TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s star freshman Brandon Miller had 19 points and seven rebounds for the No. 7 Crimson Tide, who dominated Kentucky 78-52 on Saturday.
With football coach Nick Saban in attendance, Alabama (13-2, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) put on a defensive performance that would make him proud, holding Kentucky to just 29% shooting from the floor.
Jahvon Quinerly had one of his best games for Alabama since returning from an ACL injury in November, scoring 12 points. And guard Mark Sears locked in with 13 second-half points to finish with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and six steals.
The Wildcats (10-5, 1-2) struggled to get into any sort of rhythm offensively. Sahvir Wheeler and Antonio Reeves accounted for 20 of Kentucky’s 24 first-half points. Reeves had 20 points overall and Wheeler 15.
After a hot start for the Crimson Tide, an offensive lull in the middle of the first half allowed Kentucky to pull within one point with 4:57 to go in the first half. But Alabama closed the half on a 15-5 run led by Miller and Quinerly to take an 11-point lead into halftime.
Kentucky: Oscar Tshiebwe finished with a season low in points (4) and rebounds (6). It was also just the third time this year Tshiebwe finished a game with single-digit rebounds.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide continues to look like one of the best teams in the SEC and the country.
Kentucky: Hosts South Carolina on Tuesday night.
Alabama: Visits No. 13 Arkansas on Wednesday night.