KENTUCKY 96- NORTH DAKOTA 58
David Leveridge- Sports View of America, Kentucky Basketball Beat Writer – November 14, 2018- Rupp Arena
Kentucky continued the early season games with a battle against the North Dakota Flying Hawks. The game tonight will be crucial for the CATS as UK has defeated a team from every state in the Country, except North Dakota. Entering tonight’s contest, Kentucky has never played an University from the State of North Dakota. Kentucky is expected to be the overwhelming favorite entering tonight’s contest, but like previous Games against similar competition Kentucky has struggled to score the ball and keep possession of the basketball. If Uk plays sloppy tonight against, North Dakota could provide a long night as the Flying Hawks are always competitive in the Summit League and are a recent NCAA tournament team as recently as the 2016- 2017 season.
Coach Calipari is starting to get a feel for his team and has developed a constant starting lineup. The CATS used the same lineup tonight as they did on Friday November 9th, 2018 against SIU. PJ Washington and Reid Travis have locked up starting roles, as each has started in the 2 preseason games and 3 season games up to this point. Keldon Johnson who is the most athletic player on the team, and in the country started the small forward position. Fan Favorite Tyler Herro has become the starting shooting guard and Immanuel Quickly runs the offense as Coach Cal’s chosen floor general as the point guard for the CATS.
Kentucky gets the tip but is unable to score on the opening possession as the team commits a turnover. In the opening minutes of the game UK looks out of sync and the Cats are unable to get any type of flow to the offense, until the team started feeding the ball down low to the talented Big Man Reid Travis. Travis is a force on the inside and is bigger, stronger and more skilled than any defender the flying Hawks could put on him. Travis contributes with seven consecutive points and the CATS lead 12- 10 at the first media timeout. As Travis’s Game has stepped up so did the rest of the team. Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro, PJ Washington, and Quade Green each contribute to the team as the CATS lead 27-16 at the second media timeout. Rupp Arena is loud as the team has finally started to play like the team is expected to play. North Dakota has no match for the CATS, and the lead continues to grow for the CATS. The Cats lead by 21 points at the end of the first half. Kentucky 46- North Dakota 25. PJ Washington leads the Cats in scoring with ten points.
In the second half, Kentucky continues to play with intensity and good fundamental team ball. Kentucky looks awesome in the second half and the team is playing its best half of basketball, thus far in the 2018- 2019 Season. PJ Washington continues to dominate the boards, and even connects with a three- point basket from behind the Arc. For the first time all season it looks like the student athletes are having fun, the crowd senses this and urges UK on with the CATS chant and Go Big Blue! Tyler Herro looks confident with ball and scores with a variety of moves. Herro who is known as a knock down three- point shooter starts to connect from behind the Arc, and is able to get in transition where he finishes the play with a strong 2 hand dunk. UK grows the lead to thirty points at the under twelve media timeouts. Kentucky 64- North Dakota 34. The game would not get any closer than thirty points throughout the duration of the game. Kentucky goes on to dominate the Flying Hawks of North Dakota with a thirty- eight-point victory. Kentucky 96- North Dakota 58.
Stats- Stats have been provided by UK athletics
- Reid Travis- 11 points, 7 rebounds, 1 turnover, playing 21 minutes
- PJ Washington- 25 points game high, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 turnovers, 1 block, 1 steal, playing 17 minutes
- Keldon Johnson- 12 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, playing 34 minutes.
- Immanuel Quickly 12 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 2 steals, playing 27 minutes.
- Tyler Herro- 18 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 5 steals, playing 25 minutes.
- Quade Green- 6 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 steals, playing 16 minutes.
- Ashton Hagans- 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 2 blocks, 1 steal, playing 16 minutes.
- Nick Richards- 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 5 fouls, 2 blocks, playing 16 minutes.
- EJ Montgomery- 8 points, 7 rebounds, 1 turnover, 2 blocks, playing 26 minutes.
- Rebounds total UK 45- ND 15
- FG % game 33-62 shooting 53.2%
- 3 PT FG % game 6- 13 shooting 46.2%
North Dakota Flying Hawks 58
- Kienan Walter- 2 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, playing 16 minutes.
- Connor Avantz 14 points, 2 rebounds, playing 23 minutes.
- Billy Brown 3 points, 1 rebound, 2 turnovers, 1 steal playing 26 minutes.
- David’s Atelbaucers 8 points, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 block, playing 24 minutes.
- Cortez Seales- 7 points, 3 assists, 5 turnovers, 1 block, playing 29 minutes.
- Aanan Moody 5 points, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, playing 16 minutes.
- Flip Rebrecca- 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 1 block, 3 steals, playing 22 minutes.
- Marco Cordreau- 3 pts, 1 turnover, playing 10 minutes.
- Elijah Hazekamp- 3 pts, 1 rebound, 1 turnover, playing 6 minutes.
Kentucky improves on the season with a record of 2 and 1. The CATS dominated the game and provided the teams ultimate game up to this point. Washington really inserted himself and tonight, his leadership and heart showcased why he is one UK’s biggest assets. Tyler Herro had a superb game, coming out of his shooting slump and provided the team with some much-needed confidence going forward. Kentucky hosts VMI Virginia Military Institute on Sunday November 18th, 2018 at Rupp Arena with a 6 pm tip off. The game can be seen on the SEC Network.