POSTGAME NOTES: Kentucky Defeats Georgia 62-49 in SEC Tournament; Cats Face Crimson Tide Saturday Af
Compiled by Tony Neely
Team Records and Series Notes
Kentucky is 22-10 overall. Georgia is 18-15 overall.
Kentucky leads the series 126-26 and has won 11 in a row vs. the Bulldogs.
Next for the Wildcats: Kentucky takes on Alabama in the SEC Tournament semifinals Saturday at 1 p.m. EST (noon CST in St. Louis). The game will be televised on ESPN.
In the First Half
Kentucky’s starting lineup featured Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, PJ Washington and Nick Richards for the 12th time this season. UK is 7-5 with this lineup.
Wenyen Gabriel hit a 3-pointer with 13:23 on the clock, extending UK’s streak of 1,045 consecutive games with a 3-pointer.
It was a back-and-forth first half until UK closed with an 8-0 run to take a 30-23 advantage into intermission. It was the largest lead of the half for either team.
UK is now 15-3 this season when leading at halftime.
In the Second Half
Gabriel opened the second half with a 3-pointer, sparking an 11-3 run that made the score 41-26 and coaxed a Georgia timeout at the 16:28 mark.
Shortly thereafter, UK increased the margin to 17 points on three occasions, the last at 47-30.
At that point, the Wildcats went cold and Georgia got back in the game with a 6-0 run to make it 47-36.
UK kept the lead in double digits until Georgia scored with 1:27 left to make it 58-49 but the Bulldogs got no closer.
The story of the game was UK’s defense, holding Georgia to 49 points – a season low for the Bulldogs and the lowest point total of the season by a UK opponent.
Georgia shot just 28.3 percent from the field, again a season low for the Bulldogs and the lowest percentage this season by a UK opponent.
It’s the first time the Wildcats have held an opponent to less than 30 percent from the floor since limiting Stony Brook to 26.3 percent on March 17, 2016, in the NCAA Tournament.
Georgia shot 26.1 percent from 3-point range today, 6 of 23. UK entered the game third in the nation in 3-point defense at 29.7 percent.
UK held Yante Maten, the Associated Press SEC Player of the Year, to nine points and four rebounds. He came into the game averaging 19.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest.
UK is 64-0 under Coach John Calipari when keeping opponents to 55 or fewer points.
UK is now 165-14 under Calipari when keeping the opponent under 40 percent from the field.
UK had a season-low five turnovers today and is 11-0 this season when committing 11 or fewer miscues.
UK is 12-1 this season when the Wildcats have more assists than turnovers.
UK led by as many as 17 points today. The Wildcats are 229-5 under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points during a game.
UK is 44-12 in “bounce back” games under Calipari following a loss.
In the SEC Tournament
Kentucky has an all-time record of 131-25 in the SEC Tournament, and has won 10 in a row, including the last three championships.
UK is 44-11 in quarterfinals games.
UK is 12-1 vs. Georgia in the SEC Tournament, including 6-0 in quarterfinals games.
Coach Calipari is 20-3 in the SEC Tournament.
Looking Ahead to Saturday
Kentucky will take on Alabama on Saturday at 1 p.m. EST (noon CST).
UK is 41-2 in SEC Tournament semifinal games.
UK leads the Alabama series, 111-37, and has won nine in a row vs. the Crimson Tide.
UK is 15-2 vs. Alabama in the SEC Tournament, including 6-0 in the semifinals.
This will be the third year in a row that the teams have played in the SEC Tournament. UK defeated Alabama 85-59 in the 2016 quarterfinals and 79-74 in the 2017 semifinals.
Earlier this season on Feb. 17, UK defeated Alabama, 81-71, in Lexington. PJ Washington and Donta Hall led their respective teams with 16 points each.
PJ Washington continued his steady play, leading the Wildcats with 18 points and adding seven rebounds.
He has scored double figures and grabbed at least five rebounds in each of the last seven games.
Kevin Knox tallied 15 points and led the Wildcats with nine rebounds.
He is averaging 17.9 points over the last eight games.
He has 501 points this season, 12th most by a UK freshman in a season.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander often was able to drive and score, finishing with 15 points and a game-high nine assists.
He is averaging 16.2 points and 7.6 assists over the last five games.
Hamidou Diallo scored seven points, including a huge 3-pointer when Georgia cut the lead to 11 in the second half.
Coach John Calipari
Calipari has a 716-203 all-time on-court record.
Calipari is now 271-63 at Kentucky.
Calipari is 16-2 vs. Georgia in his career