The Kentucky Wildcats open SEC play with a win over the Missouri Tigers, 71-59. However, they may be without Ashton Hagans for quite some time, as he left the game late with an apparent lower-leg injury.
The story of the game? Nick Richards dominated the game whenever he was on the court. Richards had 17 points in the first half of the game and was the primary source of offense for the Wildcats. Richards finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks after he fouled out with a little under four minutes left in the game.
Immanuel Quickley also had himself a night, scoring a career-high 21 points and hitting four shots from behind the line.
Kentucky also played their best defense of the season, totaling six blocks and holding Mizzou to around 38% shooting.
Kentucky goes on the road against Georgia on Tuesday, who just beat No. 9 Memphis earlier today. Let’s hope for good news on Hagans.
Here’s what social media had to say:
Nick Richards or James Harden? pic.twitter.com/LuSIWHCCOh— Big Blue Nation (@BigBlue9ation) January 4, 2020
Cuonzo Martin said he hates to lose but loves to see a guy like Nick Richards blossoming as a junior. Lotta respect for Kentucky's breakout 7-footer.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) January 4, 2020
GREAT sequence from Nick Richards. pic.twitter.com/DwYcZ6PS2K— Not Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton2) January 4, 2020
???— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 4, 2020
Another game and another double-double for Nick Richards. If this keeps up, Kentucky's ceiling will only rise. Wildcats hold serve at Rupp against Missouri. #BBN— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 4, 2020
Kahlil Whitney stands up, flexes and cheers on back to back plays for Kentucky.— Travis Graf (@Trav_Graf) January 4, 2020
He’s still engaged and is being a fantastic teammate, despite the rough start.
And here I thought it was going to be fun to see what Senior Nick Richards looked like.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) January 4, 2020
Immanuel Quickley is having himself a day. pic.twitter.com/4hyVriuR9W— Not Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton2) January 4, 2020
I can't shake the very unreasonable and untrue vibe that the universe is good to Immanuel Quickley because he's apparently beyond a decent person. That shot is reinforcement of that bad take.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) January 4, 2020
Immanuel Quickley is starting to turn into Doron Lamb-esque— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) January 4, 2020
Uh-oh, Ashton Hagans limping to locker room late in Kentucky's win over Missouri. The most indispensable player on that team.— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) January 4, 2020
Good win but this is disconcerting. Season on the line disconcerting.— Josh Hopkins (@MrJoshHopkins) January 4, 2020
Ashton Hagans injury to the back of his lower leg. pic.twitter.com/j0FenMoyCR— Not Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton2) January 4, 2020
Ashton Hagans can have my Achilles. I don't need to move except to go up and down steps.— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) January 4, 2020
Calipari on the SEC Network postgame interview: "I'm hoping Ashton isn't hurt bad, because if he is it's like Rick Barnes losing his guy, it's the same. It becomes a tough loss."— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) January 4, 2020
Please be ok Hagans— John Robic's Hair (@JohnRobicsHair) January 4, 2020
Please be ok
Please be ok pic.twitter.com/iOVpRz3MTB
Calipari: "We gotta get EJ playing. I told him, 'Be Anthony Davis.' Block shots, rebound, run, dunk. Be physical. Go get balls."— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) January 4, 2020