During the 2nd half of Friday’s game against Mount St. Mary’s, the Kentucky Wildcats finally began looking a little more like the team that defeated then-#1 Michigan State to begin the season. Coincidentally, Friday was the first time since the season began that all players were available to play. Perhaps a half of adjustment was needed as, after a sluggish first half, the Cats put together a very nice 2nd half and cruised to a 20-point victory. The question, however, was could that 2nd half performance carry over to Sunday night’s game versus Lamar University.
The BBN got the answer to that question rather quickly as the Cats jumped out to a 10-0 lead and played with a collective energy that hadn’t been seen since the night in Madison Square Garden. Fans had been concerned about several areas of play in the past two weeks, but the Wildcats seemed to put most of those issues to rest for the moment.
By the time the first twenty minutes had concluded, the Cats were leading 41-21 and had never trailed for a second. While there were 5 turnovers and a couple of minor defensive lapses that allowed Lamar to tie the game at 19, the energy level of the players combined with the collective effort for rebounds and loose balls removed any doubt about the outcome of the game.
The second half went much the same way, although Lamar never could get the lead below 15 points. Four Cats ended up in double figures (Maxey – 21, Hagans – 15, Quickley – 11, Richards -10) and Nick Richards recorded the only double-double for the game adding 13 rebounds to his stat line. Hagans was 1 assist away from being in the double-double club himself. It was refreshing to see Ashton with 9 assists to 4 turnovers.
If one wanted to look for trouble then look no further than the FT% which was a very uncharacteristic 68% (13-19). But that was certainly evened out by 45% shooting from beyond the arc (10-22).
Overall, this was a very nice complete game by the Cats and as we enter this holiday week, I think for this night, we can certainly give thanks.
Enjoy the ride!
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