Marist falls to No. 2 Kentucky 108-58

Isaiah Morton called his trip to play No. 2 Kentucky at Rupp

Arena wonderful. A 50-point loss hardly mattered.

Morton scored 13 points and Marist only trailed by nine at

halftime before freshman Anthony Davis and the Wildcats took over

in a 108-58 victory Friday night in the season opener for both

teams.

”I wouldn’t trade it for anything else,” Morton said. ”In the

first half, we played pretty well. We did some good things. We are

pretty confident heading back into our conference.”

Marist has won just seven games in the last two seasons, but the

Red Foxes hung around early, taking an 18-17 lead on Dorvell

Carter’s 3-pointer. Marist trailed by four late in the first half

before Kentucky went on a 7-0 run. Morton hit a jumper that made it

45-36 at the half, cutting Kentucky’s lead to single digits for the

final time.

”The No. 2 team in the country showed up,” Marist coach Chuck

Martin said. ”Their athleticism made up for a lot of their

mistakes.”

Davis had 23 points and 10 rebounds to join Terrence Jones

(2010) and Sam Bowie (1979) as the only freshmen in Kentucky

history with 20-10 games in their debuts.

Davis attacked the rim, finishing 10 of 13 with eight dunks, as

Kentucky shrugged off a slow start with a dominant second half that

turned a single-digit lead into a blowout in their first game of

the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament.

Kentucky’s next stop is New York City where the Wildcats will

face No. 13 Kansas in the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday

before heading to Uncasville, Conn., for two more games as part of

this early season tournament.

After Kentucky took a 45-36 lead in the first half, Doron Lamb

found Jones under the basket for a slam as the Wildcats scored the

first six points of the second half. Davis had consecutive slams as

the Wildcats pulled away with a 21-2 run that made it 72-42 with 12

minutes left. Kentucky’s biggest lead was the final margin.

Jones had 25 points and 12 rebounds in his debut last season and

Kentucky went on to the Final Four, losing in the national

semifinals to Connecticut. He returned, and the Wildcats are

looking to go even further with an impressive freshman class that

includes Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Kyle

Wiltjer. Teague had 16 points, Kidd-Gilchrist and Lamb had 15 each

and Wiltjer added 14 for the Wildcats.

Carter finished with 12 points for Marist.

”To be honest, they are a pretty good team and I think they are

definitely a Final Four team,” he said.

Martin, who was on Calipari’s staff from Memphis from 2006-08,

has gone 7-56 over his last two seasons, but his players said this

was a positive experience moving forward this season.

”We played great in the first half,” said Jay Bowie, who

finished with eight points. ”The second half wasn’t as good as the

first half, but I think we showed a lot of promise for this

team.”