Sunday, December 17, 2017

Notes From Kentucky vs. Virginia TECH

DEC. 16, 2017

Final Score: #8/5 KENTUCKY 93, VIRGINIA TECH 86
Team Records and Series Notes
  • Kentucky has won seven in a row and is now 9-1.  Virginia Tech ended a seven-game win streak and is now 9-2.  
  • Kentucky leads the series 4-1, including 2-1 in Lexington.  
  • Next for Kentucky is UCLA as the Wildcats take on the Bruins in the CBS Sports Classic on Sat. Dec. 23 in New Orleans’ Smoothie King Arena.  Game time is 4 p.m. ET and televised on CBS.   

In the First Half
  • Kentucky’s starting lineup featured Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, PJ Washington, Kevin Knox and Nick Richards for the second time, also the season opener vs. Utah Valley.
  • Virginia Tech scored the game’s first five points before the Wildcats came back with nine a row.
  • Diallo connected on a 3-pointer with 16:09 remaining, giving Kentucky 1,023 consecutive games with a 3-pointer.
  • Tied at 39, Virginia Tech went on an 8-0 run before UK got the final basket of the half.  Tech went to halftime with a 47-41 lead.
    • It is the most points UK has allowed this season in the first half and UK’s second-largest halftime deficit of the season (trailed by nine in the opener vs. Utah Valley).
  • Kentucky’s seven 3-pointers is the most in a first half this season.
    • UK shot 46 percent from the field in the first half, ending a streak of four straight games at least 50 percent.

In the Second Half
  • Trailing 51-44, Kentucky went on a 10-0 run.
  • Tied at 60, UK went on a 5-0 spurt and never trailed again.   
  • Ahead 75-71, Diallo net nestled a 3-pointer with 4:54 left to give UK its then-largest lead of the game at 78-71. (UK eventually led by eight points as its largest advantage.)
  • Clinging to an 85-83 lead, Diallo swished another 3 with 48 seconds left to keep the visitors at bay.
  • Kentucky made several clutch shots with the game in the balance. Despite the closeness of the game, Tech never had the ball with a chance to tie or go ahead in the final seven minutes of the game.

Team Notes
  • UK scored 93 points for the second game in a row. The last time UK scored 93 at least back-to-back was Jan. 3 and 7, 2017, vs. Texas A&M (100) and Arkansas (97). 
  • Although the Wildcats allowed a season-most 86 points, it is still 10 points below Tech’s nation-best 96.2 points per game.
  • UK won despite Virginia Tech shooting 58.2 percent from the field. It is the second-highest field-goal percentage allowed in the Calipari era.
    • Despite the difficulty of winning when the opponent shoots at least 50 percent, UK is 10-9 in the Calipari era when the opponent makes at least half its field goals.
  • UK committed only 11 turnovers, one off its season best.
  • UK did a great job of converting turnovers into points. Virginia Tech had 19 turnovers and UK turned those into 36 points.  
  • UK made 11 of 22 from 3-point range. Eleven threes is a season high and it is the second game this season that the Wildcats have made at least half of their long-range tries.
  • UK won the rebounding, 33-30, the ninth consecutive game that the Wildcats won or tied the boardwork. 
  • This is the second game in a row that two Wildcats scored at least 20 points.

Player Notes  
  • Coming off his only single-digit scoring performance of the year, Kevin Knox bounced back with a game-high 21 points. It is his fourth 20-point game of the season.
  • Hamidou Diallo bucketed 20 points.  It is second-consecutive 20 game and fourth in a row with at least 19.  He is averaging 20.3 over the last four games. 
  • PJ Washington collected 11 points, a career-high five assists and had a crucial blocked shot in the last minute of the game.
  • Quade Green had 17 points and tied his career high for assists with five. 
  • Nick Richards had eight points, six rebounds and three blocked shots.
    • Richards made 3-of-5 field goal attempts today has made at least 60 percent of his shots in seven straight games 
  • Wenyen Gabriel had seven points and led the Wildcats in rebounds with nine.  

Coach John Calipari
  • Calipari has a 703-194 all-time on-court record.
  • Calipari is now 258-54 at Kentucky.
  • Calipari is 142-6 at Rupp Arena.
  • Calipari is 3-0 vs. Virginia Tech in his career.

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