Announced just weeks earlier, the University of Kentucky Wildcats added the Morehead State Eagles to their schedule for a charity game in Rupp Arena. The proceeds of the game will be given to the relief efforts in Puerto Rico and California. Morehead State is the first Division 1 team that the Wildcats have faced, and Morehead gave Kentucky all that they could handle for 30 Min.
In the first half, Morehead scored on their first possession with a 3-pointer by Lamontray Harris. Kevin Knox tied the game within seconds with a 3-pointer of his own. Kentucky wanted to use their athleticism to overpower the Eagles, but Lamontray Harris showed his athletic ability by blocking Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s layup early in the half. It was obvious that Morehead States’ game-plan was to give Kentucky room to shoot the ball and prevent them from driving to the basket. Kentucky’s players fell into their trap by shooting 5 three pointers in their first 10 shots. Kentucky played terrible defense for a portion of the first half. They left shooters open and that allowed Morehead to pull within 2 until Quade Green hit a jumper and Wenyen Gabriel hit a three to begin an eleven-point run making the score 29 to 16. Morehead scored back to back baskets to pull within nine before John Calipari called timeout to discuss the defensive breakdown. The first half ended with Kentucky leading 39 to 28, but Morehead state led in Field Goal percentage shooting 56% to Kentucky’s 47%.
The second half was much closer than what UK fans would have liked. It started with a couple quick fouls on Morehead State, but they didn’t let that stall them. Morehead pulled within 6 at the beginning of the half but with a dunk by Knox and a 3-pointer by Gilgeous- Alexander Kentucky pushed the lead back to 11. Morehead pulled within 3 two times until the Wildcats went on a 15 to 3 run to finally push past the Eagles for good. The final score was 92 to 67 with an impressive effort by Morehead. Morehead shot nearly 50% from the field for the entire game but couldn’t overcome 26 turnovers. (Kentucky had 30 points off turnovers)
Overall this was a terrific opportunity for both teams to get better before the season starts and a great way to raise money for those in need. Kentucky’s next opponent will be another in-state school Centre College on Friday, Nov. 3rd at 7:00 p.m.