The Kentucky Wildcats downed their in-state rival Louisville in an absolutely thrilling overtime victory. In that win, a few Wildcats really showed what they’re made of, stepping up in the clutch.
The team’s only game of the week, the Wildcats ended the night up eight, 78-70.
That wasn’t the picture that was painted when they were down three early in overtime and clawing their way back into the game. They rallied though, behind the terrific late-game play of Tyrese Maxey and Nick Richards.
Those two players, the most impactful on the court for Kentucky, were both given weekly honors from U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Richards was awarded the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week, the first Wildcat to win the award since PJ Washington, and Maxey was given the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Week. Richards was previously named the SEC Co-Player of the Week, while Maxey was named the SEC Freshman of the Week.
Maxey put up a career-high 27 points in the win. His previous career-high was 26, which he tallied in an upset win on college basketball’s first primetime showdown between the Wildcats and Michigan State. He also tied a career-high seven rebounds. He was 9/14 from the field, the second-best percentage of his career as well.
As for Richards, the junior forward also had a night to remember despite being in foul trouble the bulk of the second half.
Averaging 11.8 points per game, Richards ended the night with 13 points and 10 rebounds. It was his clutch, late-game free throw shooting that mattered the most, knocking down five of his seven attempts in the game and all three in overtime. He scored seven straight when UK went down 68-65 with two and a half minutes left to play.
These two led the way as the Wildcats took down their rival and continued to keep themselves in college basketball’s top 25.