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A “pissed off” Kentucky team will use LSU loss as motivation for matchup with No. 1 Tennessee

The Kentucky Wildcats had one stolen away from them on Tuesday, and they’re looking to make up for it by stealing one away from their opponent next time around.

With the LSU Tigers in town yesterday evening, the Cats lost all their momentum down the stretch, taking a nine-point lead with just 16:51 remaining and coughing up the lead down the stretch. The team’s unravelling ended up resulting in a game-winning tip-in from LSU’s Kavell Bigby-Williams at the buzzer, leaving the Rupp Arena faithful dazed and confused.

While the Big Blue Nation ushered their way out of the stands, the Kentucky players remained angry. They said it shouldn’t have come down to the last play, but that doesn’t mean they’re not upset with how the game ended. It left a bad taste in their mouth, and it’s something they plan to fix when No. 1 Tennessee comes to town this weekend.

Kentucky forward PJ Washington flat-out said the way they lost on Tuesday night will leave them playing “pissed off” against the Volunteers on Saturday.

“I know it will (piss us off),” he said. “It felt like we should have won that game, and we didn’t make the plays to win at the end of the game. We’re going to bounce back Saturday.”

For Washington, it’s a game that’s going to linger with this group for a while. The Kentucky star forward says the final result was “unacceptable.”

“We’re definitely going to remember it,” he said. “We felt like we should have won this game, and it just hurts that we lost it, especially at home. I think we have a good team that pays attention to detail in practices. But, to come out here and perform like that was unacceptable.”

Like Washington, freshman point guard Immanuel Quickley assures fans they’ll turn things around and put on a performance that will make everyone in that sold-out Rupp Arena crowd proud.

“Really tough loss,” he said. “Credit to LSU. They have a really good team. We just did not execute really in the second half and do what we needed to do. But, we will bounce back.”

Washington said he’s not going to get too high or too low when they take on the Volunteers with ESPN College GameDay in town for the second time this season. He knows it’ll take a complete team effort, but the 6-foot-7 sophomore forward is confident in his team’s ability to pull off the upset victory.

“We look at every game the same and try not to underestimate anyone,” he said. “We’re going to come out our hardest and just go out and try to get a win.”

Kentucky head coach John Calipari said they have to head back to the drawing board and figure out why they let their foot off the pedal and struggled so much down the stretch against the Tigers. He wants everyone to know that while they will likely play their toughest game of the year against Tennessee, this is a very good Kentucky team and he likes where they are overall.

“We’ve got to figure some of (our problems) out,” he said, specifically mentioning the team’s effort on the glass down the stretch, among other things. “But I like this team. We’re good. I mean, this is a tough game and we’ve got another tough one, and the ones that are left from here on in on the road are tough. It’s going to be a struggle.”

With their 10-game winning streak now over and their loss dropping them back to No. 3 in the SEC, the chip on the shoulder they once had several weeks ago is now back.

It may have been a deflating loss for the Kentucky fanbase, but the players are confident they’ll be able to convert this disappointment into a massive victory against the top-ranked team in all of college basketball on Saturday.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

33 Comments for A “pissed off” Kentucky team will use LSU loss as motivation for matchup with No. 1 Tennessee

  1. Bigblue7982
    7:10 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    I’d be furious not only by that call but with how the team played the 2nd half I hope they put on a show.

    • Skooms
      7:23 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      You and me both BB! I hate to sound cliche and this is premature, but maybe this loss will be a good thing for them going forward. The previous 3 losses were pretty much while the team was finding their identity. A loss at that point seems to bring about more sadness than anger. A loss now, especially the way it happened, hopefully will provide major motivation to destroy TN.

    • michaelb
      7:55 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      Yes skooms. Every loss we have gotten this year , they truly learned from it and it served as a positive thing when they moved forward . This will be just like the other 3 . I believe that it will fuel their fire just like they say .

  2. jahanc2uky
    7:29 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Sometime losses in February, can be for the better come March.

    7:34 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    I do too, just got humbled again. Believe they really learned from this. Cats win Saturday in a dog fight 69-64. Comes down to the end

  4. bigbluenationmbb
    7:40 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Saturday shows if we can win a championship or not

    • IrishCat
      7:32 am February 14, 2019 Permalink


  5. KYCat4EVER
    7:41 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Get angry… get motivated… but learn from all of it!

  6. Wade
    7:50 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Everybody needs to step it up imo from start to finish!

  7. John
    7:52 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    I’m afraid ticked off and demoralized may be the way the guys feel after Saturday. I just don’t see Cats winning. Maybe they keep it close, but Cats don’t win. Tennessee has too much to contain.

    • Rdcombs
      8:10 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      Tennessee is far from unbeatable. Remember, they needed a lot of officiating help to beat Candy.

    • michaelb
      11:28 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      Bruh , tn has tried HARD to drop like 5 different games I’ve watched . They get help with the crowds & player of the year favoritism . They’re gonna lose

  8. BBNDan7
    7:52 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t know why everyone keeps calling this loss “defeating” we all knew we would lose a game or 2 down the stretch. March losses are “deflating” not mid February

    • Ridge Runner
      8:02 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      Losing at home anytime is not an expectation.

  9. VirginiaCat
    7:59 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    You are correct BIGBLUE, it will be the biggest test yet to see if we are championship caliber. If we can’t compete against Tennessee, a team that I think is a bit overrated, I don’t see any chance of beating an even better team like Duke. Looks to me like we need to split with Tennessee and make a deep SEC run in order to get a #2 seed.

  10. Memphis UK Cat
    8:18 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Prison orange gets beat by 12. They can’t handle what is coming to them. I like the line on this game

  11. KYjellyRoll
    8:28 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Too much passing around the perimeter in the 2nd half. Free throw discrepancy was too much. Go Cats

  12. Clyde X
    8:39 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Two observations. One, the game should never have come down to that last shot. The Cats let them back in the game when they quit playing defense. And two, not a single Kentucky player went for the rebound on that last shot. Goal tending or not, the LSU player had the ball all to himself.

  13. BigolBlue
    9:06 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Whooaaaa watch out

  14. cats646
    9:57 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    KICK UT’s FUKING ASS!!!!!!!!!
    Go cats!!!!

  15. shelby
    10:23 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    No need to be pissed off, just be better!

  16. Dildo Baggins
    11:13 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Better to be pissed off than pissed on by Tennessee

  17. The last sith lord
    2:58 am February 14, 2019 Permalink

    The only person on the team that needs to be pissed in ashton. Im putting that loss on him. Hes had a stretch of bad ganes now. He has to be the best defender every night. He does need to hit the 3 as much as the 15 to 18 foot shot . heck a penetrate n 8 foot jumper would be good. That lane is getting mighty clogged which hurts keldon n herros game cause theres an xtra man in the lane. I dont know if any one else noticed every time pj caught the ball down low there was a lil pg best buzzing around and slapping at the ball. Well that was ashtons man cause he cant hit a jumper.

    3:33 am February 14, 2019 Permalink

    Learn from the “Rule of 71”!

  19. The Big Lebowski
    3:43 am February 14, 2019 Permalink

    LSU: Shit Happens!

    Tennessee: Crush those SOBs!!!


  20. CahillsCrossingNT
    5:34 am February 14, 2019 Permalink

    I hope they can beat Tennessee, and they might. But at the same time, LSU deserves a lot of credit and is arguably better than Kentucky anyway. Suppose Naz Reid never got into foul trouble? He had 12 points and 7 rebounds in only 21 minutes. That’s highly productive. In my opinion, had he gotten to play 30+ minutes LSU would never have been in danger of losing.

    • speaksthetruth
      8:04 am February 14, 2019 Permalink

      Same thing happened to PJ though. He plays more we don’t worry about the last tip in, we win straight up.

    • ukcamel
      8:40 am February 14, 2019 Permalink

      I mean, if my aunt had balls then she’d be my uncle.

  21. catsarerunnin
    7:08 am February 14, 2019 Permalink

    We’re in great shape. Bring on the Vols! Go Cats!!!!

  22. henderblue
    7:18 am February 14, 2019 Permalink

    Making some shots and free throws would have went a long way against LSU. We gotta shoot better. We match up well with Tennessee. I like our chances but we gotta make shots!

  23. UKFootballYall
    7:51 am February 14, 2019 Permalink

    100% effort for 40 minutes every game = 2019 National Championship. Never stop guys and don’t have lapses. Go Cats!

  24. Kat4Life
    8:02 am February 14, 2019 Permalink

    Pissed off or not, they are playing a team that will match any degree of aggression they bring. Hagans needs to return to the form of a few weeks ago

    • catsarerunnin
      10:21 am February 14, 2019 Permalink

      I agree and if he’s open at the free throw line he has to shoot the ball. I don’t want him shooting 3s but he has to start taking and hitting those wide open shots near the basket. Until then teams will just lay off him like LSU did.