By STEVE McCLAIN
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kellan Grady spoiled Tubby Smith’s return to Rupp Arena, making seven 3-pointers to lead No. 18 Kentucky to a 92-48 victory over High Point on Friday.
Smith coached Kentucky for 10 years from 1997-2007, winning the NCAA title in 1998. The High Point alum was hired to coach the Panthers in March 2018.
Kentucky honored Smith with a raised jersey in Rupp, but it wasn’t very hospitable during the game.
Grady finished with 23 points. TyTy Washington had 15 points and nine assists for the Wildcats (11-2), and Oscar Tshiebwe finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Kentucky shot 58% from the field in the first and led 43-25 at the break. High Point closed to 47-34 on Zach Austin’s 3-pointer with 17:14 left, but Grady responded with three more 3s to help the Wildcats pull away.
Austin and John-Michael Wright each had 12 points and six rebounds for High Point (6-8).
Kentucky went 18 for 31 from 3-point range. Grady was 7 for 10, and Washington went 3 for 5. The starters left the game with about 10 minutes left, giving the Wildcats some rest.
High Point opens Big South Conference play at home against Winthrop on Wednesday.
Kentucky faces a challenging SEC road opener on Tuesday at No. 16 LSU.
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