JACKSONVILLE, FL- Kentucky dominated the glass, controlled the tempo, and pretty much did whatever they wanted in their 79-44 win over tournament newcomer Abilene Christian.
Kentucky sprinted to an 18-3 lead out of the gate and never gave Abilene Christian a single thing to cheer about after the opening tip. Abilene Christian fans found themselves cheering after each bucket as if they’d cut into Kentucky’s lead, but they never got it into single digits after the first media timeout.
Prior the game the Wildcats from ACU talked about how important it was to box out and take care of the ball. They did a formidable job of protecting the ball, ending with 10 turnovers. But they couldn’t quite say the same about the whole boxing out part.
Kentucky snatched 44 rebounds in the first frame, Abilene Christian grabbed just 17.
UK shot it a blistering 54% from the floor with Reid Travis, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro combining to go 25-37 from the floor. Johnson led the way with 25 points. Reid Travis chipped in 18 and Tyler Herro contributed 14.
Kentucky advances to Saturday’s round of 32 to take on the winner of Wofford and Seton Hall.