No. 6 Kentucky pulls away from Arkansas in second half 97-71

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — De’Aaron Fox scored a career-high 27 points, Isaiah Briscoe and Derek Willis each added 15 and No. 6 Kentucky pulled away to beat Arkansas 97-71 on Saturday night.

Unlike two previous routs that were settled early, the Wildcats (13-2, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) worked longer to put away the Razorbacks in a sometimes-chippy game.

Bam Adebayo’s 3-point play eventually provided a 60-48 lead with 14 1/2 minutes remaining and Kentucky extended it behind Fox, who scored six straight points to make it 74-57. He topped his previous scoring best (24) against North Carolina.

Daryl Macon had 15 points and Moses Kingsley and Jaylen Barford 14 each for Arkansas (12-3, 1-2), which shot 40 percent.

THE BIG PICTURE

Arkansas: Barford came close to matching his career high of 17 points in the first half with 6-of-9 shooting. But he didn’t score after halftime and the Hogs were no match on the boards in being outrebounded 44-29 by Kentucky.

Kentucky: The Wildcats continued to shoot well, hitting 32 of 60 to surpass 50 percent for the third straight game. Malik Monk started quickly against his home-state school, following a jumper with a steal and feed Fox for a dunk. Fox had to pick up the offensive slack after the Wildcats’ scoring leader drew his second foul, though Monk returned to score 10 in the second half.

TEMPER, TEMPER

Fox and Barford had to be separated early in the second half after Barford appeared to kick Briscoe as he lay beneath Arkansas’ basket. Each received non-shooting technical fouls, and Bam Adebayo followed with a 3-point play.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Kentucky should move into the Top Five despite taking longer than usual to roll to another win by at least 23 points.

UP NEXT

Arkansas: Stays home next week, hosting Mississippi State on Tuesday night and Missouri next Saturday.

Kentucky: Visits Vanderbilt on Tuesday night, seeking its 80th series win in 94 meetings against the Commodores. Doing so would avenge last year’s 74-62 loss in Nashville.

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