Kentucky had six players score in double figures as they defeated EKU in UK’s first home game of the regular season.
LEXINGTON – November 9, 2019 – Bradley Charles – Bluegrass Sports Nation
On Friday night, the Kentucky Wildcats hosted the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. It was Kentucky’s home opener and as expected BBN did not disappoint; 20,163 people filed into Rupp Arena to watch the action.
Kentucky got out to a quick start, scoring the game’s first 14 points; the first five EKU possessions resulted in a turnover. The Cats were able to extend their lead to 35-12, but the Colonels responded with an 11-2 run to make the score 37-23 with 2:38 to go in the first half. Kentucky answered back with a 9-0 run; the score at halftime was 46-25 in favor of the blue-and-white.
Kentucky’s momentum continued as the Cats owned a 66-29 lead with 14:42 to play in the second half. The Colonels kept fighting, going on a 12-3 run to make the score 69-41. However, the Cats responded with a 13-0 run to make the score 82-41 with 4:50 remaining in the game. The final score was 91-49 in favor of Kentucky.
Nick Richards notched the second double-double of his career with 21 points and 10 rebounds while also recording four blocks. It is only the second time that Richards has recorded a 20-point game at UK. His career high came against Fort Wayne on Nov. 22, 2017 when he tallied 25 points. The game against Fort Wayne also happens to be the only other game where Richards recorded a double-double.
Nate Sestina also had a double-double recording 12 points and 11 rebounds. It was Sestina’s 12th double-double of his career.
Immanuel Quickley earned career highs with 16 points and five assists. In his career, UK is 7-0 when he scores in double figures and 3-0 when he has at least four assists.
Ashton Hagans’ stat-line featured 11 points, five assists, three steals, and a career-high-tying seven rebounds.
Keion Brooks Jr. and Khalil Whitney each scored 11 points, which marks their first double-figure scoring game as Wildcats.
E.J. Montgomery did not play due to an injury. Montgomery is listed as day-to-day.
UK held EKU to 25.0% from the field. The Cats are now 189-16 under Calipari when holding the opponent to 40% or less from the floor.
Kentucky is 175-7 under Calipari when holding the opposition to 63 points or less; 75-0 when holding them to 55 points or less.
UK improved to 262-6 under Calipari in games where they had a lead of 10 or more points.
Kentucky has won 52 games in a row at home vs. unranked competition.
Kentucky had 54 points in the paint compared to 12 for EKU; UK also won the rebounding battle 54-25.
Stats on Calipari:
Calipari improved to 307-71 at UK.
He has a 752-211 all-time on-court record.
UK is 18-2 against in-state foes under Calipari.
With the victory, Kentucky leads the all-time series with EKU 13-0.
Kentucky leads the NCAA in all-time wins and picked up the program’s 2,295th all-time victory against EKU.
Kentucky is 103-14 all-time in home openers, undefeated under Calipari.
For BBN, it was nice to see the Cats pick up right where they left off against Michigan State on Tuesday night. Kentucky showed great energy from start to finish, which Calipari was “really happy about.”
Despite a relatively great performance, Kentucky went 2 of 14 on 3-pointers and had 18 turnovers. However, UK did still manage to win 91-49 against a solid mid-major program in EKU which is a testament to how good this Kentucky team is.
Kentucky’s next game is against Evansville on Tuesday night at Rupp Arena. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. and will air on the SEC Network.