This was a fun/huge/much-needed win. We all know that we have been much better at home than on the road, but beating the team who leads the SEC East and getting revenge for our prior road loss really helps our team as we hit the closing stride of the season. It was great to watch Brandon Knight claim a win over his Florida friends. Remembering the look on Darius’ face once nailing the huge three pointer after his big-time-hustle rebound, it is easy to share in the great sigh of relief that this win allows us.
The game started off as a back and forth battle. DeAndre Liggins blew up on the sidelines in the thick of the first half, as Matt noted. Frustrated with the way the game was going, Cal chastised his antics, which were over the top. But, he almost immediately went back into the game. The Cats clawed back and forth with the 13th-ranked Gators, and found themselves ahead going into the second half, 34-33.
Another tale of two halves ensued. The good guys finally burst through, stretching the lead to 58-49 due to the great play of Darius Miller and crew. The most memorable play of the game occurred when Darius chased down an offensive rebound, flying up to take it away from a Florida defender. The pure heart and hustle of that play allowed Darius to be rewarded with a Florida-dream-killing three pointer merely a few seconds later. And with that, Kentucky basically won the game.
– Miller posted the most impressive line of (career high) 24 pts, 5 reb, 3 ast, 3 blk.
– UK is 3-1 in the last four games, with Miller averaging 18 pts/gm. In the four games before that, UK went 1-3, with Miller averaging 6.5 pts/gm.
– Josh Harrellson posted another double digit rebounding game (12). He now averages 8.9 reb/gm.
– Knight scored 16 pts with 6 ast. Lamb dropped 14 pts. Both hit several momentum building shots, including four threes split between them. Also, Lamb continued to show why swishing the floater is the prettiest way to score a bucket.
– Eloy didn’t make me want to pull my hair out. He played 5 mins, in which he blocked a player that is 5’5”. Afterward, 5 teammates gave Vargas high fives.
– Only six players attempted field goals today, and the team shot a solid 51.7% fg (50% 3pt).
– Five of the six players who shot also attempted at least one free throw. The team went 9-15, missing a few down the stretch.
– UK won its 33rd straight game at home, staying undefeated at Rupp Arena under Calipari. UK also netted its 20th win of the season.
– Coach Cal won his 500th game tonight.
– The 8pt victory matches the -8 line set in favor of Kentucky earlier today. Ship the juice to the house.
Kentucky wins. Vegas wins. We all win. Go Cats!