Kentucky shot the ball very poorly in the first half, but in the end, they managed a six point lead at the half. That's about where I figured they'd be. What I don't understand is why this Kentucky team has such difficultly making layups.
Kentucky played solid defense in the first half, and that's encouraging to see. The Wildcats didn't give up transition baskets, they notably got back timely, and their zone defense continues to improve game by game for the occasional possession or three they play it.
First half stats
I'm sure you'll note the loathsome shooting for both teams above, but note particularly the 54% free-throw shooting for Kentucky, 3 of those misses owned by Alex Poythress, who just doesn't look all that comfortable at the line. Also note that Julius Randle was almost a non-factor in the first half. He needs to do something in the second.
Kentucky has done a good job defensively of forcing tough shots from Auburn, but have not dominated the boards as they should. They have also gone to the line a lot, but when you make just over 50%, you aren't distinguishing yourself.
Kentucky needs to come out in the second half with some authority. This one was one of the weaker offensive halves I can remember for the Wildcats this season, but interestingly enough, it was one of their better defensive halves of the year.
Now, they need to come out and prove they can walk and chew gum at the same time.