Eastern Michigan Got Caught In The Wildcats Claws, Falls To Kentucky 81-63

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles got caught in the Cats' claw. The Wildcats utilized an early second half run to pull away from a scrappy Eastern Michigan bunch.

John Calipari's always talented young crew of Wildcats (6-1) fought off Eastern Michigan for the better part of the first half before pulling away in the second half for an 81-63 victory.

Kentucky held the lead for much of the first half while the Eagles (5-1) chipped away consistently.

With 11:32 remaining in the first half, Aaron Harrison sunk two free throws that gave UK the lead it maintained the rest of the game. This did not stop EMU from fighting back. Kentucky extended the lead to near multiple digits several times, but sophomore guard Darell Combs helped keep the Eagles in the contest. Eastern Michigan trailed by only five at the half (35-30).

About five minutes into the second half, Aaron Harrison led a Kentucky run that helped the Wildcats to pull away, scoring 12 in the second half.

The Wildcats received outstanding efforts from a group of freshman (per the usual). Aaron Harrison put up 22 points and seven boards while his brother Andrew scored eight. Julius Randle contributed a double-double courtesy a 14 point, 10 rebound performance. Freshman center Dakari Johnson pitched in 10 more points.

Sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein added another 15.

Eastern Michigan lost to the Wildcats 90-38 this past January and by comparison exhibited standout play from a number of Eagles this time around.  Combs poured in 23 points. Daylen Harrison and Glenn Bryant added nine and eight respectively.

Eastern Michigan came into the game averaging 79.2 points a game. By comparison, coach Rob Murphy's last two EMU teams have averaged 53.2 and 56.6 a game.

Kentucky moved on to 6-1 and the Eagles suffered their first loss on the young season. Eastern Michigan's next game is in the Convocation Center when it hosts the nationally ranked, No. 24 UMass.

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