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Over the past 3 seasons, UK has had some pretty bad losses. A 9 win season in 20-21 season, losing to St. Peters in first round of the NCAA Tournament last year and then todays’ absolute mauling in Alabama. UK has yet to beat a ranked team this season while losing to teams like Michigan State, Gonzaga, UCLA, Missouri and now Alabama. This game was different. It was an absolute manhandling. Alabama completely shutdown reigning player of the year Oscar Tshiebwe and Jacob Toppin. 

Oscar had a grand total of 4 points and 6 rebounds. Toppin had 3 points on 1-10 shooting and 6 rebounds. Kentucky shot a dismal 21 of 73 for 28.8%. Kentucky was led in scoring by Reeves with 20 points and Wheeler with 15 points. UK had 7 assists compared to 11 turnovers. This game was not pretty. The Wildcats did not look ready for this game and has been a disturbing pattern the past 3 years.

Alabama was led by Brandon Miller with 19 points and 7 rebounds. Alabama attempted 26 free throws hitting 18 while UK only attempted 8 while hitting 5 free throws. Alabama carried nearly every offensive category with the exception of offensive rebounds which UK dominated 16-6.

The loss drops UK to 10-5 while #7 Alabama improved to 13-2. The loss certainly will not slow the negativity towards Coach John Calipari. What the loss does show is a pattern that UK fans are surely not happy with. Kentucky’s inability to beat ranked teams over the past 3 years as well as losing to far less talented team has Kentucky fans, who are as passionate as any team in the country, shaking their heads. How can this Wildcat team have fallen so far so quickly. Other schools simply do not fear Kentucky as they once did. UK has lost their luster. There is a long way to go in this season and the talent is there to turn things around.

Kentucky plays a South Carolina team they should beat, but then they travel to Tennessee where another beatdown is waiting if things do not change and change fast. They then have 3 more winnable games against Georgia and Texas A&M at home then on the road at Vandy before playing #3 Kansas at home. It not unfathomable that UK could end January with a 13-8 record. How much more losing is acceptable for Big Blue Nation?? Only time will tell.

Post Game Notes courtesy of UK Athletics

Final Score: No. 7 Alabama 78, RV/25 Kentucky 52

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is now 10-5 on the season, 1-2 in the Southeastern Conference.
  • Alabama is 13-2 overall, with a four-game win streak, and is 3-0 in league play. 
  • Kentucky holds a 116-41 advantage in the all-time series, including 32-26 in Tuscaloosa.
  • Next for UK: the Wildcats host South Carolina on Tuesday at 7 p.m., televised by ESPN2.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky opened with a starting lineup of Sahvir WheelerCason WallaceChris LivingstonJacob Toppin and Oscar Tshiebwe for the third time this year. UK is 2-1 with this lineup.
  • Kentucky won the rebounding battle, 45-41, leading to a 15-10 advantage in second-chance points.

Player Notes  

  • Antonio Reeves had 20 points, his third game of at least 20 points this season.
    • He made 4 of 7 on 3-pointers, most since making four vs. North Florida on Nov. 23. 
  • Sahvir Wheeler had 15 points, one shy of his season high.                
    • He also tied for the team lead in assists with three. This marked the 11th time this season and 82nd time in his career he led the team in assists.

 Coach John Calipari

  • Calipari is 19-7 vs. Alabama, including 18-6 while at Kentucky.
  • Calipari has an 820-246 all-time on-court record and is 375-106 in 14 seasons at UK.
  • UK is 67-47 (58.8%) against ranked competition under Calipari. 

 In the First Half

  • The Crimson Tide came out red-hot, scoring the game’s first eight points, before Livingston – for the third game in a row – scored first for the Wildcats at the 16:46 mark.
  • Daimion Collins and Ugonna Onyenso were the first subs for UK with 16:01 remaining.
  • Alabama stretched the early lead to nine points at 11-2 and 13-4.
  • Kentucky rallied within one point at 16-15 and 20-19 and totaled four possessions with the opportunity to take the lead but was unable to convert.
  • Alabama closed the half with a 15-5 run and took a 35-24 lead into the locker room.
  • Wheeler and Antonio Reeves led UK in the first half with 10 points each. 

 In the Second Half

  • Kentucky opened the second stanza with the starting lineup.
  • An 11-0 Alabama run pushed the lead to 48-29. 
  • The Tide eventually led by as many as 31 points at 72-41.


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