Kentucky coasts in SEC opener vs. Ole Miss

01/02/2016 09:04 PM

LEXINGTON — In a showdown between two of the best guards in the SEC, Tyler Ulis finished second to none.

The sophomore star posted his first career double-double to lead No. 10 Kentucky to a runaway 83-61 victory over Ole Miss in the Wildcats’ SEC opener on Saturday night at Rupp Arena.

Ulis will finished with a team-high 20 points to go along with new career highs in assists (10) and steals (6) as UK improves to 1-0 in conference play and claims its largest victory of the season since an 87-57 rout of NJIT on Nov. 15.

Ulis becomes the first UK player to post 20 points and 10 assists in a game since John Wall in 2009 and the first-ever Wildcat to total 20 points, 10 assists and six steals in a single contest.

Kentucky (11-2, 1-0 SEC) shot an impressive 50% from the field and used a little 34-12 run to take a commanding 46-22 halftime lead and never look back.

Stefan Moody, who entered the contest leading the SEC in scoring at 23.8 points per game, also did not disappoint for Ole Miss (10-3, 0-1). The senior guard finished with a game-high 23 points, but the rest of the Rebels struggled from the field, managing to shoot just 34% for the game to snap their season-best seven-game winning streak.

Jamal Murray pitched in an additional 18 points for the Wildcats, and Skal Labissiere showed signs of finally breaking out of his offensive slump, scoring nine points on 4-7 shooting — his highest point total since netting 10 against Eastern Kentucky on Dec. 9.

UK did receive a scare in the second half when junior guard Dominique Hawkins turned his left ankle after stepping on an Ole Miss player’s foot in defense. Hawkins hit the floor immediately after the play, was carried off the court by teammates Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee, took a wheelchair to the locker room and did not return to the game.

Kentucky has not yet updated the severity of Hawkins’ injury nor determined his availability for the Cats’ next game on Tuesday at LSU.

NEXT UP: The Wildcats travel to Baton Rouge for their first conference road test of the season at LSU. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET with broadcast available on ESPN, and via the WatchESPN app.


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