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Kentucky players say it shouldn’t have come down to the last play

After finding themselves up by nine with 16:51 remaining in the second half, the Kentucky Wildcats simply imploded down the stretch. Shots stopped falling, they were outworked for rebounds, turned the ball over, and defense was non-existent.

Kentucky’s nine-point lead quickly dropped to one in the span of just over four minutes. From there, LSU finally took over the lead with 8:15 to go and managed to hold it or keep it tied all the way through the heartbreaking final buzzer.

The focus is on the controversial no-call at the end, but the players believe it shouldn’t have gotten to that point. If they had taken care of business before then, the game wouldn’t have been left up to the referees to decide.

Kentucky forward PJ Washington said that final five-minute stretch is what really killed them.

“My view on the last play is that we never should’ve put ourselves in that position,” he said. “We had a lot of breakdowns in the last five minutes that… you can’t win games like that. We’ve just got to get back to practice and work on it. They’re a really good team and they played well, but we just allowed them to get offensive rebounds, and that was the biggest thing coming into this game, not letting them get offensive rebounds, and the last five minutes that’s all they were doing. So, we feel like it’s on us. We just have to rebound in the second half. That was big for us, and we didn’t get the job done. They outrebounded us and unfortunately won the game.”

We can’t control that, but we can control our effort on the boards and stuff like that. We’ve just got to stick to the gameplay.

For Wildcat guard Immanuel Quickley, he believes they left their fate out of their hands by not converting on their end of the floor and blocking out in the final seconds on the other.

“I think we just want to let other people deal with that,” he said. “What they decided is what they decided. You just have to come out there and win that game and try to find another way.”

Kentucky forward Reid Travis, who was on the bench during the buzzer-beater, said that it’s a tough call to make in the heat of the moment, but like the other players, he believes they should have executed elsewhere so the game wouldn’t come down to a final play.

“I was on the bench and it was kind of hard to see with all the chaos that was going on and I really didn’t get too good of a look at it,” he said. ” But I saw the replay. I think it’s a tough call to make in live action. Obviously, I can’t put myself in their shoes and make that call. We have many chances to win the game besides that so I think we do ourselves a disservice to get hung up on one call. We made a lot of mistakes down the stretch and it shouldn’t have come down to that so obviously it’s frustrating. Put ourselves in a great position and a call like that could go either way but at the end of the day we should’ve made more plays to where it wasn’t out of our hands at the end.”

 Travis said that while it may be deflating for a team riding a 10-game winning streak to lose in that fashion, it’s not something they can dwell on. They do have a pretty important opponent coming to town this weekend, after all.

“Everyone was on the same page with the fact that that play was not what we need to sit down and dwell on and I think a lot of guys are juts frustrated with the way that we played in the second half and the way we didn’t rebound and gave up points,” he said. “So I don’t think as much that we’re too hung up on that call. It’s tough and it’s a tough break but obviously there was opportunity to be there at the end and we would’ve loved for it to go the other way but when you look at the greater scope of the game and that wasn’t there.”


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

25 Comments for Kentucky players say it shouldn’t have come down to the last play

  1. Parker_UKFanNC
    11:44 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    This at least is something good from the game.

  2. pcashen
    11:51 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    On to the next one best Tennessee

  3. down54187092
    11:52 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more with PJ Washington.

  4. AmazzzingLarry
    11:53 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    Well said by all of these kids. They are mature beyond their years. Hopefully this will fuel the fire for the Vols.

  5. makeitstop
    11:53 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    PJ nailed it.

    11:56 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    Now you just have to sweep UT…no more excuses.

  7. bigbluenationmbb
    11:56 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    We looked right over this game bad call at the end but still we need Hagans to play better than that if we want to win and what type of shot did herro take

  8. BigolBlue
    12:03 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    No doubt

  9. syrin23
    12:13 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    This team gets a ton of open looks from the 8-12 foot range, and misses way more than they should, especially Herro. If we get that down, we don’t lose another game. Did we have any fast break points? It’s like we tried to make sure we played half court ball the whole game,

  10. BigolBlue
    12:18 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    UK bball is Oklahoma football. Good seasons, but rarerly win it all. Kind of the same delusion matt jones says other fanbases have.

    • 4everUKblue
      12:37 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

      Well we can always count on BigolSlaterMedic aka big cat, aka no more excuses, our regular UofLittleBro troll entertainment, he’s currently tied with mashburnfan for top honors in the troll category.

    • catsarerunnin
      10:46 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

      That’s because they all are one and the same person. The stupid Slater.

  11. Miller45
    12:43 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    At least we didnt blow a 23 point lead….

    • kjd
      6:12 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

      Miller45: We were never even in our game vs Duke.

  12. Aar
    1:01 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Just like The Bahamas, the Cats played poorly and won the last two games. They couldn’t solve LSU by “giving the ball to PJ and getting out of the way” like they had with USC and MSU. LSU is too good, deep and disciplined to allow that. Hopefully this is enough of a beating at this point in the season to snap the Cats back into the 40 minutes of team basketball they played at Vandy and in a few other games. Do that and we’ll be celebrating a win over the number one team in the country 96 hours from now. The next game determines whether they are just good or have the opportunity to be exceptional. Post game comments indicate that they, coaches and players, have their heads screwed on straight and know which details to clean up. I really, really want the Cats to win the next game. Go Cats, beat Vols!

    As an old time SEC basketball fan, I’m happy to see LSU basketball back among the top few teams in the league. It’s where they belong. This loss does not hurt as much as most. Will wade is a good coach. Looking forward to more slugfests like this for years to come. It’s what makes UK/SEC basketball great.

  13. No more excuses cal
    1:09 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    there is no more excuses. This is on cal the staff and players .you all just cost the program and fans a one seed and a chance to play in the Louisville region a conference title probably gone as well .this is so embarrassing disappointing and just plain unacceptable

    • BBNDan7
      5:48 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

      Can someone please take this 80 years olds flip phone from them

    • IrishCat
      7:50 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

      The only ppl who lost anything were the people playing, not the fans, the rest of the school, and certainly not you!

  14. Jiminy Crickets
    1:17 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    I’m more proud of them after this game than I was against Kansas or Miss St. They play with passion, and playing much better as a team. At some point fans have to realize this is an above average team, in a below average NCAA. We have as good a betting chance to lose in the first round as we do win it all. They played bad last 2 games and won, and played well tonight and lost. Beat TN and all will be forgotten.

    6:18 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    We needed this loss. It will keep them hungry and humble. Sweep UT and get the top 2-seed to play in Louisville and hang #9! I love my team!

  16. rainman
    10:55 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Missed free throws!

  17. speaksthetruth
    2:25 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Since there are no undefeated teams left, wonder if their “fans” including Duke’s, Tenn, Unc, Michigan’s, Mich St.,Kansas’ act like their coach should be fired, players suck, and have no chance of winning another game much less the title? It’s sad that you all say you are UK fans. Which of those teams’ coach has won a title every year they have coached because that is what you expect from Cal.