Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

November 22, 2012

Kentucky hangs on to beat MSU

LEXINGTON —  

Morehead State delivered on its promise to make No. 8 Kentucky physically pay for anything it got Wednesday night.

What surprised the Eagles was that the young Wildcats didn't flinch in gutting out an 81-70 victory.

"We just tried to use our physicality and see if we could shake the other team," forward Milton Chavis said. "They won, so I guess they fought right with us."

Actually, Kentucky had to fight back against Morehead State, which took leads behind runs of 16-0 in the first half and 11-4 to start the second. The Wildcats answered both at the foul line, making 31 of 41 free throws after deciding to embrace contact with the Eagles.

Kentucky freshmen Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress benefited the most by combining to make 20 of 25 free throws. Goodwin scored a career-high 28 points, and Poythress added 20.

"My guys battled tonight against a great team on their home floor," said Morehead State coach Sean Woods, who played for the Wildcats from 1990-92.

"We gave them everything we had, we just couldn't hold on. You've got to tip your hat to Kentucky for sustaining, taking our blows and finding a way to win."

Milton Chavis scored 23 points for Morehead State. Maurice Lewis-Briggs added 13 points, and Drew Kelly had 10.

Kentucky shot 51 percent and outrebounded Morehead State 37-35. The Eagles' only consolation was beating the Wildcats 16-8 on the offensive boards.

However, the Eagles couldn't overcome 32 fouls, while the Wildcats had 12.

"We put ourselves in some situations where we were more foul-prone as a team," Kelly said. "We're never going to blame a referee for the foul discrepancy or anything. It was a hard-fought game, it was a very physical game and we just have to be more disciplined in where we place ourselves."

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