I’ve always learned that I would rather win ugly than lose pretty. Yesterday was the epitome of just that. Kentucky did not play well, but survived down the stretch to defeat Ole Miss 67-62. Here is the news you need to know to start your Sunday:
Free Throws prove to be the difference
Good teams make shots. Great teams make free throws. In almost every NCAA tournament loss under John Calipari, missing free throws has proven to be the difference in winning and losing.
The first half yesterday had the Cats go 6-10 from the charity stripe which included Immanuel Quickley having two of those misses; the first time in his career he’s missed twice from the line in a single game. The second half was a different story as the team combined 13-14 from the line including multiple massive free throws down the stretch.
On the other hand, Ole Miss went 8-11 from the charity stripe, but missed two in the closing seconds that proved to be the difference in the game.
The Legend of Nick Richards grows
Nick Richards should be the SEC Player of the Year. Barring a massive collapse over the final few weeks, Richards has completely earned the award. The junior had 17 points, 7 rebounds and, most importantly, had 7 fouls drawn.
In games where Richards scores double figures, the Cats are 19-1. It is no secret that this team is not the same without him.
Cats all alone as #1 in SEC with LSU looming
With both Auburn and LSU losing yesterday, Kentucky found themselves all alone at the top of the SEC standings for the first time all season. Their reward for that? A trip to Baton Rouge for a game against the Bayou Bengals on Tuesday evening.
Will Wade’s team has snuck by most of the season with multiple wins by less than five points. As I said above though, an ugly win is always better than a pretty loss and Wade’s LSU team has been great at just that.
This will be the first matchup between the two teams since the infamous goaltending call that allowed for the Tigers to leave Rupp Arena with a 73-71 victory last season.
Vince Marrow speaks publically about decision to return
The Big Dog himself spoke to the media for the first time yesterday since officially deciding to stay at Kentucky. For the full transcript of everything Marrow said, click here.
In addition to speaking to the media, Marrow stopped by KSBar and Grille to speak directly to UK fans who were there for the KSR Pregame Show. When he got the mic, he proved further why he is, and always will be, a fan favorite.
Vince Marrow on returning to Kentucky: “Deep down in my heart I knew I was never going to leave this place.” pic.twitter.com/2TGaD2Q0HM
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) February 15, 2020
Bam Adebayo wins NBA Skills Challenge
In positive NBA All-Star game news, former Cat Bam Adebayo won the Skills Competition. The event combines shooting, dribbling and passing to see which player can combine the three for the best all-around player.
In the championship, Adebayo defeated Domantas Sabonis to join Dwayne Wade as the only Heat player to win the title.
Bam Adebayo takes home the Skills Challenge title ? pic.twitter.com/fHidtrhJdI
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 16, 2020
Bam said after the event that he would be giving the trophy to his mom. Definitely one of the all-time great former Cats.
Devin Booker falls one short in three-point contest
After originally being snubbed from the All-Star game, Devin Booker was announced as an injury replacement. Regardless, it was known that the former Cat was going to be competing in the three-point contest.
Going up against former Oklahoma star Buddy Hield, Booker fell just one point short in his final match.
Booker dropped 27 in his first round ?? pic.twitter.com/jFAc5fPFaO
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 16, 2020
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 16, 2020
The NBA All-Star game will take place this evening at 8:00 p.m. on TNT.
Bat Cats will look to avoid sweep at TCU
Trying to rebound from a disappointing season a year ago, the Kentucky baseball team is opening the new season on the road at TCU. After falling in game one on Friday evening, the Cats allowed five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Horned Frogs picked up a 7-1 win.
In the loss, Mason Hazelwood pitched 4.0 innings, giving up an unearned run and just one hit while striking out three more.
The Cats will look to avoid the sweep at 1:30 p.m. EST. You can listen to the game on the UK Sports Network or watch live for free on GoFrogs.com.
UK Softball defeats Illinois State; blow lead twice to Arizona State and falls
After falling to the Lady Devils on Friday night, the Kentucky softball team blew two leads and fell for the second straight night at 7-5. The Cats led 1-0 heading into the bottom half of the seventh, but allowed for Arizona State to tie the game up.
Kentucky plated three in the top of the eighth on an error and wild pitch respectively, but again allowed for ASU to tie the game. With the game tied at the bottom of the 11th, ASU walked it off for the win.
Earlier in the day, Autumn Humes pitched a complete game as the Cats defeated Illinois State 7-1.
UK will wrap up their time out west this afternoon against Detriot Mercy at 2:30 p.m. EST.
UK Hoops hosts #6 Mississippi State this afternoon
The UK Hoops team will have a massive opportunity this afternoon to knock off one of the perennial powers in the SEC in Mississippi State. The Lady Bulldogs come to town as the #6 team in the country while Kentucky will look to bounce back from an abysmal performance last Sunday on the road at Arkansas.
The game will tip at Memorial Coliseum at 5:00 p.m. and will broadcast live on ESPN2.
There is the news you need to start your day! Go Cats!