VAUGHT:Bench provided valuable minutes

Surely Kentucky coach Tubby Smith had to be disappointed that he had to depend on his starters for all the scoring and rebounding in the 69-60 win over Cincinnati.

Looking at the game's statistics, it looks like the Kentucky bench came up empty against Cincinnati.

Eight Kentucky reserves combined for two points -- a basket by Ravi Moss -- and no rebounds. That's zero rebounds from Shagari Alleyne, Sheray Thomas, Lukasz Obrzut and others in 46 minutes.

Surely Kentucky coach Tubby Smith had to be disappointed that he had to depend on his starters for all the scoring and rebounding in the 69-60 win over Cincinnati.

"No, not really," Smith said. "Our bench gave us valuable minutes. We like to keep fresh players out there because our guys have to play hard on both ends. We kept the pressure on and that's critical to our style."

After going 5-for-9 from 3-point range in the first half, Cincinnati was 2-for-17 in the second half and missed its last eight treys. Losing coach Bob Huggins didn't think that was a coincidence.

"We don't have much bench and Tubby kept running players at us inside and we got in trouble because our movement wasn't very good," Huggins said. "I thought our guys gave a great effort.I can't say enough about the effort.

"But we got tired. We got so tired that we couldn't, or wouldn't, move without the ball. We weren't able to make shots because they just wore us down. Our ball movement was almost non-existent at the end.

" That's when UK ended the game with a 9-1 run that included freshman Randolph Morris controlling the defensive boards. His first collegiate double-double could not have come at a better time and proved he really is growing into the type of player most UK fans envisioned when he signed with Kentucky.

"This was easily the most physical game I've ever played in. But you just had to have the mindset that you were not going to get pushed and that you were going to block out on every rebound," Morris said.

"This was my best game. I think I rose to the occasion. This was my best game so far, but I hope I have even better ones ahead this year."

If he does, then Kentucky could have a lot of games left, too. The Cats are off to Texas to play Utah, a team that they have dominated in postseason play. Then it could be a game with Duke.

"Let's don't get that far ahead," Kentucky senior Chuck Hayes said. "We have Utah first. If we win that game, then we can look ahead. Right now we're just glad we won this game."


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