LAHAINA, Hawaii (Ticker) -- Keith Bogans helped keep the critics off Tubby Smith's back for one game.
Bogans had 20 points and seven rebounds as 16th-ranked Kentucky opened its 100th season of men's basketball with an 82-65 victory over Arizona State in the first round of the Maui Invitational.
Kentucky (1-0) will meet Virginia in Tuesday's semifinals. The Wildcats turned in a strong performance that was unlike their two exhibition games, including one last week in which they were booed off the court.
Smith said the trip to Hawaii was welcome because of the "positive atmosphere," and it proved so for Bogans. The senior scored 13 points in the first half after struggling with his shooting in the exhibition games.
Bogans shot below 40 percent last season and saw his scoring average drop to a career-low 11.6 points per game. But he made 7-of-10 shots and drained three 3-pointers against Arizona State.
The Wildcats took a 15-7 lead on a dunk by freshman Antwain Barbour and Bogans drilled a 3-pointer for a 20-9 advantage with just under 13 minutes left before halftime. Freshman Josh Carrier had a pair of 3-pointers in an 8-2 spurt to open a 20-point cushion at 38-18 with 6:47 remaining.
Arizona State (1-1) cut the deficit to 43-30 at halftime, but Kentucky stretched it out again in the second half. Barbour put in an acrobatic layup off a feed from Gerald Fitch and Jules Camara added a layup for a 60-41 bulge with 13 minutes to go.
A 3-pointer by Kenny Crandall capped a 9-0 spurt and pulled Arizona State within 66-54 with 7:20 to play. Marquis Estill scored six points during an 8-4 burst for Kentucky that sealed the triumph.
Estill scored 14 points and Fitch and Barbour each added 13 for Kentucky, which shot 51 percent (29-of-57). Camara provided energy off the bench with nine points on 4-of-7 shooting.
Estill, who made 6-of-8 shots, led the charge as Kentucky outscored Arizona State in the paint, 36-18.
Jamal Hill scored 16 points and freshman Ike Diogu added 13 and eight rebounds for Arizona State, which shot just 36.5 percent (23-of-63). The Sun Devils got just 10 points from their bench.
The Wildcats improved to 6-1 all-time in the Maui Invitational.