The Kentucky Wildcats did the thing that every last one of us has done at some point(s) in our lives, learned the hard way. Everybody who knew anything at all about this match up knew that the Virginia Tech Hokies have been shooting the lights out all season long.
If fans and media and every day regular folks knew the Hokies were potent then you know the players had to know. You know the coaching staff had been in their ear about how they couldn’t afford to give Virginia Tech the slightest sliver of daylight.
#Hokies' 58.2% shooting today best by a visiting Kentucky opponent in Calipari era, second-best overall. Florida shot 59.6% vs. Cats in 2014 in Gainesville.
— David Teel (@DavidTeelatDP) December 16, 2017
We have all seen much lesser opponents come into Rupp Arena and get off to hot starts. Virginia Tech made Rupp Arena history as far as the Calipari era is concerned.
So it was no surprise that Tech jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead. Kentucky roared back with nine unanswered and the back and forth was on. There were eight lead changes in the first half alone. Kentucky found themselves in an eight-point hole at the break courtesy of a 15-4 Virginia Tech run.
Quade Green and his protective shades kept Kentucky in it by shooting 4 for 9 from the field for 10 points. He also hit two of Kentucky’s seven first half three-pointers to cancel out the seven made by Virginia Tech.
In the second half Kentucky found some much-needed defensive intensity and were sparked by the arrival of Kevin Knox.
— Vinny Hardy (@VinnyHardy) December 16, 2017
He sprinted out of the second half gate with three consecutive three-point plays and had 11 points in the first four minutes of the half.
The Hokies took every Kentucky flurry in stride and Kentucky could only muster a five-point lead at most for the bulk of the game.
A @Diallo1Hamidou three from the left wing has given Kentucky it's largest lead of the game, 78-71, 4:43 2H #VTvsUK
— Cameron Mills Show (@cameronradio) December 16, 2017
Diallo, who has faced questions about his shot from the first moment he arrived at UK, was 4-7 from deep and looks as confident as ever every time he elevates to let one fly. That was one of the biggest moments of the afternoon as it helped Kentucky maintain its slight amount of breathing room and hold on for a 93-86 victory.
Now it’s another week between games as Kentucky gets set for another big city neutral court game this time against UCLA in New Orleans.
The great George Raveling was in the house today and former Cat Gerald Fitch was back as the Y! All in all, a nice Saturday afternoon in Rupp Arena.