After scoring 81 points against Morehead State on Wednesday, the No. 10 Kentucky men’s basketball team struggled to even eclipse 60, as the Richmond Spiders came into Rupp Arena and knocked off the Wildcats 76-64 in the first-ever matchup between the two squads.
Led by a roster full of veterans and a starting lineup consisting of four seniors, the Spiders were projected to be a tough test for a young Kentucky team playing without a single scholarship athlete who saw minutes last year. Turns out, those projections were correct.
The offense, or lack thereof, proved to be the difference-maker Sunday, as the Wildcats committed 21 turnovers as a team. For just the second time in the Calipari era, Kentucky failed to connect from deep, shooting an abysmal 0-10 from distance.
It was a tale of two halves for the Wildcats, as Kentucky actually led Richmond 32-28 at the break and held the Spiders to just 29% shooting. In the second, however, the Spiders found their footing and scorched the Kentucky defense for 59.4% from the floor.
After being saddled with foul trouble for much of the game against Morehead State, Olivier Sarr came out with a vengeance, scoring the first four points for the Cats. Sarr finished the game with 17 points and 11 boards, good for his first double-double of the young season. Brandon Boston Jr. led all scorers with 20 points to go along with ten rebounds and a pair of assists. Freshman Terrence Clarke added 15 points of his own and recorded six boards. Outside of those three, no other Wildcat scored more than six points, as Clarke, Sarr and Boston combined for 52 of Kentucky’s 64 points.
The road won’t get any easier for the Wildcats, as they travel to Indianapolis Tuesday to take on No. 6 Kansas in the annual Champions Classic. Tip-off is set for 9:30 pm. Stagnant Offense, Turnovers Prove too Much to Overcome as No. 10 Kentucky Falls to Richmond