UK BASKETBALL | Skal Labissiere powers Kentucky past NJIT, 87-57
11/14/2015 09:12 PM
LEXINGTON — The No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats put their foot on the gas in the second half to runaway with an 87-57 victory over NJIT on Saturday night at Rupp Arena.
The Highlanders made their first six shots of the game and even held an early six-point lead in the first half, but the Wildcats used a 12-0 run to take a 36-28 lead into intermission and outscored NJIT 51-29 in the second half to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Three takeaways from the game:
1. SUPER SKAL
What can’t the No. 1 recruit in the country do?
Labissiere finished with a game-high 26 points on 10/12 shooting from the field, a perfect 6/6 from the charity stripe, and didn’t miss his a shot until after halftime.
Some much for those first-half struggles.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Haitian sensation also added five rebounds, two blocks, and a steal for the game.
2. BULLDOG BRISCOE
In his regular season debut after bruising his knee in practice earlier this week, freshman Isaiah Briscoe did all the little things for the Wildcats against NJIT, scoring 11 points and pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds from the point guard position.
On a night when fellow guards Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray struggled from the field (4/21 combined shooting), Briscoe picked up the slack and showcased the multidimensional game he brings to Kentucky this season.
3. WILLIS THE X-FACTOR
Stop us if this starts getting old, but once again, Derek Willis was the spark plug off the bench for UK.
The junior forward ignited the Rupp Arena crowd in the second half, scoring all 11 of his points after intermission while shooting 3/4 from three and collecting three rebounds and two blocks.
Kentucky’s star freshmen grab most of the headlines, but it’s veteran reserves like Willis who can take the Wildcats to the next level in 2015-16.
The appetizers are finished, and the main course is next when Kentucky travels to Chicago to face defending national champion Duke in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.