The first half was a chippy foul-fest in which the Auburn Tigers tried to assert themselves physically over the Wildcats, and wound up getting a player ejected and a near-fistfight. The result was 20 first half fouls between the two teams. The Tigers stayed in the game by being smoking hot from three, making 6-9 from the arc.
Kentucky played well in stretches, but the real story of the first half was the excellent play by Jarrod Polson. Polson gave more energy than Ryan Harrow and ran the point guard capably. He hustled where Harrow stood around, and got a couple of 50/50 balls and hit a three.
Kentucky isn't doing a great job on the offensive glass, although they are doing pretty well in the turnover department. What is hurting is perimeter defense, and Kentucky is simply not forcing the Tigers to put the ball on the floor. If they keep yielding threes in the second half, Kentucky could be on their way to a real dogfight.
Let's hope the game gets cleaned up in the second half, and Kentucky figures out how to defend Auburn's shooters.