In a game where the largest lead at any moment is 7 points, more often than not the team with the most experience emerges victorious.
This rang true
There is no
doubt that the absence of center Randolph Morris, whose playing eligibility lies in the
hands of the NCAA, has the Cats hurting. The
game featured 12 ties and 15 lead changes, but the interior presence of
In a game where the shooting was ugly, both Rekalin Sims and Bobby Perry managed to post career highs in scoring. Sims, who once again torched an opponent with his pleasingly surprising range, hit 4-6 3-point buckets on his way to 22 points and 7 rebounds. Bobby Perry also surprised with aggressive play, scoring 12 points that included a clutch 3-pointer that tied the game at 61 apiece with left to play in the game.
Though most fans are unhappy with the loss, the Cats have shown signs of improvement in certain areas of concern. When asked whether there were things he had been disappointed in with this years team thus far, head coach Tubby Smith answered, "Rebounding and foul shooting, I've been harping on that all season. We still need to improve on it."
Even with these
improvements, the inexperience of the Cats team proved to be their downfall. The game had a March-like tempo, and
After the game,
Tubby complemented the efforts of
Team records and series notes
· Kentucky is now 2-1 overall. Iowa moves to 3-0. This marks the second time in the last four years that UK has started out 2-1. The last time was the 2002-03 season, which saw UK go on a 26-game win streak after an early loss to Virginia in the Maui Invitational.
· The Wildcats are 5-3 all-time against Iowa. This marks Iowa's first win in the series since Dec. 4, 1972 - a 79-66 upset of the 13th-ranked Wildcats in Rupp Arena. UK had previously won three straight in the series.
· Tubby Smith is 1-1 all-time against the Hawkeyes. UK knocked Iowa out of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
Team game notes
· Kentucky's bench outscored Iowa's reserves, 27-15.
· The Wildcats were outscored in the paint, 32-18.
· Kentucky outrebounded Iowa 43-36. The Cats have outrebounded two of their three opponents this year and are 1-1 when winning the battle of the boards.
· The Wildcats shot a season-low 32.8 percent from the floor. It was UK's lowest percentage since a 30.9 percent effort against Kansas on Jan. 9, 2005.
· UK trailed 34-31 at the halftime break. Rekalin Sims had 14 first-half points on 5-of-11 shooting, but the Wildcats shot just 32.2 percent as a team in the opening stanza.
· The Wildcats return to action Tuesday, November 22 for the Guardian's Classic consolation game vs. West Virginia at 7 p.m. CT. No. 2 Texas defeated No. 13 West Virginia, 76-75, in the first semifinal game.
UK individual game notes
· Rajon Rondo finished the game with 19 rebounds, which is believed to be a UK record by a guard. It's the most rebounds by any Wildcat since Jared Prickett pulled down 20 boards against Arkansas on Feb. 9, 1994. Rondo added five points and five assist but was just 1-for-9 from the field.
· Shagari Alleyne earned his first career start against Iowa in his 50th career game.
· Junior college transfer Rekalin Sims made a quick impact in his first Kentucky start, nailing three three-pointers and taking a charge in the first five minutes. He finished with season-high 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting. He added seven rebounds.
· Bobby Perry had a career-high 12 points, which came on 3-of-8 field-goal shooting and 5-of-6 free-throw shooting