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FINAL: Kentucky responds to defeat Arkansas, 73-66

It wasn’t easy, but the Kentucky Wildcats found a way to win on the road against Arkansas, defeating the Razorbacks by a final score of 73-66. After building a nine-point lead at halftime, the Cats were slowed down considerably at the start of the second half, due largely in part to foul trouble and offensive droughts.

The real change of the game came when John Calipari received a double technical for arguing with the officials, effectively sending Coach Cal out of the arena. His team found a way to respond, and the Wildcats came together in an exciting way to push each other toward a win inside a tough enviornment. Assistant coach Kenny Payne took over as the acting head coach, and he led the Cats from the sideline for the final few minutes of action.

Nick Richards led the Wildcats with 17 points, while Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley each added 13 of their own. Tyrese Maxey finished with 11, and Keion Brooks recorded 10 points. Hagans and EJ Montgomery both fouled out for the Wildcats, and two Razorbacks also left the game with five personal fouls.

Here’s a look at the final boxscore:

 

Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)

49 Comments for FINAL: Kentucky responds to defeat Arkansas, 73-66



  1. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    6:23 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    Cal should get thrown out on the road more often.



  2. 8XChamps
    6:24 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    Great win! UK players put it in cruise & Arkansas started to come back, Cal STRATEGICALLY got ejected from the game to motivate the players and we take charge for the win! Great coaching Cal and great playing from the team!



  3. ColoradoCatFan88
    6:24 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    SEC officiating is by far the worst in the country! These clowns make the game painful to watch. I don’t blame Cal for getting thrown out. Surprised he didn’t do it last game as well. I do like the decision to switch to the zone afterward though. We went on a 12-0 run. I’ll take the W, but something has to be done about this horrendous officiating because they are ruining the game for everyone involved.



    • magimae
      6:28 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      Very good comments, agree with everything you said. Thought Vital was going to blow a gasket, lmao.



    • Corder
      6:42 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      Officiating in college basketball is by far the worst it has ever been and probably the worst across major college sports. The main problem is there is no one to answer to. If they screw up they still get a job next week and never can be criticized by anybody or they get fined. In what world do we live in that when you are bad at your job are people not allowed to call you out with out being reprimanded. Until they are punished or have to answer for what they have done it’ll never get better. If these college kids have to go to the press conference after a game win or lose and answer hard questions then why shouldn’t grown men that are paid to do a job.



    • syrin23
      7:29 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      THREE SEC games now where the other team is shooting the bonus before even being called for their first foul. Hagans gets body blocked on a break away lay up, NO CALL. On the other end, swipe at the ball and miss entirely, get a whistle. They are absolutely out for UK, and I almost never complain about refs, but this is a pattern. Sestina and EJ are fouling machines, and most calls on them are legit, except for the non-existent moving screen they called on EJ.



  4. lecantrell
    6:29 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    Maybe Cal should stay out recruiting on game days and leave the game coaching to Coach Payne!



    • syrin23
      7:30 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      Every time Cal has been tossed, and Payne is allowed to call the games, we look like a better team. Not sure if it;s the emotional response from the team or Payne is indeed a better in game coach.



  5. sprtphan
    6:29 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    Don’t like to complain about officiating but those guys obviously had an agenda today.



    • 4everUKBlue
      6:49 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      Maybe the most poorly officiated game I’ve ever watched.



    • CrystalBall
      10:37 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      If the flagrant foul on Quickley couldn’t convince anyone of that, nothing could.



  6. Righteous1
    6:29 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    8xchamps. Great coaching Cal, really? UK went to a zone and ran a different offense after he left so his assistants get the credit for this win. Does anybody really believe that UK would have won if Cal would not have been ejected?



    • EdC
      6:31 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      Yea trying to spin it as if Cal got strategically tossed when we all saw him losing his mind out of control is just silly IMO. I believe we would have lost double digits staying with his on floor strategy. EJ fouling out didn’t hurt either. He was outplayed soundly by Brooks and even Juzang in far fewer minutes by both.



    • nocode96
      6:33 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      No, including Cal. If you do not realize that was strategic on Cal’s part, then idk what to tell you.

      I just realized who I’m responding to, arguably one of the biggest dummies on this site, my bad for assuming you realized anything that takes more than a 2nd grade education to comprehend.



    • EdC
      6:38 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      I guess when Cal was walking away he told the assistants to go to a zone D and start running offensive plays too huh?



    • 4everUKBlue
      6:51 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      I’m with you nocode. That was really painful to watch, at one point we were 4 of 7 from free throws and they had shot like 26 or so, must have had some money on the game.



    • KatFan48
      7:03 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      Yes. Cal didn’t make a shot or get a rebound or stop a shooter Before or After. Go back to the replay. No coach or player got in his way at the ejection. WELL PLAYED CAL. GO CATS



    • Bluehender
      9:46 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      I knew Righteous1 would be able to put a negative spin on a win. Congratulations



  7. KentuckyRob
    6:29 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    We could’ve use a few more “official reviews” in my opinion.



  8. DelrayCat
    6:30 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    Brooks and Juzang were the key. FINALLY a couple of the freshman begin the step up. EJ was a little better, but as Brooks ascends, his playing time will diminish. Poor Whitney better get used to riding the pine.



    • EdC
      6:33 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      EJ was better? 0-1 from the field 1-2 from the line 2 rebounds 1 assist and 3 turnovers while committing 5 fouls? Even if that is better he needs to sit. That is a horrific stat line.



    • DelrayCat
      6:34 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      Wait…EJ with 1 point, 2 boards, 5 fouls in 17 minutes. Yuck. He is who he is at this point I guess.



    • makeitstop
      6:43 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      So maybe this is EJ’s best version of himself… we can survive that if Sestina can shoot and defend adequately and Juzang and Brooks keep getting better.



    • BlueWildcat_99
      6:48 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      EJ was a little better??? How? He had 1 point and 2 boards with 3 turnovers and fouled out!



  9. nocode96
    6:30 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    I rarely, if ever complain about the refs, but this one? JFC that was downright awful. College basketball shouldn’t last as long as college football. Love or hate Vitale, he had the line of the night with “are they going to go to the monitor to see who got the rebound now?”!



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      6:56 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      The problem is it was the exact same 2nd half officiating as last game. The difference is the team started to give up last week. The assistant play calling helped but Cal’s ejection clearly put the fight back in them.



  10. DelrayCat
    6:32 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    The zone won the game. With these slow-footed bigs, it is the perfect remedy to stop all the petty hand-check fouls. UK seems especially prone to foul problems, regardless of poor officiating, and the zone seems to be a solid solution. I’d be okay to see them play it 30-40%+ of the time…even if they give up some threes and offensive rebounds. Great win.



  11. BlueWildcat_99
    6:33 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    Good to come away with a win. I’m glad Cal got tossed because I knew we would at least try a zone. Sure enough, it changed the game! That’s my only knock on Cal; sometimes you just have to change things up to stop their offensive rhythm. However, it seems like he’d rather lose than play a freaking zone for a few possessions. And man can EJ get any worse? The reason this team isn’t as good/dominant as we thought is because EJ hasn’t improved one iota and Whitney – our best recruit – almost looks like he’s never played basketball before. I’m confident it’s all in his head and he can earn his keep this season. But EJ, I just don’t know what to say.



    • DelrayCat
      6:40 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      I see Cal starting to get to his typically end of year short rotation. Whitney’s playing time is done for the year. Maybe a few garbage minutes to rest some guys. Juzang and Brooks are clearly better and deserve to play. Brooks will soon take over EJ’s starting spot and not reliquish it.



  12. makeitstop
    6:33 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    Cal lasted longer than most of us would’ve. SEC officiating is so far below the quality of play that it hurts the League. 45-50 fouls a game? U think these guys forgot the rules? I wish the SEC would be the first to use professional refs. The players are NBA bound in many cases and they hv amateurs trying to keep up. They can’t. Hire pro’s.



  13. michaelb
    6:34 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    Oh man there’s gonna be tall about the zone this week… it just worked for us but guess who never plays zone



  14. dhard
    6:34 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    Since cal will already pay fine, he should go ahead and get his moneys worth and blast them again, my goodness SEC, you can do better.



    • makeitstop
      6:45 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      I was thinking that too – might as well get ur money’s worth. He’s a HoF coach. He knows what bad officiating looks like. The league may fine us but they’d hv to listen.



    • EdC
      6:51 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      The league really needs to look at the tape. These officials rewarded multiple flops. The flagrant call happened at least 3 fouls into that melee. There is just no way that any objective observer can say these officials were anything but horrible.



    • 4everUKBlue
      6:53 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      How can a moving screen be called on a man standing still?



  15. KentuckyRob
    6:48 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    Wait!!!………Hang on a minute!!!! ……. I’m hearing they called the teams back and are going to the monitor for ANOTHER official review!!!! Stand by!!



    • 4everUKBlue
      6:54 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      Lol! Maybe they have monitors in their dressing rooms and cars.



  16. spincr4hire
    6:52 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    Great road win !



  17. StillBP
    7:01 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    Man, a lot of missing commenters around here. Could it be because we won?!?



  18. bankerbh
    7:04 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    I don’t usually comment on the refs but that was gawd awful. Not just the calls but the ever increasing over reliance of “going to the monitor.” Want to speed up the game? Only allow them to go to the monitor a limited number of times in a game. The attempt to be perfect kills the game. Separately, thought the assistants did a great job of getting the best out of the players when the coaches got to call the show. Hmmmm. Zone. It worked. Cal. Quit being so stubborn or go to the locker room more often.



  19. KatFan48
    7:07 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    When we win the critics turn into crickets. Go Cats



  20. dave1964
    9:00 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

    EJ fouling out was the best thing that could have happened. He is total garbage



    • 4everUKBlue
      9:02 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      You of all people should recognize garbage.



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      10:06 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      Shut up dave. Not cool. EJ doesn’t deserve that. He’s struggling, yes, but personal attacks like that are just wrong.



    • spincr4hire
      10:11 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      He had a couple big plays. Slow down



    • StillBP
      10:18 pm January 18, 2020 Permalink

      Your comments are always garbage