Kentucky didn’t get off to the best of starts as the Commodores hit eight threes in the first half alone to go into the break up 36-27. This game felt eerily reminiscent of the first time these two teams met this season, as the Dores led 35-28 at halftime in Lexington.
Despite getting down by as many as 14 points, UK once again erased the Vanderbilt lead to come out on top.
Keion Brooks and Johnny Juzang were quiet after big performances on Saturday. Nate Sestina had a couple of good blocks down low, but it’s becoming hard to watch him try to guard SEC guards and big men. With that being said, all three will definitely be important in a game come March. Brooks’ rebounding, Johnny’s shooting, and Sestina’s hustle will all come in handy at some point.
Nick Richards was aggressive, but he didn’t exactly dominate the way we expected against a team with no low-post threat. He did play well, though. Immanuel Quickley struggled shooting in the first half, but down the stretch he got hot and he rebounded extremely well.
Finally, Ashton Hagans wasn’t perfect (see missed layups), but he was aggressive in a more controlled manner tonight. He picked up two fouls in the first half, but that didn’t stop him from continuing to attack and crashing the boards. It was a good bounceback performance in an all-around kind of way for the sophomore point guard.
Let’s keep rolling.
Next up, the Cats will return home to face the red-hot Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday afternoon.
This was one easy. The microwave-scoring Tyrese Maxey got hot tonight and was lethal on the offensive end. Not to mention, he took care of the ball.
However, it wasn’t just his offense. Maxey also blocked two (I’d argue three) shots on the other end of the floor.
All in all, it was a great performance by Maxey—one we haven’t seen in a couple of weeks and an efficient one that we haven’t seen in quite some time. He truly lived up to his lottery-level projections tonight as he lit up the Commodores.
Maxey finished with 25 points, four rebounds, and two steals, while shooting 10-17 from the field and 3-4 from deep. He attacked the basket at will and while he didn’t get to the line much, he did finish 2-2 from the line.
Now, we just need the Cats to put together a full 40 minutes and they’ll be dangerous come March.
It’s not always pretty and it wasn’t for a majority of this game, but Kentucky got the job done and pulled away at the end for the second straight game. Things are starting to come together...