Kentucky cruised past Hofstra 96-73 in the Big Apple thanks to big performances by Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe.
The Cats started out slow, being up by less than 10 points basically the entire first half, but a late surge put UK up by 15 at halftime after a last-second three by Malik Monk.
Monk finished the game with 20 points, converting 40 percent of his shots from three-point range. He also added four assist to his impressive point total.
Isaiah Briscoe finished with 19 points, shooting 8-11 from the floor. Briscoe tacked on six assist to his impressive stat line.
Many people will look at this game and say, "it's Hofstra, what's the big deal?" The big deal is the Cats are now traveling to Las Vegas to compete against one of the nation’s top-10 teams, North Carolina. This win was a huge win, because now Kentucky has had two impressive wins while bouncing back from that tough loss against UCLA.
This game showed more than just Briscoe and Monk can score a lot. Derek Willis had eight rebounds. Willis has had struggles all season rebounding the ball, so this is a very positive stat. The Cats also had eight blocks and only committed seven turnovers.
Hofstra may not be UCLA or North Carolina, but this game should make you feel better going into Vegas next Saturday. Here is a look at the postgame notes and milestones, courtesy of UK Athletics:
Team Records and Series Notes
- Kentucky is 9-1. Hofstra is 6-5.
- This was the first meeting between the two teams.
- Kentucky is 3-0 in neutral-site games this season. All of UK’s games away from Rupp Arena have been at neutral sites, thus far.
- Kentucky is 3-1 all-time at Barclays Center.
In the First Half
- Kentucky started the lineup of Isaiah Briscoe, De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Derek Willis and Bam Adebayo for the fourth time this season and first game since the third game of the year.
- The Wildcats opened the scoring on a Briscoe layup 15 seconds in. They never trailed.
- Kentucky stretched the lead to double digits for the first time at the 10:18 mark, 24-14.
- Willis made a 3-pointer at the 18:01 mark, extending Kentucky’s streak of 3-pointers to 985 consecutive games, the longest streak in the nation.
- Hofstra closed the deficit to as few as three at the under-four timeout, 36-33, but Kentucky did not allow Hofstra to score from there until halftime.
- UK closed the half on a 12-0 run.
In the Second Half
- Kentucky scored the first six points of the second half.
- By stretching the run to begin the second half, UK’s run ended at 18-0 over 5:20 spanning from the end of the first half to early in the second half. It was Kentucky’s second largest run of the year.
- UK ultimately stretched that run to 26-3.
- Calipari has a 671-188 (.781) on-court record, including a 226-48 (.825) mark at UK.
- Kentucky shot 51.4 percent from the field, marking the sixth time in 10 games the Cats made more than half their shots.
- UK had 20 assists on 37 made baskets. It was the fifth time this season that UK has topped the 20-assist plateau.
- Freshman Bam Adebayo finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.
- He reached double-figure scoring for the seventh game in a row, and the eighth of the last nine.
- Freshman Malik Monk had 20 points, and has reached double figures in all 10 games this season.
- He scored 20+ points for the sixth time overall, and has reached that threshold in five of the last six.
- He’s the first player to score 10 or more in 10 consecutive games since Jamal Murray scored 10 or more in 34 consecutive games.
- Knocked down four 3-pointers and has made at least one 3-pointer in all 10 games this season.
- He has hit four or more from long range in four games.
- Senior Derek Willis tallied eight points, and a game-high eight rebounds.
- It’s the first time this season Willis has led the team in rebounding.
- The eight boards are a season high.
- Sophomore Isaiah Briscoe had 19 points.
- He scored 15 in the first half, making his first six attempts.
- His 15 first-half points were two shy of his first-half season-high, which he recorded against Canisius (Nov. 13)
- He has reached double-figure scoring in all eight games he’s played in.
- He finished with six assists, one shy of his career-high.
- Freshman De’Aaron Fox scored 15 points, reaching double-figures for the ninth time this season, after scoring nine – his only game with fewer than 10 points against Valpo.
- Senior Dominique Hawkins dished out three assists and now has 29 on the season.
- He also made a 3-pointer and connected on both free-throw attempts
UK will play their next game against North Carolina on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The game will be televised on CBS at 5:45 p.m. ET.