UK overcomes sluggish start, blasts past TSU

By SUSAN RIDDELL State Journal Sports Writer Published:

LEXINGTON - The Kentucky Wildcat starters were given a second chance after a sluggish start Monday night versus Tennessee State.

It was an opportunity they didn't let go to waste.

Kentucky went on to defeat Tennessee State 115-87 Monday night at Rupp Arena.

The Wildcats were coming off a disappointing 81-63 loss to now No. 24 Louisville on Saturday.

UK coach Tubby Smith benched all five of his starters with 15:53 left in the first half after the Tigers shot out to a 12-5 lead Monday. The starters - Keith Bogans, Gerald Fitch, Erik Daniels, Chuck Hayes and Marquis Estill - stayed on the bench for over eight minutes.

In the meantime, the second team of Antwain Barbour, Cliff Hawkins, Kelenna Azubuike, Josh Carrier and Jules Camara played inspired and got the Wildcats back in the game, taking a 21-20 lead with 10:33 left in the half.

"When I put that second group in, they did a good job creating some tempo for us," Smith said. "(The Tigers) were taking us off the dribble and knocking down some threes early."

For more on this story, see today's State Journal.

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