That was a good-looking 93-76 win for Kentucky.
The Wildcats obliterated Monmouth in Madison Square Garden thanks to big-time performances from PJ Washington and Hamidou Diallo. But it wasn’t perfect, as the Cats committed a lot of turnovers and lost to that battle to a Monmouth team that averages 17 turnovers per game.
Monmouth held it close for a little while, but Kentucky used a 9-0 run and an 11-0 run in the first half to pull away and they never looked back.
Here are three things to know.
PJ Washington had a career day
Washington had a career-high in points today with 20. He opened the game with 16 first half points, the most by any Kentucky player in a half this season. He didn’t have a single miss in that half. He finished 5-8 from the field and a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line. He also had five rebounds, an assist and two blocks, including this incredible pin against the backboard.
PJ Washington with the pin against the backboard. pic.twitter.com/zV7J9mHQe0— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) December 9, 2017
Head coach John Calipari said during the halftime interview that Washington has lost a lot of weight in the last half-month or so. Cal added that he’s going to be one of the team’s best players by the end of the year.
And so did Hamidou Diallo
Hamidou Diallo scored at least 19 points in his third straight game today, and set a career-high scoring with 23 points in his homecoming game to the mecca of basketball. He led all scorers, and also chipped in three rebounds, an assist and a steal.
It was Diallo’s first game scoring 20+ points this year. The redshirt freshman was an efficient 8-13 from the field and went 1-2 from deep.
One of Diallo’s best plays of the day was a pull-up jumper on the break. He stopped on a dime and stepped back with ease.
Big time bucket by Hamidou Diallo pic.twitter.com/TbzSYR3x9u— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) December 9, 2017
He also used his handles to embarrass Monmouth’s defense.
My goodness, Hamidou Diallo. pic.twitter.com/Ao4Xr0Ha8U— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) December 9, 2017
Kevin Knox’s struggles
The historic Madison Square Garden gets the best of some. Perhaps that was the case in Knox’s rare off day. Knox went just 1-10 from the field, including 1-5 from 3-point range for just four points. He had a team-high seven turnovers.
This was easily Knox’s worst game of the season. He had his worst shooting percentage of the year (10), and by far the most turnovers he’s had all year. It’s also the first time all year he hasn’t scored in double-digits.
But on a high note, Knox had eight rebounds, a team-high. He also chipped in three assists, two steals and a block.
Now, let’s talk about the win!