Kentucky starts their season with a victory against No. 1 Michigan State.
NEW YORK – November 6, 2019 – Bradley Charles – Bluegrass Sports Nation
On Tuesday night, the State Farm Champions Classic was held at Madison Square Garden. The main event of the night featured the No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats and the No. 1 Michigan State Spartans.
Kentucky started the game well, as they led 16-9 with 11:15 to go in the first half. However, Michigan State responded with a 7-0 run to tie the game with 9:47 remaining in the first half. Kentucky closed out the half with a 9-1 run and had a 34-24 lead at halftime.
Michigan State started the second half with an 8-2 run. Despite this, the Cats found themselves up by 13 (54-41) with 10:03 to play in regulation. However, the Spartans were not to be out done, and trailed by just three points (56-53) with 6:01 to play. It was a back-and-forth game from then on, but the closest the game ever got was 62-60 with 1:27 left to play. Kentucky emerged victorious, 69-62.
The combination of Brooks, Montgomery, Richards, and Sestina combined for 18 points on 7 of 20 shooting to go along with 14 rebounds. While it was good enough to pick up the victory tonight, there is obviously room for improvement.
Tyrese Maxey had a tremendous game. The freshman guard scored 26 points on 7 of 13 shooting; 3 of 8 on 3-pointers; while going 9 of 10 from the free throw line. Maxey also recorded five rebounds.
Important Team Stats:
Kentucky went 19 of 50 from the field; 6 of 18 on 3-point attempts; and 25 of 32 from the free throw line. Michigan State had comparable numbers, shooting 22 of 56 from the field; 5 of 26 on 3-pointers; and 13 of 18 from the free throw line.
Kentucky’s bench outscored Michigan State’s bench 33-18.
Kentucky outscored Michigan State on points off turnovers 21-6; Michigan State had 16 turnovers compared to just 11 for the Cats.
Michigan State outrebounded Kentucky 38-31.
Kentucky spent nearly 37 minutes of the game with a lead.
With this victory, Kentucky is almost assured to be ranked as the No. 1 team in the country when next week’s AP Poll gets released. While it is still early in the season, Kentucky looked very good against Michigan State and BBN should be both ecstatic and impressed by the Cats’ performance.
Kentucky’s next game will take place on Friday night, against Eastern Kentucky, inside Rupp Arena. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. and will air on the SEC Network.