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Go Big Blue!

UK POSTGAME NOTES: Cats' Comeback Falls Short as Notre Dame Wins 64-63


Kentucky's Olivier Sarr in action against Notre Dame (SEC Photo)

By UK Athletics

NOTRE DAME AT KENTUCKY

RUPP ARENA AT CENTRAL BANK CENTER

DECEMBER 12, 2020 ATTENDANCE: 3,075


Final Score: Notre Dame 64, Kentucky 63


Team Records and Series Notes

· After trailing by 24 points in the first half, a spirited comeback fell just short as Notre Dame held on to win 64-63. Kentucky falls to 1-4 and Notre Dame is 2-2.

· UK leads the series 43-20, including 8-1 in games played in Lexington.

· Next: on Saturday, Dec. 19, Kentucky takes on UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic, held in Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Game time is 2 p.m. and it will be televised by CBS


Player Notes

· Olivier Sarr led the way 22 points, his most as a Wildcat, plus seven rebounds and three blocked shots.

o His career highs at Wake Forest also came against Notre Dame with 30 points and 17 rebounds on Feb. 20, 2020.

o Sarr’s three blocks were his most as a Wildcat.

· Brandon Boston Jr. had 14 points, his fifth straight game in double figures, and a career-high three steals.

· Terrence Clarke posted 14 points, adding four rebounds, three steals and two assists.

o He has notched double figures in four of five games.

· Davion Mintz led the Wildcats in assists for the second straight game with four of them, plus two steals.


Coach John Calipari

· Calipari is now 331-81 at UK.

· Calipari has a 776-221 all-time on-court record.

· UK is 268-47 all-time under Calipari against Associated Press unranked teams.

· Kentucky is 55-16 under Calipari following a loss.

· This is just the second time in his 12-year run as UK’s coach he has dropped three or more games in a row. UK also lost four straight during the 2017-18 season.


Team Notes

· Kentucky is 1-4 for the first time since the 1984-85 team also opened 1-4. That team finished the season 17-13.

· UK lost two in a row at home for the first time in the Calipari era.

· UK is 58-43 all-time against teams comprising the Atlantic Coast Conference.

· Struggling with turnovers in the first four games, the Wildcats cut their miscues to a season-low of 11. However, Notre Dame capitalized with 22 points off turnovers.


In the First Half

· The starting lineup consisted of Davion Mintz, Brandon Boston Jr., Terrence Clarke, Isaiah Jackson and senior Olivier Sarr for the first time this season.

· Mintz made his first start in a Kentucky uniform.

· Devin Askew was UK’s first substitute at the 16:30 mark.

· Sarr made the first two baskets of the game but Notre Dame had a 9-1 spurt to go ahead 9-5.

· Ahead 14-9, Notre Dame went on a 19-0 run to lead 33-9.

· Notre Dame went on to lead 48-26 at halftime

o It is Kentucky’s largest halftime deficit since a 30-point margin (41-11) at Vanderbilt in 2008. It is Kentucky’s largest halftime home deficit in school history.

o The Irish shot 59.3% in the first half, including 6 of 11 on 3-pointers.

In the Second Half

· The starting lineup opened the second half.

· Kentucky got the first five points of the half to get within 48-31.

· After scoring at 16:22 to make it 53-33, Notre Dame went scoreless for more than nine minutes and UK’s 16-0 run cut the gap to 53-49.

· UK got within four again at 55-51 but Notre Dame made its first 3-pointer of the second half to blunt the Wildcat spurt.

· A basket-and-one by Mintz got UK within 62-59 with 1:34 left.

· A Wildcat steal, followed by a Jackson layup, got UK to 62-61.

· A Sarr basket with 40 seconds pulled the Cats within 64-63.

· UK forced a shot-clock violation with 12 seconds to give UK a chance to win but a Sarr jumper from the right baseline missed at the buzzer.

· UK outscored Notre Dame in the second half 37-16 in falling just short in the comeback.

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