It’s bounce-back time for the Kentucky basketball team as it opens its home schedule Friday at 7 p.m. at Rupp Arena against the Southern Illinois Salukis. The SEC Network has the telecast.
UK is coming off Tuesday’s shocking 118-84 loss to Duke in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis. This is Southern Illinois’ first game this season. Check here for live updates and analysis throughout the game. You can follow us on twitter at @johnclayiv, @jerrytipton, @benrobertshl and @markcstory.
Final: Kentucky 71, Southern Illinois 59
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Kentucky stretches lead to 10 with 2:48 left
Quade Green makes a steal, then feeds Keldon Johnson for a fast break slam and the Cats lead Southern Illinois 67-57 with 2:48 remaining. Green has played well. He has 14 points and three assists in 22 minutes.
Kentucky 63, Southern Illinois 55 with 3:47 left
E.J. Montgomery just made a follow shot while being fouled before the game’s final TV timeout. He’ll go to the line with 10 points and seven rebounds. Richards now up to 18 rebounds. Cats have a ridiculous 43-17 advantage on the glass.
Kentucky holding to a 57-52 lead with 7:40 left
Quickley leads the Cats with 15 points. Nick Richards has eight points and 17 rebounds. UK is shooting 47.6 in the second half and 44.4 percent for the game. SIU is shooting 46.7 percent for the game. Keldon Johnson has provided a spark. The freshman now has 11 points.
Kentucky goes on 10-2 run for 47-46 lead
We’re at the 11:56 TV time. A Quickley three cut the SIU lead to 46-43. Quade Green scored on a fast break off the glass to make it 46-45. Then E.J. Montgomery gave the Cats the lead 47-46 with a follow shot.
Calipari calls time with 14:19 left
Southern Illinois is thoroughly outplaying UK at the moment. SIU has a 44-37 lead and the Salukis are the line to complete a three-point play. Kentucky seems dazed and confused.
Southern Illinois up 38-37 with 15:50 left
The visitors scored six straight points to take a 36-32 lead. Now SIU is up by one with 15:50 remaining in the game. UK has made two of seven shots this half and the Cats are now shooting 38.7 percent for the game. Kentucky is but two-of-eight from three-point range.
Halftime: Kentucky 31, Southern Illinois 28
UK committed 14 turnovers in the first half, yet have a three-point lead at the break thanks in large part to a 25-8 edge on the boards. Nick Richards grabbed 12 rebounds in the first half. Kentucky had nine defensive rebounds compared to six offensive rebounds for SIU.
Keldon Johnson and Immanuel Quickley each scored seven points in the first half for the home team. UK trailed 13-5 early and 26-25 late before a 6-2 run over the final 1:27 of the half sent the Cats to the locker room with the lead at intermission.
But, oh, those turnovers. PJ Washington and Keldon Johnson each committed three. Quade Green and Ashton Hagans each committed two.
Kentucky leads 23-21 with 3:36 left in 1H
The Cats finally took the lead, 22-19, on a three-pointer by Quade Green with 5:18 left in the first half. PJ Washington made one of two free throws to push the lead to 23-19. But a Pippen basket cut UK’s lead back to 23-21. UK is shooting 47.1 percent. Southern Illinois is shooting 39.1 percent.
Kentucky up to 12 turnovers with 7:48 left in first half
The count keeps expanding. Southern Illinois leads 17-13. Keldon Johnson and PJ Washington each have three turnovers for the Cats. It’s almost a miracle that the Cats are this close. SIU has committed six turnovers.
Kentucky commits eight turnovers in the game’s first 9:46
As a result, the Cats trail Southern Illinois 15-10. It has been a comedy of errors for John Calipari’s club. Just before the 11:14 TV time, Ashton Hagans pitched the ball to the right side as he came into front court. Trouble was Tyler Herro had cut left. The ball went out of bounds.
Not the start Kentucky wanted
Southern Illinois jumped to a quick 7-3 lead and the Salukis lead 10-6 at the 15:26 TV time out. Kavion Pippen, nephew of Scottie Pippen, leads the way with four points for SIU. Aaron Cook and Armon Fletcher have each drained three-pointers for the visitors. UK is two-of-four from the field, but has already committed four turnovers.
The officials tonight are Don Daily, Tony Greene and KB Burdett Jr.
New starting lineup
Immanuel Quickley replaces Ashton Hagans in the starting lineup for UK from the Duke game. Quickley is joined by Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro, Reid Travis and PJ Washington. Southern Illinois is starting Marcus Bartley, Aaron Cook, Sean Lloyd, Armon Fletcher and Kavion Pippen.