Postgame Notes: Wildcats Roll Past Georgia 69-49 Tuesday Night
Photo by UK Athletics
UK POSTGAME NOTES
Kentucky 69, Georgia 49
Team Records and Series Notes
Kentucky improved to 13-3 overall, 3-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Georgia is now 9-7, 1-3 in the SEC.
UK leads the series 127-26, including 43-17 in games played in Athens, Georgia.
Kentucky extended its winning streak over Georgia to 12 games, which is now UK’s longest active winning streak vs. an SEC opponent
UK has won 11 straight over Mississippi State, who Kentucky will play next Tuesday.
The streak is not the longest in the series, however. UK has previous streaks of 20 (1950-66), 16 (1994-2001) and another one of 12 (1977-82).
The Wildcats’ 20-point victory was its largest margin of victory in Athens since a 76-55 victory on Jan. 15, 2004.
The 49 points the Wildcats held the Bulldogs to were the fewest Georgia has scored vs. UK in Athens since limiting UGA to 44 in a 57-44 Kentucky victory on Jan. 24, 2012.
Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats will remain on the road for a Saturday showdown at No. 14/12 Auburn. Game time is 4 p.m. ET and it will be televised on ESPN.
In the First Half
Kentucky started Ashton Hagans (pictured), Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, PJ Washington and Reid Travis for the ninth time this season. UK is now 6-3 with that lineup.
UK gave up five dunks in the opening six minutes for Georgia’s first five field goals.
The Wildcats settled in after – another – slow start. UK went on a 12-3 run to take an 18-14 lead.
Hagans sparked the run with two sharp assists. First he found Herro slicing to the basket for a layup and then fired a dart to Jemarl Baker Jr. in the left corner for a 3-pointer.
Washington capped the run with his first 3-pointer in five games and had a team-high tying eight first-half points.
Georgia tied it at 25-25 after a 7-2 run.
After a 1-for-7 shooting start, Hagans sparked the Cats at the end of the half for the lead at intermission. He pulled up for a long 2-pointer for the lead and then followed with a layup as he was fouled for a quick four-point burst.
Despite the shooting troubles, he finished the half with team highs in points (eight), rebounds (four), assists (two) and steals (one).
Nick Richards provided a big lift in the final minute of the half with a dunk and a block as UK went into the locker room with a 35-31 lead.
In the Second Half
Kentucky opened the second half with Hagans, Herro, Johnson, Washington and Travis.
Hagans was the spark to start the second half. After the Cats committed a shot-clock violation on their first possession, Hagans drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer on the second possession. He followed with two straight layups for the first seven points of the half for either team.
EJ Montgomery followed with a layup for a 9-0 UK start to the second half and a 44-31 lead, UK’s largest lead to that point.
The run was 11-0 going back to the second half.
Montgomery punctuated an 8-0 Kentucky run over 2:47 with a dunk at the 9:07 mark to give UK a 16-point lead, its largest of the game. Kentucky cruised from there.
Kentucky improved to 2-1 in true road games this season.
The Wildcats are 3-3 away from Rupp Arena in 2018-19.
UK is now 246-5 when leading by at least 10 points at any time in the contest. The Wildcats have led by 10 points or more in a whopping 85.4 percent of John Calipari’s 288 wins at Kentucky.
Kentucky is now 235-40 vs. unranked competition under Calipari.
Georgia totaled 49 points. UK is 67-0 under Calipari when keeping the opponent at 55 points or less, including 3-0 this season.
It’s the second straight game the Wildcats have held the opponent to 50 points or less. That’s the first time UK has done that since holding South Carolina (Feb. 14, 2015) and Tennessee (Feb. 17, 205) to 43 and 48 points, respectively, during the 2014-15 season.
Kentucky limited Georgia to 30.4 percent from the field. UK is 170-15 under Calipari when keeping the opponent at 40 percent or less, including 6-0 this season.
The field-goal percentage was UK’s second-best defensive effort of the season and best since holding Monmouth to 27.6 percent on Nov. 28.
It was a season-low field-goal percentage for the Bulldogs.
UK shot 50 percent from the field tonight. It is UK’s seventh game of the season at 50 percent or better, all wins.
After Georgia scored via dunk for its five field goals of the game, the Wildcats limited Georgia to 12 points in the paint the rest of the way. UK won that category overall, 40-22. UK is now 11-2 when winning the points in the paint.
Ashton Hagans had no letdown in his return to his home state in Georgia (Cartersville native). He finished with a game- and career-high 23 points, a career-high five rebounds, a game-high-tying four assists and a game-high four steals.
Hagans’ finished the game 9 of 18 from the floor despite making just one of his first seven shots (8 of 11 from that point forward).
He has now scored in double figures in five straight games after scoring in single figures in his first 11 games. He’s averaging 15.8 points, 4.4 assists and 3.6 steals over that time span.
Hagans extended his streak of three or more steals to six games. When he hit five straight games, it was believed to be a school record.
Tyler Herro had a solid all-around game with 12 points, seven rebounds – his most since Nov. 28 – and a game-high-tying four assists.
PJ Washington scored in double figures with 10 points for the seventh time this season and the 30th time in his career. He was an efficient 4 of 6 from the floor.
Nick Richards pitched in with an important 15 minutes. He scored four points with seven rebounds – his second most of the season – and a career-high-tying three blocks.
He leads the team with 22 swats.
Jemarl Baker Jr. tied his career high with six points on a career-high-tying two 3-pointers.
With six points, EJ Montgomery had his best scoring output since Dec. 1 vs. UNCG.