Kentucky did not come out shy to start, but some questionable calls swung the momentum in the first half (seriously, can we just get rid of charges?).
However, a Tyrese Maxey floater followed by a Texas Tech turnover led to this amazing shot by Immanuel Quickley to give UK a 36-34 lead at the halftime buzzer.
Halftime lead from half court. pic.twitter.com/vk0TF2JYDZ— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) January 25, 2020
Ashton Hagans was quiet for most of the night, but he ran the offense impeccably once he slowed down and stopped turning the ball over. Also, his defense was terrific, as was Maxey’s, who also had a bit of a quiet game.
EJ Montgomery put together a pretty solid performance, all things considered. Nate Sestina finally brought himself out of a bit of a slump and Johnny Juzang continued to show his potential to scorch the nets.
Quickley had an absolutely awesome performance. It wasn’t quite enough to earn him the MVP honor, but it’s about as close as one can get. He was lights out after a slow start and hit multiple big shots to keep the momentum on Kentucky’s side. Not to mention, he locked up Tech’s best players throughout the game.
Kentucky went into an extremely hostile environment against a ranked opponent and played as well as you could’ve asked. They played hard. They hustled. And in the end, UK was able to come out with the win.
What a game!
Next up, the Cats will return to Lexington to face a sad, depleted Vanderbilt Commodores team on Wednesday night.
As mentioned above, Quickley was close to taking this home tonight. However, there was one guy who stood above the rest: Nick Richards.
What an absolutely dominating performance from the junior center. His transformation from his freshman and sophomore seasons to this one has been nothing short of amazing.
Richards finished with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks, while shooting 7-10 from the floor and 11-14 from the line. He also made the two game-winning free throws in overtime.
He made play after play to silence the crowd and keep Kentucky up. He left it all out on the floor in this one. And he wasn’t shy about letting the crowd and everyone else in Lubbock know that he was there.
What a great a game for Nick and the rest of this Kentucky team.