Patterson Career-High Lifts Wildcats to Win Over Lamar

Dec. 3, 2008

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Patrick Patterson scored a career-high 31 points and Jodie Meeks added 19 and six assists as Kentucky rolled by Lamar 103-61 on Wednesday night.

DeAndre Liggins, playing in his first home game since clashing with coach Billy Gillispie during last week's Las Vegas Invitational, added 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Wildcats (5-2). Kentucky shot 64 percent from the floor while overpowering the Cardinals to win its fifth straight.

The Wildcats played most of the game without Ramon Harris, was taken to a local hospital for tests after colliding with teammate Michael Porter in the first half.

Harris and Porter appeared to bang heads while scrambling near a loose ball, with both players falling to the floor. Harris struggled to get to his feet before falling back to the floor. He lay motionless for several minutes before being taken off the floor on a stretcher.

Harris was alert and had movement in all of his extremities said Kentucky spokesman DeWayne Peevy. The extent of his injury and his status for Saturday's game against No. 21 Miami was not immediately available.

Porter received 10 stitches over his left eye but was back on the bench by the end of the first half, though he did not return.

The injuries were the only real blemish on Kentucky's most complete performance of the season.

The Wildcats entered the game averaging 23 turnovers per contest, playing so sloppily that even Gillispie admitted his team looked lost at times.

For a night, anyway, the Wildcats appeared to collect themselves.

Kentucky had a season-high 25 assists on 38 field goals and turned it over just 16 times while playing with the kind of precision it has lacked for long stretches early in the season.

It took the Wildcats less than five minutes to build a double-digit lead and went seven minutes without turning it over, heady territory for a team that was giving it away once every 90 seconds coming in.

Liggins, who raised some eyebrows after refusing to enter the game against Kansas State in the Las Vegas Invitational last week, received a lukewarm ovation when he checked in early in the first half.

It took about 30 seconds for the showy freshman to win the crowd back over.

Liggins hit Patterson with a pair of fullcourt passes that led to easy layups, and he even showed off a little range. He knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the second half that gave Kentucky a 74-37 lead, and Liggins kept his right hand raised in the air after making the second one as the crowd roared _ with all apparently forgiven.

Coy Custer and Kenny Dawkins led Lamar (5-1) with 11 points apiece, but the Cardinals couldn't disrupt the Wildcats with their pressure and had trouble slowing Kentucky down. The Wildcats outscored Lamar 46-24 in the paint and had a 20-2 advantage in fastbreak points.

Patterson had his way in the lane, making 11 of 12 field goals and 9 of 11 free throws.

Gillispie stressed the Wildcats couldn't afford to get off to a slow start against the smaller, quicker Cardinals and his team responded by making 16 of its first 20 shots. The Wildcats cruised to a 26-point halftime lead and Lamar didn't make a serious run at the lead in the second half.

Still, things got a little chippy for a blowout.

Lamar coach Steve Roccaforte picked up a technical foul late in the first half for jawing at officials, and forward Jay Brown received an intentional foul after practically tackling Patterson on a breakaway in the second half. Patterson kept his cool while Brown helped him up, but Kentucky's Landon Slone and Lamar's Skyler Williams received technicals after exchanging words following Brown's foul.