The Kentucky Wildcats are back on track following Saturday’s 73-66 win at Arkansas, which came three days after a gut-wrenching defeat at South Carolina.
Coming into the week, it appeared the Wildcats were starting to hit their stride after winning four straight and climbing back into the top 10. However, the loss in Columbia proved to be quite debilitating since South Carolina was a team with seven losses, which included Stetson, Northern Iowa and Boston University.
But as painful as that loss was, the Cats got just the rebound win they needed with a road triumph over a Razorbacks team that probably would have been a top-25 team next week had they won. This is actually a Quadrant I win for Kentucky, who now owns four such wins.
Following Saturday’s game, UK Athletics released its update season stats for the 2019-20 Wildcats, as well as postgame notes and milestones from the loss in Fayetteville.
2019-20 Season Statistics
Postgame Notes and Milestones
Team Records and Series Notes
- Kentucky’s record is 13-4 and is 4-1 in Southeastern Conference play. This is the eighth time in 11 seasons that UK has started 4-1 or better in league play under Coach John Calipari.
- Arkansas is now 14-3, 3-2 in the SEC. This was the Razorbacks’ first home setback of the season. They are now 10-1 in Bud Walton Arena.
- UK leads the series 33-11 and has won eight in a row against the Razorbacks.
- UK leads 9-7 in games played in Fayetteville, including three wins in a row.
- Next up: Kentucky hosts Georgia on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. telecast on ESPN.
- The Wildcats defeated the Bulldogs last week in Athens, Georgia, 78-69.
- Immanuel Quickley got his first start since the Utah game on Dec. 18 and played all 40 minutes, totaling his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
o He’s averaging 18 points over the last six games, including 17 of 32 on 3-point shots.
o The 10 rebounds are a career high.
- With a team-high 17 points, Nick Richards scored in double figures for the sixth straight game and 13th time this season. He’s averaging 16 points over the last six games.
- He also had nine rebounds, narrowly missing a double-double.
- Ashton Hagans extended his five-or-more-assists streak to 14 straight games (six today), the best streak since Tyler Ulis did it 24 straight games in 2015-16.
o He also scored 13 points and had six rebounds.
- Tyrese Maxey had 11 points and six rebounds.
o He’s scored in double figures in seven of the last eight games.
o He scored five straight points during the decisive 15-0 second-half run.
- Keion Brooks Jr. played arguably his best overall game with 10 points and seven rebounds. It was the second game in a row that Brooks collected seven boards.
- He hit four free throws late to seal the game.
Coach John Calipari
- Calipari is now 318-75 at UK.
- He has a 763-215 all-time on-court record.
- UK is 257-43 vs. Associated Press unranked competition under Calipari.
- UK is 53-13 in “bounce back” games following losses under Calipari (does not count end-of-season losses).
- He is 13-6 all-time vs. Arkansas.
- The Wildcats are 140-39 vs. SEC competition in regular-season play under Calipari. He’s 348-105 all-time in regular-season conference games.
- After struggling on the backboards recently, Kentucky rebounded – literally and figuratively – with a 47-29 domination today.
- The plus-18 margin is UK’s third-largest of the season and best since Nov. 18 vs. Utah Valley.
- UK got 35 defensive rebounds while Arkansas retrieved only eight of its missed shots.
- Kentucky limited Arkansas to 33.3% from the field.
- UK is now 196-18 in the Calipari era and 9-2 this season when keeping the opponent to 40% or less.
- UK shot 44.4% from the field and is now 12-1 this season when outshooting the opponent.
- A balanced scoring effort saw five Wildcats land in double figures. It’s the second time this season at least five Cats did so in the same game. They also did it last time vs. Eastern Kentucky.
- Kentucky led by 12 points in the second half. UK is now 273-7 under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points at any time in the contest.
- UK also led by 11 earlier in the game and let the lead slip away but came back build another double-digit lead.
- The Wildcats’ 15-0 second-half run was their third-best run of the season.
In the First Half
- The starting lineup consisted of Ashton Hagans, Tyrese Maxey, Immanuel Quickley, EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards for the third time this season. The Wildcats are 2-1 with the lineup.
- Both teams started hot early, with Arkansas making its first three 3-point shots and Hagans making UK’s first two long tries.
- Nate Sestina was UK’s first sub at the 13:57 mark. He immediately hit a 3-pointer, breaking a 12-12 tie and providing a lead that the Wildcats held the remainder of the half.
- A 3-pointer by Johnny Juzang with 5:26 left pushed UK’s lead to 29-20, its largest advantage of the first half. It gave Juzang five points for the game, tying his season high.
- Quickley hit a pair of foul shots with 4.6 seconds left, equaling UK’s largest lead of the first half and sending the Wildcats to intermission ahead 36-27.
- A problem in recent games, UK dominated the first-half rebounding, 27-10, and had a 10-0 advantage in second-chance points.
- UK is 12-1 this season when leading at halftime.
In the Second Half
- Kentucky began the second half with the opening lineup.
- The Wildcats fouled at a rapid clip, getting their seventh team foul at the 15:00 mark.
- Richards tallied the first basket of the half, but the Razorbacks gradually whittled the deficit and tied the count at 44 with 8:49 on the clock.
- Calipari received a double technical foul and was ejected with 8:19 to play. Arkansas made 3 of 4 foul shots to take the lead at 47-44, capping a 13-2 run by the Razorbacks.
- It’s the first time Calipari has been ejected since Feb. 13, 2016, an 89-62 victory for the Wildcats.
- Associate head coach Kenny Payne took over the head-coaching duties without Calipari with a timely zone suggestion from assistant coach Tony Barbee that helped turn the tide.
- A traditional 3-point play by Maxey with 5:58 to go put the Wildcats back on top 50-49 and he followed with a breakaway dunk. Four straight foul shots by Richards and a 3-pointer by Quickley capped a 15-0 run over a three-minute span and suddenly, stunningly, UK led 59-49.
- After an Arkansas timeout, Keion Brooks Jr. got a rim-rattling jumper to fall, completing a 15-0 run that is UK’s third-biggest spurt of the season (20-0 vs. Lamar and 17-0 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson). UK had its largest lead of the game, 61-49, with 2:42 on the clock.
- UK led 69-58 when Quickley made two free throws with 43 seconds left.
- Arkansas got six quick points to pull within five but UK held on to win 73-66 thanks to four Brooks free throws late.