UK MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES
KENTUCKY vs. UTAH
RUPP ARENA | LEXINGTON, KY.
DEC. 15, 2018
Final Score: No. 19/18 Kentucky 88, Utah 61
Team Records and Series Notes
- Kentucky is 8-2 on the season and Utah is now 4-5.
- Kentucky leads the series 10-2 and has won eight in a row.
- Next for Kentucky: The Wildcats continue their stretch of five straight Saturday games, taking on North Carolina on Dec. 22 in Chicago’s United Center in the CBS Sports Classic. Game time is 5:15 p.m. ET and it will be televised, of course, by CBS.
- Kentucky’s 1993 Final Four team was honored at halftime.
In the First Half
- Kentucky started Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, Reid Travis and PJ Washington for the third time this season. This lineup is now 1-2.
- Kentucky got the first basket but Utah’s Booth Gach countered with eight straight points and another Utes basket made it 10-2 in favor of the visitors.
- UK responded with a 12-2 spurt to make it 14-12.
- Utah tied it at 14, but a Johnson 3-pointer gave the Wildcats a lead they never relinquished.
- All totaled, UK’s run was 28-9, featuring 5-of-5 3-pointers by Johnson to shove the Cats ahead 30-19.
- The last Wildcat with five 3s in a half was Wenyen Gabriel vs. Alabama in the SEC Tournament on March 10 of this year. Gabriel was 7 for 7 that game.
- With 15 points from Johnson and 10 from Herro, UK took a 41-27 lead into halftime.
- Key stat in the first was turnovers, as Kentucky forced 10 miscues, including three 30-second violations, and the Cats won points off turnovers 17-4 in the opening period.
In the Second Half
- Kentucky opened the second stanza with the starting lineup.
- UK increased the lead to 19 points at 48-29.
- However, Utah got hot and made eight shots in a row to narrow the gap to 10 at 57-47.
- Kentucky quelled the uprising when Johnson and Washington sparked a 13-0 run to rebuild a comfortable cushion.
- The Wildcats led by as many as 28 points before finishing with an 88-61 win.
- Turnovers were a huge difference-maker today. UK won the turnover battle 18-6 and the Wildcats capitalized with 34 points off turnovers, winning that stat 34-9.
- UK limited Utah to 61 points. UK is 158-7 (.958) under Coach John Calipari when holding the opponent to 63 points or fewer, including 6-0 this season.
- Kentucky blocked five shots today. UK has rejected at least four opponent shots in every game this season.
- UK shot a season-high 58.6 percent from the field today. It is UK’s fourth game of the season over 50 percent.
- Kentucky hit a season-best 57.1 percent from 3-point range, making a season-high 12 out of 21.
- The win marked the 51st consecutive home victory over an unranked Associated Press poll nonconference opponent.
- UK is now 231-39 under John Calipari against unranked competition.
- UK is now 46-12 under Calipari in “bounce back” games after losses.
- Kentucky improved to 241-5 (.980) under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points at any point in the game.
- UK has won 11 in a row at Rupp Arena, dating back to last season.
Keldon Johnson had a red-hot first half with 15 points and finished with 24, his second-highest total of the season.
- After a previous best of two 3-pointers, he made 6 of 7 from long range today.
- The last Wildcat with six 3-pointers was Wenyen Gabriel, who made seven vs. Alabama on March 10, 2018.
- This is Johnson’s third 20-point game of the season.
- He has scored double figures in all but one game this season.
- Tyler Herro hit for 17 points, one shy of his season high.
- He is averaging 17 per game over the last three home games.
- Reid Travis turned in 16 points today, his fifth straight double-figure game.
- Immanuel Quickley had 12 points, matching his second highest total of the season.
- It is his first double-figure game since North Dakota on Nov. 14.
- Ashton Hagans had two points and a career-high seven assists.
- Playing less than two minutes, Jemarl Baker Jr. scored his first points as a Wildcat by swishing a pair of 3-pointers.
- Calipari is now 283-66 at UK.
- Calipari has a 728-206 all-time on-court record.
- He is now 14 wins away from tying Joe B. Hall for the second-most victories by a UK head coach in program history.