In the definition of a trap game for the Kentucky Wildcats, the University of Pennsylvania is down just one at halftime on the road at Rupp Arena. This is UK's last game before SEC play gets going and it's no surprise that their young players are looking ahead to their game against Georgia.
Penn (5-5) has lost both of their top 25 matchups handily, falling to #5 Pittsburgh and #12 Villanova already this season. This John Calipari team is 11-2, only losing on the road to Connecticut and North Carolina, and lead the lifetime series against the Quakers 4-0.
Tonight, however, Penn has been shooting lights out from beyond the arc, hitting 7 three's in the first half. Tyler Bernardini continues to get open looks and converting them, scoring 16 points on just 6 shots. Along with Miles Cartwright and Jack Eggleston, they provide the biggest offensive weapons for point guard and captain Zach Rosen to go to. Rosen hasn't been able to free himself from the long wingspan of 6-6 DeAndre Liggins and needs to find a way to shake him if Penn can hang in the second half.
Penn's double digit lead evaporated over the last four minutes when the shots stopped falling and UK asserted themselves inside. Terrence Jones and Josh Harrellson are too big for Penn under the basket, and they have 11 rebounds already -- 2 more than the Quakers total. Brandon Knight has been getting by anybody on the offensive end, shooting 3-4 when he takes the ball inside the 3-point line, but he's just 1-5 beyond it. While he's a better shooter than that, he excels at slashing and will continue to terrorize Penn's defense if he commits to the drive.
It would be a shocker if Penn doesn't get blown out in the second half. To have a chance, they need to shoot better, take time off the clock and frustrate this young Kentucky team into making careless mistakes.