Kentucky vs. Marshall: Wildcats Come out Strong After Break, Beat Herd 82-54

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Kentucky vs. Marshall: Wildcats Come out Strong After Break, Beat Herd 82-54
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The University of Kentucky Wildcats still don't look like they're ready to climb back into the Top 10, but they definitely look better than they did a month ago.

Lead by Ryan Harrow's best game of the season by far and a much more aggressive, attacking defense, the Wildcats were able to blow through the Marshall Thundering Herd 82-54 as a final tune-up/confidence builder before their looming showdown with their arch-rival Louisville Cardinals.

The Good

  • It was already mentioned above, but Ryan Harrow put his offensive capabilities on full display, scoring 23 points (10-of-17 shooting) to go along with four assists. He also looked even more comfortable and settled in at the point, which is a very good sign for the Wildcats heading into their December 29 showdown with the Cardinals.
  • Nerlens Noel was had his usual all-around productive game, scoring 11 points to go along with 10 rebounds and two blocks. Surprisingly, however, this was his first career double-double.
  • Except for a few momentary lapses, Kentucky's defense was outstanding. They held Marshall to 18-of-61 shooting (29.5 percent) and forced quite a few turnovers (which should be even more if Nerlens Noel could ever get a charge called against him).
  • To the delight of basketball purists everywhere, the Wildcats' free-throw shooting was finally good (but not great). They went 21-of-27 (77.8 percent) from the stripe.

The Bad

  • Archie Goodwin managed to score 18 points, but most of that was from the free-throw line; he ended up 4-of-17 from the floor to go along with four turnovers.
  • Alex Poythress did not shoot poorly, but had trouble getting in sync with the rest of the offense, scoring only nine points on 3-of-5 shooting before heading to the bench near the end of the game after fouling out.
  • Julius Mays continued to struggle from the field, going 1-of-7 and 0-of-5 from behind the three-point line. 
  • Kentucky's three-point shooting was actually pretty bad overall; the Wildcats as a team shot 3-of-17 (17.6 percent) from behind the arc.

The Weird

  • According to Kentucky Sports Radio, the illness that kept Jon Hood out of today's game was mono. If true, than you have to feel bad for the poor kid; after being sidelined with an injury all of last year, it seems he just can't catch a break.

All stats via ESPN.com

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