The stage was set at Stegemen Coliseum for Anthony Edwards to showcase his skills to the nation in primetime on ESPN. John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats had different plans.
A sensational second half paved the way for a Kentucky victory in their first road game of the season. The Cats defeated the Dogs 78-69, limiting Edwards to 23 points on 17 field goal attempts.
Kentucky got into an early hole when Nick Richards was forced to the bench with two fouls eight minutes into the game. Combine that with some road jitters and a few forced early shots from Hagans and UK was against the ropes, trailing by six at halftime.
That all changed in the second half. The Cats survived a hot streak from Edwards, then made their move. A 10-0 Kentucky run put the game back in the Wildcats’ hands, leading 63-57 lead with 7:00 to play. A big Immanuel Quickley three-pointer before the final media timeout gave UK some much-needed breathing room while they struggled from the free throw line.
Jay Bilas opened the broadcast by commending UK’s ability to score from the free throw line. Kentucky made only 10-of-20 shots from the charity stripe. Classic announcer curse.
Georgia tried to make a late run for the win. Kentucky got a couple of big buckets from Nate Sestina and Nick Richards to keep the Dogs at arm’s length and leave Athens with a win.