Men’s Basketball: Cats hold off Georgia in SEC opener

GEORGIA AT KENTUCKY

RUPP ARENA | LEXINGTON, KY.

DEC. 31, 2017
ATTENDANCE: 22,682

 

Final Score: No. 16/15 Kentucky 66, Georgia 61

 

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 11-2 and has won two in a row. Georgia is 9-3. This was the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
  • Kentucky leads the series 125-26 and has won 10 in a row vs. the Bulldogs.
    • UK leads the series 61-5 in Lexington.
  • Kentucky begins the new year on Wednesday at LSU. Game time is 8:30 p.m. EST (7:30 p.m. CST in Baton Rouge, La.) and it will be televised on the SEC Network.

 

In the First Half

  • Kentucky’s starting lineup featured Quade Green, Hamidou Diallo, PJ Washington, Kevin Knox and Nick Richards for the 11th time this season. UK is 9-2 with this lineup.
  • Georgia got off to a good start, scoring the first six points of the game.
  • With the Wildcats trailing 10-4, Georgia went scoreless for more than six minutes while UK’s Green scored eight straight points to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game at 12-10.
    • Green connected on a 3-pointer with 13:40 remaining, giving Kentucky 1,026 consecutive games with a 3-pointer.
  • Georgia regained the lead and had its largest advantage at 27-20 before UK scored the last six points of the half.
  • Green had 13 points in the first half, tying his highest scoring first half of the season (Vermont).
  • Wenyen Gabriel came off the bench to claim eight rebounds, the best rebounding first half of any Wildcat this season. (Originally credited with nine on halftime box, revision came later.)
  • UK is 3-2 this season when trailing at halftime.

 

In the Second Half

  • After going 0 of 11 from 3-point range in the first half, Georgia opened the second stanza with two straight long balls to stretch the Bulldog lead to 33-26. Ironically, it was the only two 3-pointers that Georgia hit all night.
    • UK has held its last two opponents to 5 of 46 from behind the arc.
  • The Dogs continued hot, scoring on their first five possessions to go up 39-31.
  • Trailing 42-34, Kentucky gradually worked its way back and got the lead back at 47-46 with eight minutes to play.
  • Again trailing, this time at 53-49, UK’s 7-0 spurt gave the Cats a lead they would not relinquish at 56-53.
  • Ahead 58-57, UK got a driving layup by Gilgeous-Alexander with 1:56 to go, a 3-pointer by Gabriel at the 1:08 mark, and a foul shot by Gilgeous-Alexander with 37 seconds on the clock to push the cushion to 64-57.

 

Team Notes

  • UK held Georgia to 61 points. UK is 150-5 under Coach John Calipari when the opponent scores 63 or fewer points.
  • UK held Georgia to 39.7 percent from the field. UK is 6-1 this season when keeping the opponent under 40 percent.
  • UK limited Georgia to 2 of 21 from 3-point range, 9.5 percent.
    • The last time UK held an opponent to that few 3-pointers was Jan. 21, 2016 at Arkansas, when the Razorbacks made 2 of 12.
    • The last time UK held an opponent under 10 percent from long range was Nov. 13, 2015, when Albany made 7.1 percent (1 of 14).
  • UK outrebounded Georgia 42-38. The Wildcats have tied or outrebounded the opponent in 11 of 13 games this season.
  • UK won tonight despite shooting a season-low 31.5 percent from the field.
  • UK made 27 of 38 at the foul line, season highs in both categories.
  • UK had a season-low nine turnovers. After struggling in that department earlier in the season, UK is averaging just 11.2 miscues over the last four games.
  • Despite the concern about emotional letdown after playing rival Louisville, UK is 11-0 under Coach Calipari in the game immediately following the Cardinals.
  • Kentucky has won 15 in a row in Rupp Arena.

 

Player Notes

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played the super-sub role again, coming off the bench to post game highs with 21 points, four assists and three steals.
    • He had 24 points, four assists and three steals Friday vs. Louisville.
  • Hamidou Diallo had 10 points, his seventh consecutive game in double figures. He is averaging 17.6 points per game during that stretch.
    • Diallo also snagged nine rebounds, one shy of his career high.
  • Quade Green carried the offense in the first half and finished with 15 points. It is his eighth double-figure game of the season.
  • Wenyen Gabriel contributed six points and 11 rebounds, his third double-figure board game of the season.

 

Coach John Calipari

  • Calipari has a 705-195 all-time on-court record.
  • Calipari is now 260-55 at Kentucky.
  • Calipari is 144-6 at Rupp Arena, including 126-3 against unranked opponents.
  • Calipari is 15-2 vs. Georgia in his career.

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