While the score was much closer than Kentucky fans would like, there’s no denying that the Wildcats’ 82-77 win over the Georgia Bulldogs took guts, heart and a great performance from De’Aaron Fox down the stretch.
After Georgia’s Yante Maten went down early, it seemed like the Bulldogs had no chance. But J.J. Frazier gave them all the momentum for most of the game. It wasn’t until the Cats settled in and went on a second half run that they took control of the game and slipped away from Athens with a win.
Here are three things to know.
Yante Maten went down, but Georgia stayed composed
Georgia star Yante Maten, who’s averaging 19.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this year, went down very early in the game with a knee injury.
When he first went down everyone feared the worst. He got up and hobbled to the locker room, and returned to the bench later, but did not return to the game.
Despite missing their best player, Georgia was up to the task in taking on the Cats. They kept it close the whole way, trailing by just 2 points at the half and trading baskets (and the lead) with Kentucky for most of the second half.
This was mostly due to the incredible game that J.J. Frazier had. He scored 36 points and shot 50%. The 5’10” guard channeled his inner Tyler Ulis (or his inner Isaiah Thomas), but still came up short.
De’Aaron Fox erupted late in the game
Coming down the stretch in the second half, Fox had just 2 points on 1-8 shooting. He was 0-2 from the free throw line. And then he (thankfully) came to life. He scored 10 of Kentucky’s last 13 points, including eight straight made free throws, and finished the game with 17 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds.
De'Aaron Fox with a fantastic play. pic.twitter.com/eCEQEyFd4I— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) February 19, 2017
How he avoided walking on this play, I have no idea, but it was one of several great plays inside by Fox tonight.
Bam Adebayo’s block was Anthony Davis-like
Adebayo’s block was so clutch, it reminds me of Davis’ against North Carolina.
Sure, this game shouldn’t have been as close as the 2011 game against the Tar Heels, but it was a clutch block nonetheless. Adebayo swatted the shot back with 33 seconds left and the game tied at 75. He had one of the best performances for Kentucky today, scoring 13 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. He also blocked 2 shots, including the one seen above.