LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) De’Aaron Fox scored 16 points, Malik Monk added 14 and No. 2 Kentucky took a step toward the nation’s top ranking by rolling past Duquesne 93-59 on Sunday night.
Five days after beating No. 13 Michigan State in New York, the Wildcats (4-0) made their case toward supplanting Duke for No. 1 when The Associated Press’ Top 25 is announced Monday. The first of several scheduled late-evening starts didn’t affect Kentucky as it won by its biggest margin this season.
The Wildcats controlled Duquesne (2-3) on both ends, holding the Dukes to a season-low 30 percent shooting while making 35 of 76 attempts (46 percent).
Isaiah Briscoe and Mychal Mulder each had 13 points and Bam Adebayo had 12 with eight rebounds for Kentucky, which outrebounded Duquesne 49-32 to win its second game of the Bluegrass Showcase.
Emile Blackman’s 13 points led the Dukes, who lost their third in four games.
Duquesne: Coming off a one-point loss Friday against Canisius, the Dukes were close at the start but quickly fell behind due to cold shooting. They made just 6 of 29 in the first half (21 percent) and committed 11 turnovers as they struggled against the Wildcats’ disruptive defense and length. They were near even on the boards for a while but eventually beaten there as well.
Kentucky: Seeking to pick up where they left off in an impressive defensive showing against Michigan State, the Wildcats constantly contested the Dukes’ passes and shots to build a 50-23 lead at the break. They controlled the paint offensively (44-20).
Top-ranked Duke’s loss to Kansas at Madison Square Garden opened the door for Kentucky to assume the top spot, and the Wildcats made it a foregone conclusion with their easy victory over the Dukes.
Duquesne: The Dukes host UT Martin on Wednesday night as they continue play in the Bluegrass Showcase.
Kentucky: Hosts Cleveland State in a Wednesday matinee before Thanksgiving.
AP College Basketball: collegebasketball.ap.org