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The Utah Utes started three freshmen and two sophomores to defeat Calipari’s somewhat experienced team. Kentucky is known for their youth, and also their early season struggles as they learn to play as a team. Utah matched UK’s physical style and jumped to a 10-4 lead before Kentucky could say when are we playing Ohio State. In the post game interview, the Utah players said they had heard chirping from UK Players. Utah felt disrespected and played with reckless abandon and shot well from 3-point range, finishing 8-15(53%). Conversely, Kentucky shot 2 of 17 or 11.8%. That was the story of the game.
Utah won the game by shooting 55%, while Kentucky shot a respectable 41%. Kentucky led Utah in points off turnovers, points in the paint, second chance points, fast break points and bench scoring. That wasn’t enough to overcome the 3 point differential.
Tyrese Maxey led the Cats in scoring with 18 points on 7-13 shooting. Hagans added 16 points on 5-14 shooting, sometimes forcing the action and driving into traffic. EJ Montgomery had a solid outing making mid-range jump shots scoring 8 points with 10 rebounds. Keion Brooks also added 8 points on 4 of 8 shooting. Nate Sestina returned from his surgery but contributed only one rebound while not scoring.
Utah was led in scoring by Timmy Allen with 25 points and nine rebounds. The injured Rylan Jones added 12 points and shot 3-4 from 3 point range. Gach scored 14 points and shot 3-5 from beyond the arc.
Calipari’s Cats have a lot to work on with a quick turnaround for Saturday’s show down with top-ten ranked Ohio State.
Kecia Dawson RPh
Contributing Writer for Sports View America