Top-ranked Kentucky continues run against Montana State

Nov 23, 2014 - 4:15 PM Lexington, KY ( - The top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats will try to keep their unbeaten start to the season alive on Sunday afternoon when they welcome the Montana State Bobcats to Rupp Arena for a non-conference clash.

Montana State was supposed to play Buffalo on Friday night but the game was postponed due to the severe snowstorms in the area. The Bobcats are 0-3 on the season, each loss coming on the road, with their most recent setback coming at Cal State Northridge on Wednesday, 72-65.

Kentucky tipped off a season-long eight-game homestand with a contest against Boston University on Friday and came away with an 89-65 victory to move to 4-0. The Wildcats already have a signature win early in the campaign after dismantling nationally-ranked Kansas on a neutral court on Nov. 18, 72-40.

Montana State and Kentucky have never before played one another.

The Bobcats dug themselves a 14-point hole at the half of their most recent game, and while they played better after intermission and got to within five late, they could not complete the comeback. They kept the contest competitive by knocking down 11-of-32 3-point attempts, but their overall field goal percentage (.344) was lackluster. Stephan Hill provided a spark off the bench with five 3-pointers and 20 points. Marcus Colbert stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, while Michael Dison added 11 points.

Montana State has been thoroughly outmatch on the season, as it get outshot by its opponents from the field, 51.2 percent to 39.2 percent, while owning a -19.3 scoring margin. Danny Robison (12.3 ppg), Colbert (11.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 5.7 apg) and Dison (10.3 ppg) are the top performers.

The Wildcats had an unexpectedly tough time with BU for most of their latest contest, as they led by just two early in the second half. But they put on the afterburners down the stretch to pull away for the 24-point victory. They shined on both ends of the floor, not only shooting 57.6 percent from the field themselves but forcing BU into 22 turnovers and 38.5 percent shooting. Pacing four teammates in double figures was Aaron Harrison with 19 points. Devin Booker (15 points, seven assists) and Dakari Johnson (11 points, six rebounds) were both difference-makers off the bench, and Willie Cauley-Stein brought 12 points and five boards to the table.

Four convincing victories has left Kentucky with a staggering +28.8 scoring margin. Its defense has been the biggest story, as it holds opponents to a lowly 30.7 percent field goal shooting and forces nearly 18 turnovers per game. While Aaron Harrison (10.5 ppg) and Johnson (10.3 ppg, 8.5 rpg) are the only players to average in double figures, UK has an incredibly deep squad with nine players netting at least 6.0 ppg. Highly touted freshman Karl- Anthony Towns (6.0 ppg) is shooting just 36 percent from the floor early in his career but has made his presence felt in the paint with 6.3 rpg and 3.0 blocks per outing.

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