The Cats got off to a hot start with a little help from PJ Washington. Thanks to some lockdown defense, UK went into the half with a 37-26 lead.
But the offense disappeared in the second half. Houston’s defense made their presence known and Kentucky struggled to find an answer.
It was a terrific defensive effort by the Cats. They got contributions on the glass and on defense across the board. Even when they went on scoring droughts, the defense never faded.
Reid Travis was a force tonight. But not in the way we’re accustomed to. He didn’t score a ton, but he never let up on the glass. UK’s biggest advantage was crashing the boards and Reid took advantage.
Immanuel Quickley gave excellent minutes off the bench. Ashton Hagans sat a lot with foul trouble and Quickley picked up the slack.
Tyler Herro played insane defense for the second consecutive game, but it was more than just that. He hit big shot after big shot and knocked down the game-clinching free throws.
I lost a few years off my life after that game, which is probably the case with most of the Big Blue Nation, but it’s always worth it for the Cats. This was a game we won’t soon forget.
Next up, the Cats will face off against the Auburn Tigers for the third time this season at a chance for the Final Four.
You’re MVP is none other than PJ Washington. What a gutsy performance in what I can imagine was extremely painful.
PJ check in and Kentucky fans across the Bluegrass cheered. And boy did we need it.
Herro scored the most, but PJ saved them. He blocked the game-tying floater with less than 20 seconds remaining to help the Cats hold on.
PJ finished with 16 points on 6-8 shooting. It wasn’t perfect, but it was enough.
He wasn’t fully healthy. He wasn’t 100%. But he propelled UK to victory tonight.
That’s enough for MY MVP.
Go Cats! And it’s time to continue the quest for banner number 9!