Jones has 27 points, No. 1 UK beats LSU 74-50
By BRETT MARTEL
"When stuff like that happens to one of your brothers, you don't like that," Jones said. "The only way we could redeem that is by continuing to play hard, just show it through the score."
Jones did precisely that, highlighting a season-high 27-point performance with a 13-0 run on his own, and No. 1 Kentucky pulled away in the second half for a 74-50 win over struggling LSU on Saturday.
Jones also grabbed nine rebounds, and his dominance became a talking point for Kentucky coach John Calipari, who said he hopes his 6-foot-8, 244-pound sophomore power forward will assert himself more during the remainder of the season.
"My point to him is ... if this is who you are, then you should be this every game," Calipari said. "That's what we've all been waiting on and he makes us different."
Davis finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds despite briefly leaving the game when he hurt his right shoulder in a scramble for a loose ball. Darius Miller added 13 points, including three 3-pointers for Kentucky (21-1 7-0 Southeastern), which has won 13 straight.
Johnny O'Bryant III had 12 points and nine rebounds for LSU (12-9, 2-5), which has lost five of six.
Storm Warren added 11 points for the Tigers, including an alley-oop dunk that briefly got them within 25-24 late in the first half before the Wildcats steadily pulled away for good and turned the second half into a blowout.
"We were looking forward to (playing Kentucky) and were hoping it would be a lot closer game," Warren said. "For it to turn out this way, it is pretty devastating for us."
The Wildcats outrebounded the Tigers 39-29, and outshot LSU 47 percent (26 of 55) to 40 percent (21 of 53). Kentucky was 7 of 15 from 3-point range, while LSU was 1 of 9.
"They beat us every which way," LSU coach Trent Johnson said. "That is a pretty good basketball team. ... The only thing that is disturbing to me is - forget the score - during the course of the second half, we just stopped fighting and competing. That is the first time this season that I have seen that from this group."
Jones came in averaging 11.6 points this season and had not been as consistently productive as Kentucky had hoped since he missed two games with a dislocated left pinky in late December. In his previous outing at Georgia, he scored five points.
Against LSU, he said he sought "to play with the mentality I was playing with before I got hurt and just to be more aggressive."
He scored the last four points of the first half, giving him 10 at that stage. Then he helped Kentucky break the game open by scoring the first nine of the second half on two dunks, a fast-break layup and another basket inside as he was fouled.
His last of 13 straight points in the game gave Kentucky a 44-26 lead. A few minutes later, Jones made his ninth field goal in 11 shots on a short jumper in the lane that gave him 21 points and put the Wildcats up 51-30.
"It just happened to be my game," said Jones, who hit 10 of 16 shots overall and seven of eight free throws. "Different games, guys stepped up and had runs and played real well for us, and I just think today it was my turn."
LSU's frustration began to show when Malcolm White prevented a fast-break layup by grabbing Davis from behind by the shoulders and pulling him down. White was ejected for a flagrant foul. Davis was down momentarily but got back up and kept playing.
"I asked him, `Were you faking it or did they really hit you?'" Calipari recalled. "He said, `Oh, they were whacking me, but I was from Chicago. I just kept getting up.'"
LSU missed its first five shots and 11 of its first 15.
Davis went down hard on his back during a scramble for a loose ball in the first half and remained down after the play before getting up grimacing and holding his right shoulder.
While Davis was out of the game, LSU went on an 8-1 run capped when Warren finished a fast break by taking lob from Anthony Hickey to cut Kentucky's lead to a point.
The crowd was still on its feet and howling when Marquis Teague calmly answered with a 3. Miller added another 3 soon after as the Wildcats closed the half on a 10-2 run to take a 35-26 lead into the locker room. LSU would not threaten again.
"That's probably the best we've played all year," Calipari said. "That's as good as we can play. We beat anybody playing this way."
Updated January 29, 2012