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December 5, 2012

SEC BASKETBALL: Kentucky runs away from Samford 88-56

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky's 88-56 rout of Samford Tuesday night should have provided a bright spot for the Wildcats considering it ended a two-game losing streak.

How the Wildcats finished it bothered coach John Calipari, who plans to reward his team with three weeks at Camp Cal. And it's not the kind of Christmas vacation they might envision.

"We're going to condition in the morning for the next three weeks and then practice in the afternoon," Calipari said, "because I can't think of any other reason why you wouldn't come out in the second half and play. Especially with what we've been going through.

"You need to learn how to play a full game. They had that opportunity today. So we have to chalk it up to they're not in shape. They will be."

Calipari liked many aspects of the Wildcats' victory. Archie Goodwin scored 18 points, Alex Poythress added 16 and all five Kentucky starters scored in double figures.

Nerlens Noel added 13 points while Julius Mays and Kyle Wiltjer each had 10 for the Wildcats (5-3), who shot 34 of 61 from the field (56 percent) against the Bulldogs after hitting just 40 of 118 in back-to-back losses against Notre Dame and Baylor.

But after rolling to a 45-14 halftime lead, Kentucky outscored Samford by just a point in the second half and Calipari believes that suggests a lack of fitness or commitment. Either way, he plans to address it by the time the Wildcats begin their Southeastern Conference schedule in January.

"Some of it may be mentally, you're not strong enough, you're soft," he said. "So conditioning is good. It makes you stronger mentally."

Willie Cauley-Stein added 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for Kentucky, coming off a rough week that left the Wildcats outside the Top 25 for the first time under Calipari.

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