After spotting Miles College a seven-point halftime lead, Kentucky pulled its act together Friday night behind point guard Sahvir Wheeler. He sparked a second-half run to lead the Cats to a 80-71 win at Rupp Arena. Wheeler scored six points in an 8-0 run that gave the Cats the lead for the first time.

Miles raced out to the first-half lead thanks to three-point shooting. The Golden Bears hit 11 of 15 triples in the first half before cooling off in the second, with just four of 15.

Wheeler and TyTy Washington, Jr., led UK with 15 points and six assists apiece.

Freshman guard TyTy Washington drives for two of his 15 points vs. Miles College

“I thought Sahvir defensively was ridiculous,” Calipari said. “It’s hard to play that way for 30 minutes or more, but he did it. And I thought TyTy did some good stuff.”

Calipari said both point guards, as of now, probably deserve 30 minutes a game. And, he said, he liked their leadership. “(Sahvir) was coaching in every huddle. TyTy was doing the same,” he said.

  Kellan Grady, the veteran transfer guard, hit all three of his attempts from behind the arc on his way to 13 points. Jacob Toppin hit five of seven shots on his way to 12 points.

Oscar Tshiebwe pitched in only four points but led all players with 12 rebounds. Calipari said Tshiebwe had been battling illness and had missed four days of practice.

Kentucky hit 31 of 63 (49.2 percent) from the floor in the game, including 11 of 19 (57.9 percent) from three-point range. The Cats got 36 points in the paint, 27 points off the bench and 26 points off of 18 Miles turnovers.

Jacob Toppin soars for a dunk vs. Miles College

Calipari said Kentucky needs more from his front-liners.

“We’re going to have to play better. We have to have some post presence,” Calipari said. “You guys know what I say when you have no post presence. You’ve got to be able to throw it there and get a couple easy baskets. So it’s both defensively and offensively.”

The Wildcats open the regular season on Tuesday, taking on Duke in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York. Tipoff is set for approximately 9:30 ET. The game can be seen on ESPN and you can hear it on the UK Sports Network.

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