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Kentucky downs Providence
Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Willie Cauley-Stein scored 15 points to go with eight rebounds and career-high nine blocks to lead third-ranked Kentucky to a 79-65 win over Providence at Barclays Center.
James Young poured in 18 points and Aaron Harrison finished with 15 for the Wildcats (7-1), who have won five straight since falling to Michigan State.
"He's playing harder. He's playing longer," Kentucky coach John Calipari said of Cauley-Stein. "He's never played this many minutes and he's never played this hard."
Kentucky star forward Julius Randle finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the win.
Bryce Cotton scored a game-high 23 points, while Josh Fortune and Tyler Harris added 10 points apiece for the Friars (7-2), who have dropped two of their last three games overall.
"We were trying to play inside out," Providence coach Ed Cooley said. "I thought our guys got frustrated trying to shoot over their length. Their depth at the rim is what makes them. When those guys mature they can be really, really scary."
The Wildcats led 39-35 at the end of the first half, and Cotton buried a trey 17 seconds into the second half to make it a one-point game. Kentucky, though, opened up an 18-7 run to go up 57-45 with 11:09 left.
Kentucky's spread swelled to 17 after Dominique Hawkins knocked down a 3- pointer at the 6:45 mark.
Providence didn't get closer than 12 the rest of the way.
Harrison put Kentucky up 16-6 with his jumper just over 6 1/2 minutes into the game. Providence then rattled off a 14-7 run to pull within 23-20.
The Wildcats led 35-28 after Cauley-Stein's jumper with 4:18 remaining, but the Friars outscored Kentucky 7-4 the rest of the way.
Kentucky won the only other meeting between these two teams, slipping by the Friars, 79-78, during the 1976 NIT ... Kentucky shot 64.3 percent (27-for-42) from the field and held Providence to just 31.1 percent (19-for-61) efficiency ... Providence had 18 offensive rebounds.
12/02 00:47:39 ET
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