One season after getting swept by Alabama, it was the Kentucky Wildcats doing the sweeping this time around.
Despite entering Saturday’s Rupp Arena clash as 6.5-point favorites, it certainly didn’t feel like Kentucky was the big favorite. Not after learning starting guards TyTy Washington and Sahvir Wheeler were both out, and certainly not while Alabama hit three after three after three in the opening half.
The Tide managed to drain nine of their first 22 attempts from deep and led by 13 with five minutes left before halftime. That’s when the game changed, as Kentucky caught fire and managed to take a 47-46 lead into halftime.
From there, Kentucky would slowly pull away en route to a 90-81 win thanks to big nights from Kellan Grady (25 points), Oscar Tshiebwe (21 points and 14 boards) and Keion Brooks (18 points and eight boards), It was the 22nd win of the season for Kentucky and the 11th of conference play.
Now, here’s a look at the postgame notes and milestones via UK Athletics.
Team Records, Series Notes, Etc.
- Kentucky is now 22-5 overall, 11-3 in the SEC.
- Alabama ends a three-game win streak today and is 17-10 overall, 7-7 in the SEC. The Crimson Tide’s last two losses have been against Kentucky, Feb. 5 and today.
- UK leads the series, 116-40, including 59-11 in games played in Lexington.
- Kentucky won both meetings during the regular season, also 66-55 in Tuscaloosa.
- Next for UK: the Wildcats play host to LSU on Wednesday for the 9 p.m. game on ESPN.
- Kentucky has won 17 in a row in Rupp Arena, including 16-0 this season.
- This was the seventh game this season that UK scored at least 90 points, most since the 2016-17 team did it 14 times.
- Kentucky shot 53.2% from the field and UK is 12-1 this season when making at least 50%.
- Kentucky made 9 of 14 on 3-pointers, a season-high 64.3 percent and the fifth-highest of the Calipari era.
- Kentucky won the rebounding 39-32 and is 18-2 this season when winning the boardwork.
- Trailing 41-28 in the first half, UK went on runs of 15-0 and 20-2 en route to a total run of 46-17, flipping the Wildcats to a 74-58 lead, its largest of the game at 16 points.
- UK is 307-13 (95.9%) under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points at any time in the contest.
- Alabama made 9 of its first 12 3-pointers, then only 1 of its next 19. The Tide finished 14 of 40 from long range.
- Grady is the fifth Wildcat to score 25 or more points in a game this season.
- Missing Sahvir Wheeler and TyTy Washington Jr. today because of injury, Kentucky has been at full strength for only 12 complete games this season.
- Kellan Grady had a career-high-tying seven 3-pointers en route to a season-high 25 points.
- Over the last 18 games, he is averaging 13.9 points per game while shooting 47.1 percent (64 of 136) from 3-point range.
- Has made a 3-pointer in 21 straight games, most since Jamal Murray made a 3 in all 36 games of the 2015-16 season.
- He has made at least two 3-pointers in nine straight games.
- Although he played 39:07 today, it is the first time in 10 games that UK’s “Steady Eddie” has not led the team in minutes played.
- He moved into the all-time collegiate top-150 scorers today. He now ranks No. 135 in Division I history with 2,335 career points.
- With seven 3-pointers in today’s win, Grady has made 82 3-pointers on the season which is tied with James Young and Patrick Sparks for the ninth most in a single season at Kentucky.
- Oscar Tshiebwe marshaled 21 points and 14 rebounds while tying his career high with three assists.
- It is his ninth-straight double-double, first Wildcat to do that since Jim Andrews had 10 consecutive double-doubles in the 1972-73 season.
- It is his 21st double-double of the season, ranking second in the nation in that category.
- He is tied for fourth with Andrews in the UK single-season record books for double-doubles in a season.
- The nation’s leading rebounder has 13 straight games with double-figure rebounds and grabbed double-figure boards in all but two games this season.
- It is his team-leading ninth 20-point game of the season.
- Keion Brooks Jr. scored 18 points and pulled down eight rebounds while tying his career best for minutes played with 37.
- He is averaging 14 points over the last eight games, seven of which are UK wins.
- It is his 14th double-figure scoring game of the season.
- He has earned two or more steals in three straight games.
- Starting for the second time this season, Jacob Toppin had 13 points and six rebounds.
- He has scored in double figures in the last three games he has played, first time he has done that in his career.
- He led the team in minutes today, playing a career-high 39:24.
- Making his third start of the season, Davion Mintz assembled seven points, two assists and a career-high three steals.
- Daimion Collins played only four minutes, but made them count with six points and four boards.
- Sahvir Wheeler and TyTy Washington Jr. did not play today because of injuries.
Coach John Calipari
- Calipari is now 361-98 at UK.
- UK is 67-42 against Associated Press ranked competition under Calipari.
- Calipari has an 806-238 all-time on-court record.
- He moved into a tie for 12th with Eddie Sutton for the most all-time on-court victories in Division I history.
- Calipari has tallied a 378-119 all-time record within conference play as a head coach and owns a 170-53 record since joining the SEC.
- Calipari is 19-6 vs. Alabama.
In the First Half
- The starting lineup was Davion Mintz, Kellan Grady, Jacob Toppin, Keion Brooks Jr. and Oscar Tshiebwe for the first time this season.
- Bryce Hopkins was the first Kentucky substitution at the 12:39 mark, second time this season that he has been first off the bench.
- Alabama scored on its first seven possessions, including three 3-pointers, and led 17-9 at the first television timeout.
- By the 14:00 mark, Alabama had made four 3-pointers, already one more than they made the entire game in Tuscaloosa, when the Crimson Tide made 3 of 30.
- By the 9:00 mark, Alabama had made 9 of 12 from long range and led 35-24.
- Alabama got its largest lead of the half at 41-28 with 5:35 on the clock.
- Trailing 46-34 with 3:05 to go, UK closed the half with a 13-0 run for a 47-46 halftime lead.
- Grady’s 3-pointer with 42 seconds left gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game.
- Grady led the way in the first half with 13 points while Tshiebwe had 10 points and six rebounds.
- UK reserves played only seven minutes in the first half while Alabama’s played 36 minutes.
- UK is 21-2 this season when leading at intermission.
In the Second Half
- Kentucky began the second half with the starting lineup.
- UK got the first basket of the second half, completing the run at 15-0 to make it 49-46.
- Moments later, an eight-point Alabama run put the Tide ahead 56-54.
- Kentucky followed with a 20-2 spurt pushing the lead to 74-58, its largest of the game at the 10:50 mark.
- Since trailing 41-28 in the first half, UK’s total run was 46-17.
- UK’s lineup played the first 11 minutes of the half, with Collins entering for Tshiebwe at 8:54.
- Collins was the only substitute in the second half, playing just two minutes.
- Alabama kept battling, narrowing the gap to seven points at 80-73 with 4:53 left, but a Grady 3 and a Mintz desperation banker at the expiration of the shot clock restored some cushion.
- Grady (12 points) and Tshiebwe (11 points, eight rebounds) again were the pacesetters in the second half.