Immaneul Quickley had the hot hand for Kentucky on Saturday which helped the Cats beat Alabama 76-67.
Up 45-35 at halftime, Kentucky led by as much as 15 points in the second half after an Immanuel Quickley three to make it 52-37. "They are taking 30-some 3s (per game)".
The Tide has certainly gotten more well-rounded efforts of late with six different players scoring at least nine points in four of the last five games, and five straight double-digit scoring games from the sharpshooting guard trio of Lewis, Petty and freshman Jaden Shackelford. "They are hard to score on".
The Tide didn't come to either statistic, though they made it interesting. "We will take 3's but it is not how we play", Kentucky coach John Calipari said.
Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley sank a 3-pointer and made two free throws in the closing minute that sent the Wildcats (12-3, 3-0) to their fourth consecutive victory and eighth in a row at home over the Crimson Tide. They are now 3-0 in the SEC. Whiley entered the day second in the SEC with 9.4 rebounds per game and fifth in the league averaging 1.9 blocks per game.
Against a potent Wildcats offense that has topped 80 points six times this season and ranks sixth in the SEC averaging 74.7 points a game, Alabama will undoubtedly need another high-scoring affair if it has any chance to pull off the rare upset in always-hostile Rupp Arena.
Alabama coach Nate Oats said Kentucky is "as good as anybody I'd seen, and I've seen everyone in the country". He added five rebounds and three assists to his stat line on Saturday.
"I was not happy with Ashton. I'm not really sure what's going on right now, I think we're just getting more comfortable".
- Nick Richards was Nick Richards. The 7-footer scored 13 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and blocked five shots. He also stayed out of foul trouble and finished the game with just one foul. Lewis was also in double figures with 10 points to go with eight rebounds.
Saturday's outcome snapped a five-game streak of 90-point performances for Alabama (8-7, 1-2 in the SEC). However, Alabama outscored United Kingdom 44-20 in the paint and got 17 points off 14 United Kingdom turnovers while the Cats got just seven points off eight Alabama turnovers. Although the strategy resulted in more points in the paint and offensive rebounds for the Tide than the Cats would have preferred, it likely helped United Kingdom avoid an upset.
"Their game plan was not to give us 3's".
"When they drove we had three guys go after the ball and they dropped off to guy under the basket", Calipari said.
The shorter Tide also fought United Kingdom to a 44-44 standoff on the boards and got 16 offensive rebounds.
Quickley wasn't the only one successful from the floor as the team shot shot 9-15 from three-point range and 44.4% from the floor.
"We've been scoring the ball pretty well, hopefully our guys have some confidence", Oats said. The Maryland native has recorded 18, 23, 15, and 19 points during that stretch, shooting 20-of-40 from the field and going 14-for-23 from the 3-point arc. I have never seen that. "It's hard to defend that".