malik Monk (15), Derek Willis (14), Sacha Killeya-Jones (13), Isaiah Briscoe (11) and Tai Wynyard (10) rounded out the double-figure scorers for UK. 

"I had a lot of fun," said Fox, a McDonald's All-American from Texas and part of UK's latest highly regarded recruiting class. "In high school, I actually played a lot of teams that would press and get up and down the floor. Everyone always says I’m really fast on the court, so of course I had fun.” 

Asbury, an NAIA program from neighboring Wilmore, Ky., opted to press and trap throughout the game, even though the Eagles knew it was a strategy that would be accompanied by potentially dire consequences.

The Cats scored 88 points in the first half, hit the century mark with 17:21 remaining and led 137-35 with nine minutes remaining in the game. The 156 points total represented the most in any game ever played by Kentucky. 

Asbury coach Will Shouse quipped: "I think it’s safe to say that we won’t see anyone like that in our league.”

"I don't blame Coach (Shouse) because this is how they play," UK coach John Calipari said. "They were 2-0. This is what they do. They shoot 3s, they scramble the game up, they don't let you run offense, they make you play basketball, and they believe they're in better shape than the teams they're playing. So he didn't want to change for this game, and I don't blame him.

"On the other side, that's why we scored so many points."

All 14 players who dressed for Kentucky scored in the game, including walk-ons Jonny David (3) and Dillon Pulliam (4). The Cats shot 69 percent from the floor and dished out assists on 34 of their 66 baskets. They scored 116 points in the paint and held a 60-2 advantage in fast-break points.

Clarien Washington led Asbury with 14 points. The Eagles were held to 23 percent from the floor (22 of 97) by the long, athletic UK defense.

Kentucky opens the regular season on Friday against Stephen F. Austin. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET at Rupp Arena and will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

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