While it was not a dominant start by any means, the Kentucky Wildcats looked better in the opening minutes against the Georgia Bulldogs than they have in other SEC games.
After trailing by a small margin early, Kentucky took the lead in the middle of the first half and never looked back, rolling to a 69-49 victory.
It was yet another suffocating defensive effort by the Wildcats, as it marked the second-straight game Kentucky held the opponent to under 50 points.
Ashton Hagans had another four steals (one was added to his statsheet after it was incorrectly given to Tyler Herro), Georgia only scored 18 points in the second half, and Nick Richards changed the game with quality minutes defending the rim off of the bench.
The Wildcats were led in scoring by Ashton Hagans with a career-high 23 points to go with four assists, and Richards led the way in the paint with seven rebounds and three blocks.
The way that this season is mirroring last year is becoming almost eerie. Just as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander rose to prominence to establish himself as the most important player on the 2017-2018 team, Ashton Hagans appears to be doing the same. In playing against a team to which he once committed in his home state, Hagans looked unstoppable and earned the MVP of the game.
After starting only 1 of 7 from the field, Hagans showed that he can shoot from the outside and has the ability to get in the paint at-will. For the game, he hit 50% of his shots and made 1 of 3 three-pointers. He finished with 23 points, five rebounds, four assists, four steals, and just one turnover.
Despite getting booed every time he touched the ball, Hagans showed in a hostile environment that he is becoming the guy for this team. If he can drag some of the others along with him, this group has the potential to do something special.
A Sea of Blue comes loaded with the best Kentucky Wildcats links, news, analysis, and some other fun stuff, so be sure to go ‘like’ our Facebook page and then go follow our Twitter. And be sure to check out our latest Kentucky shirt.