The Cats played a strong first half defensively, but simple mistakes limited their ability to take a lead into the break. At the half, the Crimson Tide led 35-32.
The second half was ugly, but Kentucky’s defense was rock solid. Offensive fouls and turnovers kept the game close, though, and Kentucky just wasn’t able to pull it out.
The point guard situation wasn’t helped by Devin Askew, who struggled with foul trouble all game, including two in the first half and four less than five minutes into the second half. It was another dud for him, but his cohort picked up the slack.
Isaiah Jackson was seemingly playing well, but his time was limited. Olivier Sarr had mismatches down low and he played okay, but it didn’t seem like enough to keep Jackson off the floor. Jackson was rebounding at a high rate and of course blocking/altering shots like always. It was strange not to see him get more time.
Dontaie Allen did his usual job of shooting the ball well. He made multiple threes, despite passing on a few to Coach Cal’s displease. However, he did more than shoot tonight. He played really good defense, notching a couple of steals and a block.
Next up, the Cats return to Lexington to take on the Texas Longhorns on Saturday night.
Davion Mintz was the leader Kentucky’s needed all season tonight. He’s played his fair share of good games this year, but tonight he did so even in the face of adversity. He really struggled with bad turnovers early, but he didn’t let that get him down.
Mintz led an early run in the first half that kept Alabama from pulling away. He threw up a crazy shot at the end of the shot clock that tied the game late in the first half. Sure, it was lucky, but it was just Mintz’s night.
In total, Mintz scored 12 points, grabbed five rebounds, and dished out four assists. He was 5-11 from the field, including 2-5 from deep. He also added a block on a fastbreak to his stat line.
All in all, Mintz made big plays at big points in the game and gave his team a chance to win. He couldn’t get many breathers due to Askew’s foul trouble and ineffectiveness, but he led his team nevertheless.