AUBURN, Al. (LEX 1`8) — Despite an offensive surge in the game's final minutes, Kentucky fell short to drop its second straight game after a 66-59 loss to Auburn Saturday.
The Tigers led by 10 with just over five minutes to play until a final spark offensively led the Cats to narrow the deficit to 58-56 with just over a minute to play.
That surge would obviously not be enough, as Auburn closed the game on an 8-3 run.
Davion Mintz helped lead the charge late, and finished with a team high 11 points.
The biggest head scratcher was the lack of minutes for Dontaie Allen in the second half. He and Jacob Toppin each had 8 points in the first half. Allen was/is the best shooter on this team. We've seen it ever since league play started. He didn't even score in the second half. Allen finished with 8 points
John Calipari said after the game that they were trying to set up plays for Allen, but he wouldn't take shots, which led to him being benched.
Calipari also had a confusing answer as to why Allen and Toppin didn't start the second half, and didn't check back into the game at least 5-6 minutes into the half.
"I want to win every game we coach, but the other side of it is I'm not trying to take anyone's heart away," said Calipari.
He was also being scrutinized for his substitution patterns, playing Olivier Sarr (6 points, 5 rebounds), Isaiah Jackson (2 points, 1 rebound), and Lance Ware (4 points, 4 rebounds) at the same time. It just made a lot of us "expert" media members raise our eyebrows and say 'huh?'
Either way, Kentucky is now 1-4 on the road at Auburn over the last five seasons.
Its 4-8 start is the worst start through 12 games since 1930.
Kentucky will be back on the road Wednesday when they travel to Georgia. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.