LEXINGTON, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Kentucky did not forget last season's disappointing home opener.
Keith Bogans scored a season-high 21 points and Gerald Fitch had six of his career-high 18 during a key second-half run as the 18th-ranked Wildcats posted an 84-64 victory over High Point.
Kentucky is 24-3 in home openers at Rupp Arena but lost its first game here last season to state rival Western Kentucky. The Wildcats were not about to endure the same fate against coach Tubby Smith's alma mater.
Bogans and Fitch combined to make 17-of-24 shots as the Wildcats shot 63 percent (32-of-51) from the floor, including 7-of-15 from 3-point range. It was their best shooting performance since December 22, 2000.
Kentucky made 16-of-23 shots in the opening 20 minutes but had just a 38-32 halftime lead as High Point shot 52 percent (14-of-27). Bogans and Marquis Estill each scored 10 points in the first half for the Wildcats.
"I could see the frustration on coach's face in the first half," Fitch said. "As much work as we put in at practice, I knew he was disappointed with the way we came out to start the game."
The Panthers pulled with 39-37 on Brent Halsch's 3-pointer two minutes into the second half. Bogans responded with a jumper and Fitch followed with a layup to spark an 18-2 run.
"We came out and played more aggressive," said Kentucky center Jules Camara, who made two baskets during the run. "Our intensity really picked up in the second half."
Fitch added two more layups during the burst and freshman Kelenna Azubuike capped it with a 3-pointer for a 57-39 cushion with 11:26 to go.
"I thought everyone picked up the intensity a little bit (in the second half)," Smith said. "I thought Gerald, Chuck (Hayes) and and Keith really picked up the intensity on the perimeter in the second half."
"They made it tough on us (defensively) and they were scoring at the other end," High Point coach Jerry Steele said. "That's when they broke it open. We had zero success."
Hayes scored 11 points and seven rebounds and Camara added 10 and seven for the Wildcats, who own victories in their only two meetings with the Panthers.
Dustin Van-Weerdhuizen scored 18 points to lead High Point (2-2), which has lost its last two games after opening the season with consecutive victories.
"Knowing that we have the ability to play with a team like Kentucky for the entire first half is a good sign," Van-Weerdhuizen said. "Kentucky picked up their intensity in the second half. They just wore us down a little."
Danny Gathings scored 14 points and Joe Knight added 10 for the Panthers, who shot 48 percent (26-of-54) from the floor but could not overcome 20 turnovers leading to 24 points for the Wildcats.