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Kentucky 81, LSU 55: Postmortem

My apologies for getting the post-game up nearly three hours after the end of the game, but my Internet availability has been spotty for most of the day.  KH

The Kentucky Wildcats (22-1, 7-1) did what they were supposed to do this afternoon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and that is, beat a team with several missing links, badly.  The LSU Tigers (9-14, 0-9), though, deserve a hearty congratulations for never giving up, never letting up, and competing until the final horn.

The 81-55 Kentucky road victory represents the second largest margin of victory this team has had against SEC competition (behind the 31 point dismantling of a now surging Arkansas squad), and hopefully the win also indicates that this team is unafraid to keep their boot on the throat of their opponent, regardless of time and score.

For more information on the game that was, follow me after the jump:

As has become commonplace, UK's DeMarcus Cousins played like a man among boys.  Scoring 19 points and grabbing 13 rebounds (five offensive) in only 20 minutes of action, Cousins dominated the paint area with some stellar defense, and a plethora of moves around the basket.  The only real negative to his game were his four turnovers, which is unusually high for him.

Patrick Patterson, who took the most shots (13) he's taken in a game since January 9 against Georgia, was once again a presence both on the inside and outside.  Patterson wasn't on-target with his long-range shot today (1-4 from beyond the arc), but he made 5-9 two-point shots, and grabbed five rebounds, with three of those offensive.

Eric Bledsoe played his most solid game in couple of weeks, making 5-10 shots from the field, grabbing four rebounds and pilfering four steals.  Bledsoe was very active on the defensive end of the court, and is just one of the Wildcats responsible for holding LSU to only 31.8% overall shooting, and 18.2% three-point shooting (4-22).

John Wall didn't shoot the ball particularly well today (2-9), but he once again ran the ball-club and distributed the basketball with great efficiency.  He many times this afternoon displayed the unfathomable speed he possesses while dribbling the basketball, which enabled him to slice up the Tiger defense, and get the ball to his open teammates.  Wall had four assists, but would have had 8-10 dimes if not for Patterson and Cousins being fouled down on the blocks so often.

DeAndre Liggins just keeps on producing: In 18 minutes of action, Liggins had seven points on 2-2 shooting (both three-pointers), he grabbed eight, yes, that's eight rebounds, and had one assist and one steal.  His defense, board crashing, and three-point stroke continue to impress.  Kudos to Liggins for his great play since being elevated out of the Calipari doghouse.  

Darnell Dodson (eight points, two blocks), Ramon Harris (five points, two rebounds in 16 minutes), and Daniel Orton (five points, five rebounds in 15 minutes) all contributed to the team's win. 

The points off turnovers battle was won by the 'Cats: 18-9.  The points in the paint battle was also won by the 'Cats: 46-22.  And finally, the second chance points battle was won by the 'Cats: 17-2.  UK won all of these games within the game, but of course they only did what was expected of them, but for a team this young, it's a step forward.

UK, which out-rebounded the smaller Tigers by a count of 53-21 (18-10 off. reb. advantage), completely dominated and dictated pace after the opening few minutes of the game.  Holding a 42-14 edge at the half, the 'Cats continued to apply the pressure unrelentingly.  This, my friends, was good to see.

The 22nd one bites the dust, and Alabama awaits on Tuesday night. 

Thanks for reading, and Go 'Cats!