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"The sky's the limit," Noel said of his teammates' play. "They can play real hard. It's not going to be long before things are clicking."
The Wildcats ended up hitting their first five 3-point attempts and six of eight to highlight a 20-of-31 shooting (65 percent) effort in the first half. Their previous best was 58 percent in the opener against Maryland.
More pleasing to Calipari was how well his seven-man rotation spread the ball around. Everybody scored, with Poythress muscling inside for 12 points, Noel adding nine and Cauley-Stein and Wiltjer eight each.
Despite starting without their best scorer, the Leopards were unfazed by height and talent disadvantages and stayed close -- albeit briefly. Levi Giese and Joey Ptasinski both sank 3-pointers, Alan Flannigan got an inside basket and Tony Johnson another off a Noel goaltending call.
That made it 15-10 but it was all Kentucky after that. A 7-2 spurt was followed by 15 unanswered points over a 3:34 span for a 37-12 lead. Lafayette rarely got closer than 20.
With their tallest player being 6-foot-10 Ben Freeland, there was little the Leopards were going to do against the Wildcats' inside duo of 6-10 Noel and 7-foot Cauley-Stein to begin with. And other than a couple of sloppy stretches by Kentucky, Lafayette struggled to keep up athletically.
Losing the 6-9 Trist made things even tougher. He scored a career-high 30 points to lead Lafayette's 98-94 overtime win over LIU-Brooklyn on Monday and was expected to counter some of Kentucky's scoring.
"You need a post presence, you need someone you can throw it into," Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon said. "Dan Trist has been scoring the ball very well for us. I'm not sure he's going to be getting 20 points against Kentucky, but he gives us an inside presence, and then he makes our outside a little bit better.
"We are a much better team with Dan Trist. We're not Kentucky good, but we are much better."
His presence might not have helped the Leopards, who shot just 40 percent and committed 28 turnovers.
The Wildcats outscored the Leopards 50-18 in the second half.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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