December 09, 2014

Kentucky hasn't faced much resistance during its best start in five seasons but could get some during an upcoming stretch against three high-profile opponents.

The No. 1-ranked Wildcats will get one final tune-up before those matchups Wednesday night versus Columbia.

Kentucky (9-0) has won its games by an average of 31.8 points this season, with the closest being a 63-51 victory over then-No. 6 Texas on Friday. The Wildcats showed no letdown two days later, thumping Eastern Kentucky 82-49.

Freshman Karl-Anthony Towns had a career-high 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting and nine rebounds as his team secured its best start since winning its first 19 games in 2009-10. Fellow freshman Trey Lyles registered his first double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and the Wildcats had their second-best shooting performance of the season (56.9 percent) while holding the Colonels to 26.1 percent.

"It shows that we are focused after a big win against Texas. We can come out and keep our mindset, which is winning," Lyles said.

The Wildcats will likely face more of a challenge in their matchups against No. 21 North Carolina and UCLA as well as archrival and No. 4 Louisville later this month. The latter two games will take place away from home.

First, Kentucky will try to keep rolling against a depleted Columbia squad. The Lions, though, have managed a 5-2 start despite missing three starters from last season's 21-win squad, the program's most since 1967-68.

Alex Rosenberg is no longer with the team after leading the way with 16.0 points per game in 2013-14. Grant Mullins (11.7 ppg) and 6-foot-10 forward Luke Petrasek are injured, leaving junior guard Maodo Lo - averaging a team-best 16.1 points - as the team's top offensive threat.

The Lions are averaging 59.0 points - the worst mark in the Ivy League - after scoring 68.0 per game in 2013-14 but are holding opponents to 50.0 points, one of the best marks in the country and 13.3 fewer than last season.

Lo, who had 20 points in Saturday's 62-39 win over Bucknell, was also one of three players who scored in double figures when the Lions gave No. 2 Michigan State a scare on Nov. 15, 2013. They trailed by just one point with 4:28 remaining but went scoreless the rest of the way in a 62-53 loss.

Columbia, 6-42 all-time against AP Top 25 teams, is playing a top-ranked squad for the second time in school history. It lost 106-63 to Indiana on Dec. 26, 1975.

Kentucky will face Columbia for the first time since a 76-53 win in the 1948 NCAA tournament quarterfinals, when the field consisted of eight teams.

You May Like

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)