Ashton Hagans threw a homecoming party in Athens. The Kentucky point guard’s career night sparked Kentucky to a 69-49 win over Georgia.
Tom Crean’s squad kept it close in the first half by building an early 11-6 lead. When Hagans left the halftime locker room, the game was over.
The Cartersville, Georgia native scored the first seven points of the second half to help Kentucky take a 13-point lead. From that point on, the game never got closer than eight. Hagans finished with a career-high 23 points, five rebounds and four assists. He stole at least three passes for the sixth straight game, all while committing just one turnover.
Hagans received plenty of help in the second half from two unexpected sources. Nick Richards and E.J. Montgomery, who played high school basketball in the state of Georgia last year, came off the bench to disrupt Georgia’s lengthy offense. Richards grabbed five rebounds, blocked three shots and created two more turnovers by drawing a pair of charges.
Kentucky’s dominance extended into unfamiliar territory. The Cats did it all without a point from Keldon Johnson. John Calipari did not get any offensive production from his leading scorer, but he did see Kentucky play its best three-point defense of the season, holding Georgia to 4-of-27 from behind the arc (14.8 percent).
After messing around in no-man’s land for a few games, Kentucky blew out an SEC opponent in a feel good win at the perfect time, thanks to Coach Cal’s next superstar point guard, Ashton Hagans.