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Today on KSR: Kentucky wins 74-67, plus everything else you need to see to start your day

Good morning, friends! Yesterday was a nail-biter for the BBN, but luckily, the Cats found a way to win in Nashville, coming out on top 74-67. We had plenty of content about yesterday’s win on the site following the game (if you missed any of it, go ahead and click here) and, as always, we’ll continue to bring you the latest throughout the day. But for now, here’s what you need to see to start your morning.

A Quick Recap

Although Kentucky entered the matchup against Vanderbilt as just a 2-point favorite, it was still surprising to see the game against the Commodores (now 1-4 in the SEC) come as close as it did. The repeated absence of Quade Green, in addition to Tai Wynyard and the ever-allusive Jarred Vanderbilt, continued to hurt the Cats. Luckily, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander once again steadied the ship, leading all scorers with 22 points. He added four rebounds and six assists in his exhausting 39 minutes.

Kevin Knox returned to his early-season dominance, contributing 17 points and committing just one turnover. And although he played 28 minutes against the Commodores, he truly came alive in the final four minutes of the game. His jumper with 3:48 remaining pushed Kentucky to a 61-59 lead, followed by a successful free throw that sealed the deal for the Wildcats. Wenyen Gabriel and Hamidou Diallo followed up with scores of their own, sparking a 10-2 run for UK with a minute left in the game.

But the unbelievable moment of the game came with just 30 seconds remaining. Diallo committed a potentially-catastrophic mistake, fouling Riley LaChance while he was shooting from behind the three-point line. But Diallo got lucky, as he was bailed out by LaChance’s costly error: going 0-3 from the line. The senior is hitting 89 percent from the free-throw line this season, but against Kentucky, he was 0-4.

Nick Richards’ continued struggle

After an energetic opening few minutes, Richards once again struggled in yesterday’s victory. In fact, he did not even see much action. The reason? Rebounding. In his 12 minutes, the big man settled for just three boards. After the game, Coach Calipari defended his decision to pull Richards early in the first half due to his lack of rebounding.

“I told him after the game, guys, if I stick you in and tell you to rebound, and the first play [you don’t], walk to the bench. Walk to the bench. You don’t have to look to see if I’m taking you out. You know why I’m taking you out. You have to rebound.”

In a game where Richards clearly had the size advantage over the Commodores, he failed to take advantage of the opportunity and did not find that assertive, killer attitude we’ve all been waiting for. For a guy who’s nearly 7-feet tall, he appears to shrink under the basket, and opposing teams will always find a way to exploit that weakness. If he wants to re-earn his minutes going forward, Richards has to start muscling under the basket and grabbing those rebounds with two hands.

Up Next: Women’s Basketball

Now it’s time for the ladies of Kentucky Basketball to follow suit: UK Hoops will play Vanderbilt on the road tomorrow. Tip-off is schedule for 7 p.m., and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.

After dropping eight consecutive games before defeating Florida last Thursday, the Cats (9-9 on the season, 1-3 in the SEC) are looking to start a winning streak. The Commodores are sitting at the bottom of the conference (0-4 in the SEC), giving Matthew Mitchell and his team the chance to get back on track with a victory.

Titan Down

Sorry Drew, but the Tennessee Titans were absolutely dominated by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots last night. The Pats came away with the 35-14 victory, silencing the Titans who spent the week talking about finally getting their opportunity to hang with the AFC elite. The Tennessee offensive line struggled tremendously, allowing QB Marcus Mariota to be sacked a Patriot playoff record eight times.

The victory advances the Patriots to their seventh consecutive AFC championship game. Like the Pats or not (I prefer not), that’s a pretty impressive feat.

Over in the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles fought past the Atlanta Falcons, securing a 15-10 victory. After being dubbed as the underdog, the Eagles decided to accept their position and run with it. Seriously.

West Virginia Falls

Bob Huggins and his No. 2 West Virginia team were brought down at the hands of No. 8 Texas Tech. The Mountaineers fell 72-71 after losing the 11-point lead they held in the final 13 minutes of the game, thus snapping their 15-game winning streak and ending their hopes of an undefeated season.

Senior Mountaineer Jevon Carter led all scorers with 28 points.

Now let’s see if West Virginia can manage to stay off-balance until Jan. 27 when they take on UK. My guess is probably not (“everybody’s Super Bowl,” and all that), but a girl can dream.

Well, that’s all I have for now. Have a great morning, and Go Cats.


Article written by Maggie Davis

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

20 Comments for Today on KSR: Kentucky wins 74-67, plus everything else you need to see to start your day

  1. mccullou
    10:17 am January 14, 2018 Permalink

    Great article. I know you , as a writer, will probably appreciate getting this feedback for a word-use error. I’ll say it in a cutesy fashion, hopefully not coming across as too snarky:

    Yes, Jarred Vanderbilt is “ever-allusive” because people are constantly alluding to him, but I think you might have meant to say: he is “ever-elusive.” 🙂

    • Stump
      10:34 am January 14, 2018 Permalink

      Did your parents not teach you that it’s rude to correct people?

  2. Smyrna_Cat
    10:30 am January 14, 2018 Permalink

    Dickie V, and apparently most KSR writers, seem to be pushing this idea that this was supposed to be an easy win for UK. SINCE WHEN? Since when have we had an easy game at Vandy? Vandy always places us tight, especially on that weird home gym of theirs. I believe we were a 3.5 point favorite (the last time I looked – it may have changed), so Vegas was expecting a close game. And we have 4 key players out right now. I will take the 7-point victory and be happy for it. Cats fans should as well.

    And please get off the “Lets-Bash-Richards” band wagon. Does this really help?

  3. Saint Gabriel's Rims
    10:39 am January 14, 2018 Permalink

    Not sure what you meant when you said that the WVU loss to Texas Tech ended their hopes of an undefeated season… those hopes were already gone weeks ago when they lost to Texas A&M. Apparently, Huggie Bear doesn’t like playing teams from Texas…

    • BigBlueMeade
      12:12 pm January 14, 2018 Permalink

      Undefeated in their conference maybe?

  4. “Everyone’s Super Bowl” doesn’t apply when the team is really good. We use this term way too often, and it makes us sound very elitist.

    • Kevin C
      11:33 am January 14, 2018 Permalink

      You’ve been in Texas too long it seems. Fact is, when UK comes to Morgantown, you can bet your ass it will be a huge deal for them. Rest assured there will be a blackout/whiteout, local media frenzy, etc. Bob and Cal are best friends, but that friendship won’t exist for that one night.

    • Of course they will bring their “A” game. They are really good. Duke, UNC, KU would also bring their “A” game because that would be a marquee matchup. “Everyone’s Super Bowl” should only apply to lesser teams who play beyond their potential when they play us. WVU does not fit this criteria because they are historically a good team.

    • henderblue
      12:32 pm January 14, 2018 Permalink

      I whole heartedly disagree. Everyone brings their A game when UK comes to town. That would include all the teams you mentioned above. Whether they are historically a good team or not. You sir, are incorrect

    • Eazy
      10:06 am January 15, 2018 Permalink

      West Va has never won a National Title. They think they are a lot better than they are historically speaking. And the UK game is being treated like the biggest home game they’ve ever had. Just look at the ticket prices.

  5. 2thepoint
    11:46 am January 14, 2018 Permalink

    I kind of disagree with you because everybody brings their A-game against KY, even the better teams. We usually do the same.

  6. 502CodeRed
    11:51 am January 14, 2018 Permalink

    This is a first I’ve ever heard of WVU fans thinking they would go undefeated. Sounds made up to me. Not everyone shares that delusion.

    • Rixter
      12:28 pm January 14, 2018 Permalink

      If you’re a Louisville fan, the verbiage changes to “hopes for an undefeated week”

    • Eazy
      10:08 am January 15, 2018 Permalink

      Why are you still here. We own you. Oh, and WVU has surpassed your trash program, too.

  7. Also, I am thankful they will be at full strength. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. I’m not one to “hope” the other team doesn’t have a key player do we get the win. I’d rather take 2-3 extra losses against really good teams because our goal is a Final Four / Championship and you know teams will be at 100% if we get there!

    • Rixter
      12:30 pm January 14, 2018 Permalink

      While you’re hoping for someone to be at full strength, throw the Cats in there as well

    • henderblue
      12:34 pm January 14, 2018 Permalink

      Exactly. We’ve not been at full strength yet this year

  8. Freedom Stacks
    3:46 pm January 14, 2018 Permalink

    West Virginia…They weren’t undefeated. They had a loss already. And it was to an SEC foe! (Texas A&M).

    • Eazy
      10:09 am January 15, 2018 Permalink

      Yep, they lost to the team who’s currently in last in the SEC. Big 12 is so overrated….every year