It won’t get the attention that Immanuel Quickley and Tyrese Maxey’s second half heroics will, but EJ Montgomery had the play of the game to save Kentucky from an embarrassing loss to Ole Miss this afternoon.
Playing with four fouls, Montgomery got a huge offensive rebound off a Tyrese Maxey three and threw it back to Maxey, who got the second-chance layup to put Kentucky up by one with 1:34 left. Unfortunately, Montgomery fouled out on the next play, but that rebound is further proof that the sophomore big man is starting to do the little things to help his team win. He finished with two points, a team-high eight rebounds, and one steal in 21 minutes, tying Tyrese Maxey in efficiency with +10.
“EJ on Tyrese’s missed bank wide-open three, fought for the ball, got on his back, and he threw it — that’s a will to win,” John Calipari said afterwards. “He threw it to Tyrese, who makes the lay-up.”
“As you go through seasons, all you want to see your team do is fight. They’re not going to be perfect. They’re not making every shot. They’re going to have bad shooting nights. You just want to see them fight, and I would guess our fans — just fight. Don’t get pushed around, just fight.”
EJ’s definitely showing more fight these days.