The Kentucky Wildcats returned to the hardwood Saturday, as they faced their first Power 5 team since Michigan State, as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets made the trip to Rupp.
On the strength of their defense,the Wildcats were able to improve to 8-1 on the season with a 67-53 win.
One name of note coming back to Rupp was Bubba Parham who knocked down 10 threes and went for 35 points in 2018 when he played for VMI.
The Cats and the Jackets came out strong in the first half as each team shot at least 50% from the field.
However, it was a big half for Ashton Hagans as he tallied 11 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals while shooting 5/6 from the field.
Kentucky came out very strong in the second half as they quickly extended their lead to 12.
Georgia Tech would go away as they answered the Cats’ run and cut the lead back down to 3. That’s when Kentucky’s defense really put the clamps down, holding the Jackets to just 12 points over the final 13:48 of game time, reminding everyone this team can be elite defensively.
In the end, Hagans was able to play a very solid game going for 21 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals as he continues to be the Cats’ best player.
Also, the football team was honored during the game as they brought out the Governor’s Cup trophy following their third win over Louisville in four years. A great day to be a Wildcat indeed.
Here is what Twitter had to say about the win.
Mood @H23Ash #BBN #CatsBy90 pic.twitter.com/kTruNnedtQ— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) December 14, 2019
Fought for this one and finished off an eight-game homestand.#BBN #TGT pic.twitter.com/i40uwOjSnI— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 15, 2019
UK 15 of 18 at foul line. Nice 83 percent mark— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) December 15, 2019
Cats also had 18 assists, fifth straight game with at least 18 assists
When this team falls in love with the easy pass, they’ll be very tough to beat.— Travis Graf (@Trav_Graf) December 14, 2019
Light bulb is now on for Keion Brooks. Another bucket gives him six points in 10 minutes today. Had 15 points in 16 minutes last time out.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 14, 2019
Math: That's 21 points his last 26 minutes. Looking active, skilled, bouncy lately.
Nick Richards' baseline mid-range jumper is always money. Seemingly always goes in.— OTHeroics - Kentucky Wildcats (@OTHwildcats) December 14, 2019
Bubba Parham is a dude I would be glad to see graduate— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) December 14, 2019
Has to be a starter on the all-time random dude Rupp Arena team
Kentucky finished half on 15-4 run, tightened up defense on Ga Tech.— Mark Mathis (@markmathisMI) December 14, 2019
First half thoughts:— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) December 14, 2019
- Brooks is showcasing his potential. Come March he could be one of UK’s more important players.
- Hagans playing aggressive and I LIKE it.
- Maxey is going through a nasty slump right now but it’s hard to tell because he still plays so hard.
- 94 feet.
A #BBN embrace of our team today in @Rupp_Arena.#BringIt pic.twitter.com/EjRmhRjVCV— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) December 15, 2019
Lynn Bowden’s chain. pic.twitter.com/1AlR7FuWfQ— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) December 14, 2019
Good stuff happens when Tyrese Maxey has the ball in his hands and is playin downhill. Would like to see that more often. Keion Brooks is a ballplayer and needs more minutes.— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) December 14, 2019
Nick Richards with an emphatic block in the paint. This guy is gonna be so raw come SEC play.— Mohammad Ahmad (@Mohammad_KYK) December 14, 2019
Quickley has done a lot of great things tonight that haven’t shown up in the box score. He’s been a great ball-mover and secondary facilitator from the wing.— Travis Graf (@Trav_Graf) December 14, 2019
He’s got the defense off balance multiple times when he has beat his man off the bounce.
Nick Richards on a bit of a shot-blocking tear. He has 17 blocks in the last 4.5 games.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 14, 2019
Maxey making the players around him better. I like this version of him as distributor.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 14, 2019
Really likes what Keion Brooks brings to the table. You can put him just about anywhere on the floor at either end and he's fine.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) December 14, 2019
Keion Brooks making monster strides!!! Really impressed with how his game has developed. He’s playing awesome!— Nick Bibbins (@NickyBibs11) December 14, 2019
Today has not been a good one for corralling loose balls and 50/50 balls for Kentucky. Nick Richards having three rebounds is inexcusable. Cats by four, 10:05 to go. https://t.co/z5QdLwuT43— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 14, 2019
Ashton Hagans hitting the outside jumper is such a huge plus for this team.— Travis Graf (@Trav_Graf) December 14, 2019
This time last year, dudes were already boxing out when he lined one up.
Is. It. A. Charge??? pic.twitter.com/X96YTA12RS— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) December 14, 2019
Georgia Tech's Michael Devoe came in ranked 15th nationally and first in the ACC in scoring at 21.4 ppg.— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) December 15, 2019
Tonight: 5 pts (2-11 FG, 0-5 3PFG), 4 TO
Maxey and Ashton are WORKING on the defensive end— Eric Murphy (@emurphy24) December 14, 2019
The whistle has been a lot worse in the second half. This game has had a nice flow at times. Not so much lately.— Derek Terry (@DerekSTerry) December 14, 2019
This has been a really strange game.— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) December 14, 2019
No real flow
Ice Cream Beard
Hagans has been great though
Josh Pastner has punched the scorer's table, gotten a sideline warning, stormed way out on the court during several stoppages to scream at officials and called back-to-back timeouts that resulted in a ... shot-clock violation.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 14, 2019
He seems totally out of his freaking mind today.
Lots of people complaining about Maxey missing shots but his defense has been the difference this game— Robert Kahne (@rkahne) December 14, 2019
UK’s bigs better step up their stuff. Brooks is going to start getting their minutes.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) December 14, 2019
Yellow Jackets big man James Banks came into today averaging 11.3 points and 8.4 rebounds.— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) December 15, 2019
Tonight: 6 points, 2 rebounds
On-court live with @NateSestina23 #TGT #GTvsUK https://t.co/2J9S8XEw1p— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 15, 2019
I’ll say the same thing for Nick Richards that I said for Maxey. Georgia Tech big man James Banks came in averaging almost a double double. He fouls out with 6 points & 2 rebounds. @KentuckyRivals @RowlandRIVALS @Trav_Graf— David Sisk (@CoachDavidSisk) December 14, 2019
You could make a compelling case for a Hagans, Maxey, Quickley, BROOKS, Richards starting lineup right now.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 14, 2019
third game this season UK Has held opponent to 55 or fewer points— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) December 15, 2019
Closed this eight-game homestand with a 67-53 win over Georgia Tech. On to two games in Las Vegas next week #BBN #TGT pic.twitter.com/5KcxI2WWIy— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 15, 2019
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