Kentucky 70, Texas A&M 64 (2OT)
Jan. 10, 2015
Reed Arena – College Station, Texas
Kentucky improved to 15-0 overall to start the season and 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference, while Texas A&M fell to 9-5, 0-2 in the SEC.
UK leads the series 5-2.
Kentucky is 193-27 all-time when ranked No. 1 and has won 33 of the last 35 games as the Associated Press top-ranked team.
Coach John Calipari has led three teams to a No. 1 ranking (Massachusetts, Memphis, Kentucky) and has a 77-9 record as the top-ranked coach, including 33-4 at UK.
UK is 4-0 away from Rupp Arena this season.
Kentucky was taken to double-overtime for the first time since Jan. 12, 2008. The Wildcats lost to Vanderbilt, 79-73, in triple-overtime at Rupp Arena on that day.
Kentucky is 2-0 in overtime this season.
The Wildcats are now 56-45 in overtime games all-time.
Kentucky will return to Rupp Arena on Tuesday when it hosts Missouri. The game is set to air live on ESPN at 9 p.m.
Team NotesKentucky’s starting lineup consisted of Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Trey Lyles, Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony for the fifth straight game.
Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, Marcus Lee and Dakari Johnson were the first to hear their names called off the bench.
Booker hit a 3-pointer at the 14:40 mark of the first half – UK’s first field goal of the game – to extend UK’s 3-point streak to 915 consecutive games. Kentucky entered the game with the second-longest streak in the country, behind only UNLV.
UK held Texas A&M to 33.3 percent from the floor, the 13th opponent this season the Cats have limited to less than 40 percent from the floor. Texas A&M hit 13 of its first 24 shots, but the Cats held the Aggies to 10 of 45 from the floor (22.2 percent) the rest of the game.
Over a 12:35 stretch of game time (starting at the 5:35 mark of the second half), UK limited Texas A&M to just five points and one field goal. During that defensive dominance, Kentucky turned a 28-17 deficit into a 39-33 lead. The Wildcats swatted 10 shots, the seventh time in 15 games UK has blocked 10 or more shots in a game.
Kentucky outscored all 13 of its nonconference opponents in the paint but has been beaten inside the paint in both of its conference games. The Cats lost that battle to the Aggies on Saturday, 38-14.
UK fell behind 9-0 to start the game, missing its first seven shots. Booker got the Cats in the scoring column with a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the 14:40 mark.
The first 15 of Kentucky’s 17 points were from behind the arc. The Cats started the game 5 for 10 from behind the 3-point line but just 1 for 10 from inside it. Overall, UK was 6 for 13 from behind the 3-point line but only 3 for 17 inside the arc in the first half.
Continuing his torrid streak from behind the 3-point line, Booker hit three 3-pointers in the first half. His trey at the 7:32 mark was his 15th make in his last 17 attempts. Alex Robinson’s bank shot put UK behind 28-17, tying the largest deficit of the season. UK trailed Columbia 11-0 on Dec. 10.
Kentucky answered its largest deficit of the season with a pretty strong resolve. Led by Towns, the Cats reeled off eight straight points. Towns had five points during the run.
UK held Texas A&M without a point for the final 5:35 of the first half.
Booker scored nine points in the first half, including three 3-pointers. Towns added five points and five rebounds.
Kentucky hit six 3-pointers in the first half, matching a season best in one half.
UK trailed 28-25 at the break. The Wildcats improved to 4-0 when trailing at halftime this season.
UK took its first lead of the game, 29-28, when Aaron Harrison made a pair of free throws at the 19:02 mark. Kentucky pulled ahead 39-33 with 12:15 remaining after a 14-5 start to the second half, but Texas A&M scored six straight points to tied it at 39-39 with 10:43 left.
Tied 39-39, UK went on an 8-2 run. The Cats never trailed the rest of the second half.
Kentucky got to the bonus with 10:12 to go in the second half (double bonus at 9:23), which proved to be big in the victory. The Cats hit 16 of 20 free throws after halftime to eventually pull away. Making a basket wasn’t easy in the second half. Texas A&M was 28.6 percent from the field, while UK shot 20.8 percent. After losing the rebounding battle in the first half, the Cats outrebounded the Aggies 23-22 after halftime
Kentucky took the first lead of overtime on a Booker and-1, but the 84-percent free-throw shooter missed the free throw.
Texas A&M took a 55-54 lead on a Tavario Miller free throw with with 2:51 remaining.
The Aggie’s lead was their first since the 16:11 mark in the second half.
Tyler Ulis’ first points of the game came when he nailed a 3-pointer 1:26 remaining in the second overtime. The 3-pointer gave UK a 66-63 lead, which it would never relinquish.
Devin Booker continued to torch the nets from long range, hitting four 3-pointers Saturday afternoon, raising his recent hot streak from behind the arc to 16 of 21 over the last five games. Booker has led UK in scoring five times this season, which is the most on the team. He has led UK in scoring in three of the last six games.
Aaron Harrison had a tough day shooting, but he came up with a game-high three steals and finished with 12 points.
Dakari Johnson tied for the team high with nine rebounds.
He finished with eight points, and the 57-percent free-throw shooter nailed two from the stripe with 14 seconds to play in the second OT to help seal the win.
Six of his eight points came in overtime.
Karl Anthony-Towns finished with nine points and nine rebounds, coming up just shy of what would have been his second career double-double.
Towns tied Willie Cauley-Stein and Trey Lyles with a game-high three blocked shots.
Towns fouled out with 2:41 remaining in the first overtime