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John Calipari had six days following the win over UAB to work with his team without distraction. After the 83 to 52 victory tonight it was evident that practice has paid off. The Wildcats defeated Fairleigh Dickinson in their most dominant victory since the 42-point win against EKU in early November. Throughout the game, the Cats’ triumph over the Knights was never in doubt. With 10 minutes left in the first half Immanuel Quickley hit a jump shot, sparking a 17 to 0 run that pushed the lead to 22 and ended all hopes for FDU.

Fairleigh Dickinson’s head coach, Greg Herenda, described the game as a “coming out party for E.J. Montgomery,” a perfect description for Montgomery’s career-best performance of 25 points and 9 rebounds. When asked about the difference in E.J. tonight, Calipari said “he played tougher and finished.”

It was a great night for Keion Brooks, Jr. who completed the game with 15 points and 5 rebounds. We also witnessed impressive gameplay by two players who achieved double-doubles: Ashton Hagans (11 points, 11 assist) and Nick Richards (12 points, 10 rebounds).

It was reassuring to see these young Wildcats make strides towards being a better team. Calipari has another full week before the Georgia Tech. game next Saturday to practice his team, during which he plans to work on instilling a deeper desire to win, which he referred to in the post-game press conference as “fight.” H also jokingly said that he may ask Eli Capilouto to call off school for a few days to gain even more practice time.

We will see if the improvement continues for the Cats when they meet the Yellow Jackets Dec. 14th with a 5:00 p.m. tip.

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