Saturday, March 4, 2017

Some Notes From Kentucky's Win Over Texas A&M

Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes
Kentucky at Texas A&M, Reed Arena, College Station, Texas
March 4, 2017

Notes compiled by Jake Most

Final Score: No. 9/9 Kentucky 71, Texas A&M 63
Team Records and Series Notes:
·       Kentucky has won eight in a row and is 26-5 overall.
·       UK finished the regular season 16-2 in the Southeastern Conference and claimed its 48th regular-season league championship as well as the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament. It is UK’s fifth crown in eight seasons under John Calipari.
o   The conference championship is Calipari’s 15th regular-season league title as a head coach. He won five at UMass, five at Memphis and now five at Kentucky. He is the only coach in NCAA Division I men’s basketball history to have won at least five regular-season titles at three different schools.
·       Texas A&M’s two-game winning streak ended and the Aggies closed the regular season 16-14 overall, 8-10 in the SEC.
Kentucky leads the series 8-3. UK has won three in a row dating to last season’s SEC Tournament Championship game.
o   This was the first time in four games in College Station, Texas, that the game didn’t go to overtime.
·       Next for the Wildcats: UK will open up the SEC Tournament on Friday in Nashville, Tennessee’s Bridgestone Arena. As the No. 1 seed UK will play at 1 p.m. ET.

In the First Half:
·       Kentucky’s starting lineup featured De’Aaron FoxBam AdebayoMalik Monk, Isaiah Briscoe and Derek Willis.
o   Kentucky improved to 5-0 with this lineup.
o   After coming off the bench the previous seven games, Willis has started two in a row.
o   Adebayo is the only Wildcat to have started all 31 games of the regular season this year.
·       Texas A&M scored the first six points and held UK scoreless through the first 4:54 of the game.
·       Texas A&M stretched its lead to double digits at the 13:32 mark when Tyler Davis completed a traditional three-point play to make it 14-2.
·       After entering the game at the 16:56 mark, Dominique Hawkins scored five of Kentucky’s first seven points.
·       Hawkins’ made 3-pointer at the 11:15 mark extended UK’s streak of 1,005 consecutive games with a triple. 
·       Kentucky trailed by as much as 15, at 19-4 with 12:09 to play.
o   It was the third straight game the Wildcats have fallen behind by double digits.
·       Kentucky outscored the hosts 28-9 over the final 12 minutes of the first half.
·       Willis gave UK its first lead, 24-23, with a made 3 at the 3:09 mark.
o   Including Willis’ 3, UK seniors (Willis, Hawkins and Mychal Mulder) scored nine straight of UK’s points to give the Wildcats a 30-27 lead.
·       Briscoe hit a layup with one second remaining to give UK a 32-28 halftime lead.

In the Second Half:
·       De’Aaron Fox scored Kentucky’s first eight points of the second half.
·       UK opened up a double-digit lead for the first time at the 14:06 mark, 47-35, via a Willis 3-pointer.
·       Having led by as much as 12 at 53-41 as late as the 11:24 mark, Texas A&M cut UK’s lead to four, 55-51, with 6:10 on the clock.
o   UK scored five straight points after that to stretch its lead to nine.
o   Concluded at the 2:10 mark UK used a 9-2 lead to stretch its lead back to 11, 64-53.
·       Kentucky led by as much as 14, with 40 seconds remaining.

Team Notes:
·       Fighting back to win from a 15-point deficit, Kentucky made its biggest comeback in a road game of the John Calipari era.
·       Kentucky came back from a double-digit deficit to win for the third game in a row.
o   UK fought back from as much as 12 points vs. Florida last week, down 19 points on Tuesday against Vanderbilt and down 15 Saturday.
·       Kentucky’s six turnovers tied its season low (at Vanderbilt on Jan. 10, 2017).
·       Kentucky held Texas A&M to 63 points.
o   UK is 17-0 this season when limiting the opponent to 72 or fewer points.
·       Kentucky shot 44.1 percent from the field. UK is 25-1 this season when shooting at least 42 percent.
·       Kentucky and Texas A&M tied in the rebounding battle. UK had won rebounding in the seven previous games. In any event, UK is 8-0 in its last eight games when winning or tying in the rebounding department.
o   UK has outrebounded opponents by 10.9 boards per game during the current eight-game win streak.
·       Calipari has a 688-192 (.782) on-court record, including a 243-52 (.824) mark at UK.

Player Notes: 
·       Freshman De’Aaron Fox scored a team-high 19 points.
·       He made a career-high tying two 3-pointers on four attempts.
·       He scored 15 of his points in the second half, including Kentucky’s first eight after halftime.
·       Freshman Malik Monk scored a season-low six points.
·       His streak of games in double-figures scoring ended at 30.
·       Freshman Bam Adebayo had 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting (with four dunks) from the field.
·       He added eight rebounds and three blocks.
·       He is averaging 11.2 rebounds over the last five games.
·       Sophomore Isaiah Briscoe had seven points and once again stalked the backboards with six rebounds.  He has averaged 7.4 boards rebounds in the last 12 games.
·       Briscoe dished eight assists against one turnover.
·       He’s dished 15 assists compared with one turnover in the past two games.
·       Senior Derek Willis scored 11 points, reaching double-figure scoring for the 10th time this season.
·       He grabbed six rebounds and blocked a season-high tying three shots for the second game in a row and third time overall.
·       Senior Dominique Hawkins scored eight points – two off his career-high – all in the first half.
·       Shooting 3 of 6 from the field, he tied season high in both makes and attempts.
·       He had three assists and two steals.
·       His two steals tied his season high for the sixth time.

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