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Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: Postgame Notes from Destruction of UIC

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The Cats caught fire and had one of the best offensive outings of the John Calipari era.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois-Chicago at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats cruised by the UIC Flames with a 107 to 73 win Sunday night at Rupp Arena. Kentucky had one of their better defensive outings of the young season on defense, holding the Flames to 40.6% from the field & 27.8% from behind the arc while forcing 21 turnovers.

Their offense was the best it has been all year, as they topped the century mark for the first time this season. The Wildcats caught fire to shoot 66.7% from the field in route to their 34-point win.

Kevin Knox had a monster night scoring the rock for the Cats, playing 33 minutes and netting 25 points on 9-13 shooting. He also shot 7-10 from the FT line with his 4 FG misses coming from behind the arc.

Hamidou Diallo (19), P.J. Washington (17), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (14), Quade Green (12) & Nick Richards (11) also managed to score in double figures.

Though Wenyen Gabriel played the fifth most minutes (23), he only put up 3 points on 1-4 shooting, with his lone 3-point make coming late in the second half after the Wildcats had already blown the Flames out of UIC.

Rebounding was a collective effort for the Cats, with 6’0 tall Green leading the way (6) followed by Alexander & Washington (5) then Gabriel (4) and Sacha Killeya Jones, Diallo, Wynyard & Richards (3).

Kentucky will have this week to practice & prepare for next Saturday’s matchup against Harvard at Rupp Arena. Tip-off is currently set for 3:30 P.M. EDT and will be aired on ESPN. ESPN’s Basketball Power Index giving the Cats an 87.3% chance to win.

Here are the postgame notes and milestones, courtesy of UK Athletics:

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky wins its fourth game in a row, improving to 6-1. UIC is 2-3.
  • This was the first meeting between UK and UIC in men’s basketball.
  • Next for the Wildcats: UK concludes the five-game home stand on Saturday as the Wildcats play host to Harvard. Game time is 3:30 p.m. and it will be televised on ESPN.

Coach John Calipari

  • Calipari has a 700-194 all-time on-court record.
  • He is just the 39th collegiate coach to reach 700 wins, regardless of classification. Only 27 coaches have done it with at least 10 seasons at the Division I level.
  • He is the fourth-fastest to 700 wins. Only Adolph Rupp (836 games), Jerry Tarkanian (876 games) and Roy Williams (879 games) have done it faster.
  • Calipari is now 255-54 at Kentucky.
  • Calipari is 140-6 at Rupp Arena.
  • Calipari is 1-0 vs. UIC in his career.

In the First Half

  • Kentucky’s starting lineup featured Quade Green, Hamidou Diallo, PJ Washington, Kevin Knox and Nick Richards for the sixth straight game.
  • Ahead 10-7, Kentucky created cushion with a 10-0 run and the Wildcats led by double digits the rest of the game.
  • Buoyed by a .667 shooting percentage, UK led at half 52-35.
  • It is the Wildcats’ highest scoring first half of the season and largest halftime lead.
  • UK’s previous best half of the season was 45 points vs. Fort Wayne and the best halftime advantage was 41-25 vs. Troy.
  • UK’s last 50-point half was the second half of the 2017 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game vs. UCLA.

In the Second Half

  • UIC got no closer than 16 points in the second half as the Cats coasted to victory.
  • UK surpassed the century mark with 4:08 to play on a Knox layup to make it 101-63.
  • UK’s 55 second-half points is the highest-scoring half of the season.
  • It was the Wildcats’ highest-scoring half since netting 60 at Ole Miss on Dec. 29, 2016

Team Notes

  • Kentucky scored a season-high 107 points.
  • It was UK’s first 100-point game since Jan. 3, 2017 against Texas A&M. and the fifth-highest point total of the Calipari era.
  • It was the Wildcats’ most points since pouring in 115 vs. Arizona State on Nov. 28, 2016
  • UK had its highest victory margin of the season at 34 points.
  • UK led by as many as 38 points in the game and is 220-4 in the John Calipari era in games that the Wildcats have led by at least 10 points.
  • UK shot 66.7 percent for the game.
  • It is the second-highest shooting percentage of the Calipari era, trailing only 67.7 percent vs. LIU-Brooklyn on Nov. 23, 2012.
  • UK won the rebounding, 37-33, the sixth consecutive game that the Wildcats won or tied the boardwork.
  • UK dominated points in the paint, 60-34.
  • UK had a season-best 22 assists.
  • Six players scored in double figures for the first time this season.
  • The last time that happened was Nov. 28, 2016, vs. Arizona State.

Player Notes

  • Kevin Knox poured in a career-high 25 points and has scored double figures in every game this season. Ironically, despite the career high, this is the first game that he has not made a 3-pointer.
  • Hamidou Diallo had a career-high 19 points and tied his personal best for assists with four.
  • PJ Washington tied career highs with 17 points and four assists.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a career-high 14 points and tied his career bests for assists (six) and rebounds (five).
  • Quade Green had 12 points while collecting a career-high six rebounds.
  • He has four straight games with at least 11 points, three assists and one 3-pointer.
  • Nick Richards scored 11 points and tied his career best for blocked shots with three.
  • In only five minutes, Tai Wynyard tied his career highs with four points and three rebounds.