Aaron Harrison helps No. 1 Kentucky pull away from BU
Three days after holding No. 5 Kansas to 20 percent shooting, the Wildcats (4-0) followed up with their best offensive game to put away the determined Terriers (1-2). But things were tight for more than a half as BU guard Cedric Hankerson (24 points) kept his team close with five of its nine 3-pointers.
Kentucky ultimately took control by using its significant advantages in depth, size and shooters to dominate the paint (44-16) and bench scoring (39-12). The Wildcats also forced 22 turnovers leading to 28 points.
Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 points before fouling out late and Dakari Johnson added 11 for Kentucky, which played without junior forward Alex Poythress because of illness.
Cheddi Mosley added 13 points for Boston, which shot 38 percent but was only outrebounded 30-25.
Poythress' illness forced a tweak to Kentucky's first platoon. Sophomore guard Dominique Hawkins made his first start in his place and scored seven points, with reserve forward Derek Willis joining the unit on a later substitution.
But for the second time in three games, Kentucky had to work to put away a small but quick BU squad that pushed the tempo somewhat similar to what Buffalo did in keeping the Wildcats off- balance on Sunday.
The Terriers' first-half formula was hustle that kept them nearly even with Kentucky on the glass (16-15) and perimeter shooting led by Hankerson. He made four of BU's six 3-pointers in the first half, good enough to stay within 40-35 at the break.
Kentucky earned that lead behind 57 percent shooting and shot even better in the second (17 of 29) in finishing 34 of 59 from the field. Booker made four of the Wildcats' eight 3-pointers that the Terriers couldn't answer down the stretch.
Terriers forward Nathan Dieudonne played his first game back in Rupp Arena since earning MVP honors while leading Louisville Trinity High School to the 2012 Sweet 16 state title here. The state's former Mr. Basketball was cheered during introductions and scored 10 points before fouling out.
Boston University: The Terriers fell to 0-4 vs. Kentucky. ... BU doesn't play at home until Nov. 30 against UMass-Lowell.
Kentucky: After entering the game shooting 44 percent from the field, the Wildcats had their first 50 percent shooting game and reached a season high in 3-pointers.
Boston University: Visits New Hampshire on Tuesday.
Kentucky: hosts Montana State on Sunday.