No. 1 Kentucky Rolls Past UT Martin, 111-76
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Malik Monk scored a career-high 26 points, De'Aaron Fox added 16 and No. 1 Kentucky routed UT-Martin 111-76 on Friday night for its biggest victory this season.
The taller Wildcats overcame a cold shooting start and 15-14 deficit to the athletic Skyhawks before rolling to season highs in points and victory margin. Kentucky (6-0) shot a season-best 55 percent from the field by controlling the paint 54-28 and the boards 48-26.
Monk's 10-of-17 shooting led the way with Fox making 7 of 12 from the field. Monk has scored at least 23 points in three of his past four games. Wenyen Gabriel and Bam Adebayo each had 15 points for Kentucky, which won the game that was part of matchup of unbeaten teams in the Bluegrass Showcase.
Matthew Butler scored 15 points and Jacolby Mobley had 14 for UT Martin (5-2), which shot just 33 percent in the second half and 41 percent overall in having its five-game winning streak stopped.
THE BIG PICTURE
UT Martin: Despite giving away several inches inside against Kentucky, the Skyhawks' quickness helped their zone work early on. But they soon began sending Kentucky to the free throw line in the first half and were eventually worn down by Kentucky's height and quickness.
Kentucky: The Wildcats started 4 of 10 from the field before finding their touch to hit 14 of 23 the rest of the first half to build a 15-point halftime lead. The defense kicked in from there to turn it into a rout with a little flash mixed in as Monk had consecutive dunks early in the second half.
Kentucky's lofty perch appears safe through Monday's next poll but will be tested with back-to-back games against Pac-12 members Arizona State and UCLA.
UT Martin: Returns home from the three-game road swing to host Florida Atlantic on Tuesday.
Kentucky: Faces Arizona State on Monday night in the Atlantis Showcase in the Bahamas. The Wildcats are 4-0 against the Sun Devils including last year's 72-58 win in Lexington.