Alabama rode a wave of offensive momentum into the second half to defeat Kentucky 77-75 in the opening game of SEC play. Avery Johnson picked up his first win over the Wildcats to snap a ten-game losing streak to Kentucky.
Tevin Mack could not be stopped in the first half. A 29 percent three-point shooter entering the game, Mack hit his first six attempts to score 20 first half points.
The Cats kept up with Alabama during the first 20 minutes, and even had a two-point lead at halftime. UK’s offense fell apart in the second half, thanks primarily to poor shot selection. Kentucky made 13-of-34 shots (38.2 percent) and only three three-pointers in the second half. A late run by the Wildcats closed the gap to one with five seconds to play, but the run began too late for the Cats to complete the comeback.
After two incredible wins against North Carolina and Louisville, nobody expected this kind of performance from Kentucky to start SEC play.