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11-22-19 – Rupp Arena

The 82 to 62 victory tonight over Mt. Saint Mary’s was exactly what the Wildcats needed. After losing to Evansville and narrow win over Utah Valley the Cats needed a game that would rebuild their confidence. The Mountaineers put up a good fight the entire first half and went into the locker room with only a five-point deficit, but were eventually overpowered by the Wildcats after an 18 to 3 second half run.

Kentucky looked as though they were going to have another bad shooting night by making only 3 of their 11 first half three-point shots, but ended the game on 6 of 15 from behind the arc. The improvement of the shooting can be attributed to the return of Immanuel Quickley. He was 3 of 4 from three-point range all in the second half and ended the game with 13 points.

It was also the return of E.J. Montgomery, who Calipari said in the post-game press conference was “the difference maker on the team”. Montgomery had a very efficient night in his 15 minutes of action. He scored seven points and six rebounds, and he also had the highest +/- of the game with 29.

Nick Richards had a great performance for the second game in a row. He takes the player of the game honors with 19 points and 6 rebounds. He also gave a good defensive effort with three blocks. After the game Calipari said that Richards 32 minutes of playing time may be too much for him. When he starts getting tired, he makes mistakes. Calipari thinks that cutting Richard’s playing time down to 28 minutes will make him an even better player.

The lack of effort on the offensive boards is the biggest complaint of the night. They only grabbed 6 total offensive rebounds while allowing Mt. Saint Mary’s to gain 10 offensive rebounds. Cal criticized the low number of rebounds and said it was because of a lack of effort. It sounded like the next few practices will be focused on rebounding and defensive effort.

It was an overall great night for the Cats and I hope that the better play carries over to their next game. Kentucky will have a quick turnaround game against Lamar on Sunday. The game tips at 6:00 PM and can be viewed on the SEC Network.

Follow me on Twitter: @Michael_Willis1

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