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UK Continues to Improve in a Blowout Victory Against Lamar

Nick Richards - photo by Brendon D. Miller - Bluegrass Sports Nation

UK totaled 13 blocks and six steals as the Cats now hold a 4-0 all-time record against Lamar.

LEXINGTON – November 24, 2019 – Bradley Charles – Bluegrass Sports Nation

On Sunday night, the Kentucky Wildcats beat Lamar University in convincing fashion with a season-high ten 3-pointers.

Kentucky jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the game, but Lamar responded with a 19-9 run of their own to make the score 19-19 with 8:52 to play in the first half. However, Kentucky responded with a 20-0 run and never looked back. The final score was 81-56 in favor of the blue-and-white.

Tyrese Maxey put up another career night, scoring 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field while shooting 4-of-6 on 3-pointers. Maxey also hauled in five rebounds and dished out three assists while also recording a block and a steal. All four of Maxey’s 3-pointers came in a 4:12 span during Kentucky’s 20-0 run in the first half.

Nick Richards posted his third double-double of the season. The junior had 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field to go along with 13 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks. Richards only had one double-double in his first two years at UK, a clear sign of growth.

Immanuel Quickley provided 11 points in 19 minutes of action for the Cats. Quickley has scored in double figures and hit at least one 3-pointer in every game he’s played this season.

The play of Ashton Hagans continues to impress. The sophomore posted 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field while going 3-of-4 from behind the arc and a perfect 4-of-4 at the free throw line. Hagans also tallied nine assists, three rebounds, and two steals. In Hagan’s time at UK, the Cats are 8-0 when he scores at least 14 points.

It was the second game back for E.J. Montgomery and Immanuel Quickley who had been dealing with injuries. Their effect on the team was immediately noticed. In the two games since their return, Kentucky has totaled 40 assists which is their best two-game stretch since totaling 57 vs. Arizona State and UT Martin in November 2016. UK had just 17 assists in the two games prior to their returns.

After the game, Coach Calipari had this to say about the return of Montgomery and Quickley: “Well, when you’re playing without two veterans in E.J. Montgomery and Immanuel Quickley you’re not going to be the same, not with this group, because then you’re playing freshman who are not ready to be the dominating guys. Even Tyrese Maxey is still learning.”

All things considered, Kentucky did exactly what they are supposed to do and looked good in the process. That being said, it is still November and there is obviously still a lot of room for improvement. It is important to remember that developing a championship-caliber team takes time. The team we see in November is not going to be the team we see in March.

“I’m not coaching this game against that score. I’m coaching this team to be prepared for what they got going forward,” Calipari said after the game.

What’s Next?
Kentucky’s next game is on Friday, Nov. 29th as the Cats battle UAB. The game will tip at 7:00 p.m. and will air on the SEC Network.

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