Willie Cauley-Stein scored a season-high 21 points and made several defensive plays to key Kentucky's 18-2 run to open the second half, helping the top-ranked Wildcats pull out a 63-51 win over No. 6 Texas on Friday night in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
Normally playing on the first of Kentucky's two talented platoons, Cauley-Stein began alongside fellow 7-footer Dakari Johnson and 6-10 Trey Lyles on the second squad and the big trio sparked the Wildcats' game-changing sequence after a 26-all halftime tie.
They combined for the spurt's first 10 points before Cauley-Stein's tip-in provided a 44-28 lead with 11:20 remaining. That gave Kentucky (8-0) the cushion to hold off the stubborn Longhorns (7-1), who closed to 56-51 with 1:44 left before Cauley-Stein added a free throw and dunk.
Cauley-Stein added 12 rebounds for Kentucky, which was outrebounded 42-31 by Texas. Johnson finished with 11 points and Karl-Anthony Towns added 10.
Walter Cornett, of Glendale, Kentucky, is the owner and operator of Walter's Wildcat World. He founded WildcatWorld.com in 1998 making it one of the oldest Kentucky basketball fan sites in operation today.