The Kentucky Wildcats weathered quite a storm in Bud Walton Arena today, winning as an underdog over Arkansas 73-66. The Wildcats blew an 11 point lead and trailed by as many as 3 before running away with the game in the last 8 minutes.
Nick Richards led the way for Kentucky with 17 points, while Immanuel Quickley set the pace on the glass with 10 rebounds. This win was very much a team effort, and a great coaching job by Kenny Payne and the rest of the staff while John Calipari watch the last 8 minutes from the locker room after being ejected.
The Wildcats desperately needed this win after falling at South Carolina on Wednesday. They will host Georgia on Tuesday to try and improve to 5-1 in the SEC.
I have been told that I have to choose an MVP for this game. It was not pretty in any sense of the word, and no particular Wildcat looked good during the game. John Calipari’s ejection seemed to make the biggest impact, but Nick Richards is going to get the nod from me here.
Richards spent an inexplicable amount of time on the bench in the second half with just one foul. But when he did return after EJ Montgomery fouled out, he did just about whatever he wanted. A smaller Arkansas team had trouble guarding Richards in any scenario, and he was strong from the free throw line, hitting 5/6.
Richards re-entered the game with Kentucky trailing by 3, and then within 4 minutes the Wildcats had a 10 point lead. He finished the game with 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks. He continues to be a star for this team, and tonight he made all the difference in the second half.