LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Keldon Johnson and Immanuel Quickley each scored 15 points, Nick Richards grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds and No. 2 Kentucky rallied in the second half to beat Southern Illinois 71-59 on Friday night.
The Wildcats (1-1) bounced back from Tuesday night's 118-84 shellacking by No. 4 Duke, but had to work hard in the second half to overcome the veteran Salukis. They trailed 44-37 before Quade Green (14 points) scored 5 points during a 10-2 run for a 47-46 lead with 12:19 left. SIU didn't quit, but the Wildcats slowly extended their lead to 61-52 on consecutive three-point plays by Johnson and Green.
Richards' rebounding provided the biggest lift as Kentucky dominated SIU 48-19 on the glass. He had as many boards as the Salukis' combined total, surpassing his previous best of 15 last season against Fort Wayne. The Wildcats also shot 47 percent after halftime and limited SIU to 1 of 7 shooting from long range.
Aaron Cook had 18 points and Kavion Pippen 16 for the Salukis (0-1), who opened against their first ranked team since No. 13 Illinois in 2010. They shot 41 percent in their first meeting with the Wildcats.
Developing chemistry might take a while for the Wildcats, who seemed out of sync for many stretches and committed 19 turnovers. They were fortunate that Richards was fierce on the glass while Green and EJ Montgomery (10 points) contributed critical scoring as Kentucky dominated bench scoring 32-6.
In other Top 25 games Friday night, Grant Williams scored 31 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and showcased his newfound three-point range as No. 6 Tennessee breezed to an 87-65 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette. ... Cameron Johnson and freshman Nassir Little scored 21 points apiece, and No. 8 North Carolina routed Elon 116-67. ... Barry Brown and Makol Mawien each scored 15 points, Dean Waded added 13 and No. 12 Kansas State stumbled through a season-opening 56-41 victory over Kennesaw State. ... Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Isaiah Wilkins scored 21 points apiece, and No. 15 Virginia Tech opened its season with an 87-59 victory over Gardner-Webb. ... Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 21 points, Nick Weatherspoon added 19 and No. 18 Mississippi State beat Austin Peay 95-67 in its season opener. ... David Skara scored 16 points and No. 22 Clemson opened a large early lead in cruising to a 71-51 victory over North Carolina Central. ... Naz Reid scored 29 points and Tremont Waters had 21 points and 10 assists as No. 23 LSU beat North Carolina-Greensboro 97-91.
Kentucky forward Nick Richards had 8 points and 19 rebounds to help No. 2 Kentucky beat Southern Illinois 71-59 on Friday in Lexington, Ky.
Sports on 11/10/2018
Print Headline: Kentucky rallies after early turnovers