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Wildcats set sights on Bruins

Lexington, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - The 19th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats open up a three-game homestand on Saturday afternoon, as they take on the Belmont Bruins in a non-conference clash at Rupp Arena.

John Calipari has another extremely young team in Lexington, and that youth has manifested itself in a negative way on the road, where Kentucky is just 1-3 outside of Rupp Arena. One of those losses came last time out, as Kentucky dropped an 82-77 decision in Chapel Hill against North Carolina. The loss dropped the Wildcats to 8-3 on the season, but they return home where they are a perfect 7-0 thus far.

Rick Byrd's Bruins may reside in the Ohio Valley Conference, but they shouldn't be taken lightly. They also took on the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill this year, but recorded a marquee victory with an 83-80 decision. Things haven't gone so well of late however, with losses in two straight and three of the last four games. The most recent was a 90-62 rout at Denver on Tuesday.

This marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams.

Still playing without starting point guard Reece Chamberlain, the Bruins simply couldn't get into a rhythm offensively and suffered their worst loss of the season. Craig Bradshaw led the team with 18 points, while Evan Bradds managed 11, but Belmont shot just .420 from the floor in the game, compared to a .552 effort from Denver, which forced the Bruins into 20 costly turnovers.

The offensive numbers have been far better for Belmont overall, as the team is still netting 80.1 ppg, on an impressive .492 shooting. The team has also thrived from behind the arc, averaging just under nine three-pointers per game. J.J. Mann headlines the offensive attack at 17.7 ppg. Bradshaw is next in line at 12.5 ppg, followed closely by Drew Windler's 12.3 ppg. Chamberlain (10.9 ppg, 4.9 apg) has missed five games this season and is currently questionable with a stress fracture in his right foot.

Being at less than full strength is no way to enter Rupp Arena. Despite their solid overall record, the Bruins will be hard-pressed to match Kentucky bucket for bucket. The Wildcats own a +15.4 scoring margin and are averaging an impressive 80.5 ppg on .475 shooting. The team has also dominated on the glass, outrebounding foes by 12.4 caroms per contest. Leading the way is freshman phenom Julius Randle. The 6-foot-9 youngster is converting over 52 percent of his shots thus far and is averaging a double-double with team-highs of 17.2 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Fellow freshman James Young (14.1 ppg) and sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein (8.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 4.4 bpg) complete a dominant frontline. The Harrison twins, Aaron (14.4 ppg) and Andrew (10.9 ppg,3.8 apg) handle the majority of the work in the backcourt.

The Wildcats owned a 44-32 advantage on the boards, but shot just 40.7 percent from the floor, went just 29-of-43 from the free-throw line and committed 17 turnovers in the loss to the Tar Heels. Aaron Harrison led the team with 20 points. Andrew Harrison followed with 17 points and seven assists, while Young and Randle managed 16 and 11 points, respectively.

12/21 10:45:04 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
Final
STL 1
CHC 5
Final
PIT 3
CIN 2
Final
BAL 3
MIN 2
Final
TAM 7
BOS 0
Final
KAN 2
CLE 3
Final
CWS 4
DET 8
Final
ATL 0
MIA 4
Final
NYM 2
PHI 7
Final
HOU 2
TEX 0
Final
ARI 0
COL 2
Final
STL 13
CHC 2
Final
SDP 2
LOS 1
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
ANA 2
OAK 0
Final
SEA 1
WAS 3
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
PHI
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
TEX
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
WAS
 
5:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
NW 24
CAL 31
Final
NEB 55
FATL 7
Final
UMO 27
MARS 42
Final
ND 48
RICE 17
Final
MIZZ 38
SDST 18
Final
ALA 33
WVU 23
Final
AUB 45
ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
Final
OKLA 48
LATU 16
Final
KST 55
SAUST 16
Final
USC 52
FRES 13
Final
MSST 49
SMISS 0
Final
OKST 31
FSU 37
Final
TEX 38
UNT 7
Final
NMU 24
UTEP 31
8:05pm Saturday
UF 0
IDAHO 0
Final
LSU 28
WISC 24
Final
OREG 62
SD 13
 
Final
HAW 16
WASH 17
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
BAY
SMU
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR