Kentucky came into Saturday’s match up with Auburn desperately needing a win. Maybe more so than any other time in school history.
Since Rupp Arena opened its doors, there had never been three straight losses for Lexington’s beloved Wildcats.
UK got off to a slow start considering it took over four minutes before they converted their first made field goal. It came on a thunderous slam by Isaiah Jackson who dominated inside all afternoon.
Early on, it was more of what we’ve seen all season as UK labored to score the ball. In the first eight minutes of the game they were just 2-13 from the field with three turnovers.
Sophomore Keion Brooks Jr. checked in the game and put a stop to the scoring drought by pouring in seven points in just four minutes.
Brandon Boston Jr. joined in on the action with an ankle breaking crossover followed by a rain drop three pointer.
Despite taking a six-point deficit to the locker room Kentucky fought hard in the first half and used their balanced attack to hang around.
Seven Wildcats scored in the first half lead by Brooks, who tallied eight points on 3/9 shooting. UK as a group shot just 33%.
Something must have been said in the locker room because the Cats came out of the locker room playing arguably their best basketball of the season. A tenacious effort fueled UK to a six point lead at the under-16 timeout.
A barrage of three pointers saw that lead balloon to 13 points.
But right on par for the season that lead shrunk to just two with 90 seconds left in the game. Moments later it was tied and everyone around Commonwealth feared the worst.
This time Kentucky didn’t fold. A clutch three by Davion Mintz sealed the deal and Kentucky avoids a third straight home loss.
Whew, nothing comes easy in 2021.
If you’re a Kentucky fan you should want BJ Boston to be named the MVP of just about every game. When the highly touted freshman is on top of his game it transforms this team’s offense and gives them a much better shot at winning.
His 17 points and five made three point shots against Auburn were exactly what the Big Blue Nation expected to see before the season began.
Against Auburn Boston was letting the ball fly with a confidence that we haven’t seen much of this entire year. If he can continue to build off today’s incredible performance maybe UK does have a shot to make some noise in the SEC tournament.
Regardless it was great to see the kid enjoy some much deserved success. His time in Lexington has been anything but easy but he’ll look back on today as a fond memory.
Honorable mention goes to Isaiah Jackson who was dominant in the paint all day long. He had what could have been one of the greatest dunks in history but contacted at the rim prevented the highlight. He’d finish with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Davion Mintz also gets a shoutout for his go-ahead three-pointer with 30 seconds left. He finished the day with nine points on 3/8 shooting.