EditorsNote: Fixed spelling of Melik Martin’s first name; other minor fixes
No. 10 Kentucky cruised to its sixth win in a row, overpowering winless Monmouth 90-44 on Wednesday in Lexington, Ky.
The Wildcats, who improved to 6-0 on a seven-game homestand after a season-opening loss to Duke, breezed from start to finish. Kentucky (6-1) outscored Monmouth 44-22 in the first half and 46-22 in the second stanza.
Kentucky placed four players in double figures topped by Tyler Herro with 16. Keldon Johnson added 15, Quade Green had 14 and Reid Travis scored 13.
Herro also contributed eight rebounds and five steals.
Ray Salnave was the only Monmouth player in double figures with 14. Diago Quinn scored eight points, and Melik Martin added seven for the Hawks (0-8).
It was the defense that keyed the wire-to-wire win as Kentucky held the Hawks to 7-of-30 shooting in the second half, 23.3 percent, and 16-of-58 overall, 27.6 percent. Monmouth had four assists and 16 turnovers.
The Wildcats put the game away with a 19-3 run midway through the second half to turn a 63-34 lead into an 82-37 rout. Green scored the first eight points of the run, hitting two 3-pointers and two free throws.
Kentucky shot 56.6 percent (30 of 53) from the floor and 41.7 percent from 3-point range (10 of 24). The Wildcats also won the rebounding battle 40-25.
One key statistic for Kentucky was 3-point shooting defense. The Wildcats entered the game allowing opponents 43.4 percent, which ranked 350th out of 351 teams nationally. Over nine previous seasons under coach John Calipari, the average was 31.1 percent.
On Wednesday night, Kentucky held Monmouth, the 343rd-worst 3-point shooting team in the nation, to 12.5 percent. The Hawks were 2 of 16 from beyond the arc.
Kentucky blew open the game late in the first half when the Hawks missed their last seven shots. Monmouth made only 1 of 11 down the stretch before the break. Herro had 12 first-half points for Kentucky, and Travis added seven.
—Field Level Media