Watch for Shane Shackleford's column soon...
UK MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES
Compiled by UK Athletics
Final Score: No. 4/4 Kentucky 80, Auburn 53
Team Records and Series Notes
Kentucky is now 23-4 overall and moves into a three-way tie for first place in the Southeastern Conference with a 12-2 league mark. UK has won 13 of its last 14 games.
Auburn is 18-9 overall, 7-7 in league play.
The 27-point margin of victory is the Wildcats’ biggest vs. Auburn since defeating the Tigers 110-75 during the memorable 2014-15 season.
Kentucky leads the series 94-19 and has won two in a row. On Jan. 19, UK won 82-80 at Auburn.
UK leads 48-2 in games played in Lexington.
Next for Kentucky: on Tuesday, the Wildcats play host to Arkansas at 9 p.m. The game will be telecast on the SEC Network.
In the First Half
Kentucky started the combination of Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, PJ Washington (pictured) and EJ Montgomery for the first time this season.
It was Montgomery’s second start of the season.
Washington made three 3-pointers in the first six minutes, putting the Wildcats up 13-6.
Ahead 25-17, UK went on an 11-0 run – bookended with 3-pointers by Herro – to give the Cats their largest lead of the half at 36-17.
Auburn quickly replied with a 14-2 spurt to pull within 38-31.
UK came back with the final seven points of the half, capped by another Herro 3-pointer, to make the score 45-31 at intermission.
UK made nine 3-pointers – four by Washington and three by Herro – the most 3 in any half since draining 10 in the opening period vs. Tennessee on Feb. 14, 2017.
In the Second Half
Starting the same lineup, the Wildcats picked up where they left off with an 11-0 run to make it 56-31. Including the end of the first half, UK’s 18-0 run is its longest of the season.
UK stretched the lead to 33 points at 67-34 with 10:52 remaining.
Kentucky limited Auburn to a season-low 53 points. Other SEC opponents who were held to a season low, two of which were eclipsed earlier this week:
47 vs. Vanderbilt on Jan. 12 (since eclipsed, VU scored season-low 46 at Tenn. on Feb. 19)
49 at Georgia on Jan. 15
55 vs. Mississippi State on Jan. 22
48 vs. South Carolina on Feb. 5
69 vs. Tennessee on Feb. 16 (since eclipsed, UT scored season-low 58 vs. VU on Feb. 19)
53 vs. Auburn on Feb. 23
UK is 72-0 under Coach John Calipari when limiting the opponent to 55 or fewer points, including 8-0 this season.
Auburn shot 32.8 percent from the field. UK is 177-15 (.922) under Calipari when keeping the opponent at 40 percent or less, including 13-0 this season.
Kentucky shot 54.5 percent from the field today, the Wildcats’ 11th game this season of at least 50 percent. The Wildcats are 11-0 in those games.
UK made 11 3-pointers, second most for the Wildcats this season.
Kentucky won the rebounding 43-24 and points in the paint 30-22.
UK is now 19-2 this season when winning/tying the rebounding and 20-3 when prevailing in the paint.
Kentucky has won 13 of its last 14 games. During that 14-game span, UK has …
Limited the opponents to 38.0 percent from the field.
Limited the opponents to 31.4 percent from 3-point range.
Limited the opponents to 60.1 points per game.
PJ Washington led the way with 24 points, the sixth straight game he has led UK in scoring.
He made a career-best five 3-pointers.
It is his 10th 20-point game of the season and his eighth in the last 10 games.
He is averaging 21.0 points over the last 10 games.
He has 12 straight games in double figures.
Keldon Johnson totaled eight points, a career-high 17 rebounds and a career-high five assists.
Tyler Herro scored 17 points, including 3 of 6 on 3-pointers.
UK is 14-0 this season when he scores at least 15.
UK is 7-0 this season when he makes at least three 3-pointers.
Nick Richards scored four points and grabbed three rebounds.
UK is 11-0 this season when Richards scores at least four points.
Ashton Hagans scored 14 points, most for him since tallying 23 at Georgia on Jan. 15.
Hagans made only 5 of 27 on 3-point shots coming into this week but made 2 of 4 today and also at Missouri on Tuesday.
Making his second start of the season, EJ Montgomery piled up six points and seven rebounds while tying his career best for blocked shots with three rejections.
Coach John Calipari
Calipari is now 298-68 at UK.
With the win today, he moves past Joe B. Hall for the second-most victories by a UK head coach in program history.
Calipari has a 743-208 all-time on-court record.
UK is 241-40 vs. unranked competition under Calipari.
He’s now three wins shorts of win No. 300 at Kentucky.
Calipari is now 11-2 vs. Auburn all-time.
UK Athletics Photo by Elliott Hess