It was an emotional day in Rupp Arena on New Year’s Eve as the Big Blue Nation welcomed back former coach Tubby Smith to Lexington with a fitting tribute for the 1998 National Champion coach.
It was a long-awaited return to Rupp Arena for Tubby, and he received a standing ovation from the crowd at Rupp Arena.
On the court, Tubby’s High Point team gave the Kentucky Wildcats a run early with some hot shooting from the perimeter, but over the last six minutes in the first half, the Cats built an 18-point lead that they would take into halftime, ultimately coming away with a 92-48 victory over High Point, the largest margin of victory for Kentucky this season.
With the win, the Wildcats move to 11-2 on the season and pick up their fourth consecutive victory to close out the calendar year as the Cats get ready to move into the conference slate.
That starts Tuesday with a matchup against 12-1 LSU in Baton Rouge Tuesday night.
It would have been really easy to give this to Kellan Grady after putting on a spectacular shooting display, and deservedly so. Watching Grady knock down 3 after 3 in the second half had me up off my feet, and with his performance, he’s deserving of the Game MVP award.
Grady finished with 23 points on the day, including 7of 10 from beyond the arc, to go along with pair of steals.
But TyTy Washington put together quite the performance against High Point as well.
Washington finished with a team-best and career-high 9 assists on the night, proving he can be dangerous as a distributor in addition to his scoring ability, which he also put on display to the tune of 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting from the floor and 3 of 5 from three.
Grady and Washington are co-MVPs of this game.
A HUGE standing ovation before today's UK basketball game. Coach Tubby Smith now has a jersey retired in his honor. pic.twitter.com/eAOzzdBWcw— LEX 18 News (@LEX18News) December 31, 2021
Wrapping up 2021 in style— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 31, 2021
UK 92, HPU 48 Highlights pic.twitter.com/Q28wC7NJAc
New Year’s Eve (TyTy’s Version) pic.twitter.com/gieag37ofB— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 31, 2021