Kentucky coach John Calipari had warned his team that the Ohio Valley Conference school would do this and it took most of the first half for his players to adjust.
Morehead State paid a price for their aggression, 13-3 foul discrepancy resulting in a 14-2 free throw edge for Kentucky. That helped the Wildcats rally over the final 5 minutes of the first half for a 32-21 lead at intermission.
An 11-4 run over the first 2:48 of the second half put Morehead State back ahead, forcing Kentucky to rally again. And free throws made the difference as the Wildcats converted five straight before Mays added a 3-pointer and a drive to provide breathing room at 60-50.
Kentucky played again without sophomore guard Ryan Harrow, who left the team earlier in the day with his mother to tend to a family matter in Georgia. He had missed the previous two games with an undisclosed illness and is not expected to return before the weekend.