Kentucky basketball returns to the friendly confines of Rupp Arena on Saturday to take on the Utah Utes. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. ESPN2 has the telecast. Tom Hart and Jimmy Dykes are the announcing team.
We will be in the press box above Cawood Ledford Court providing updates and analysis. You can also follow us on a dedicated Twitter feed on this post.
Final: Kentucky 88, Utah 61
Jemarl Baker hits a pair of threes
His first points as a Cat. Buried two long triples from the right wing.
Cats rolling along 80-56 with 2:30 left
Kentucky on its way to being 8-2 on the season. Keldon Johnson’s point total now 24. Sedrick Barfield, who came in as Utah’s top scorer, has been held to just four points. Points off turnoverss: Kentucky 34, Utah 7.
Kentucky 64-47 with 7:34 remaining
Keldon Johnson leads the way with 22 points. Cats are currently on a 7-0 run. Tyler Herro with 15 points. Reid Travis has 10. EJ Montgomery is the Cats’ leading rebounder with four. UK is shooting 55.3 percent for the game. Utah is shooting 45.5.
PJ Washington has six points with nine minutes left
Don’t think he’s going to make the 35 points and 20 rebounds that Calipari says he expects from the sophomore.
Update, well no
During timeout, Quickley 2 is ruled a 3 so it’s 57-47 Kentucky with 11:32 left.
Utah has cut Kentucky lead to single digits
Cats now up 56-47 with 11:32 left in the game. Utah has outscored the Cats 20-15 this half. The visitors have made eight of 11 shots, including three-of-four from three. Gach leads the way with 20 points. UK is seven-of-10 from the floor this half.
Josh Allen is the Y
UK’s all-time sack leader wsa the Y in the traditional K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y cheer.
Kentucky 48-34 with 15:50 left
Back-to-back buckets by Both Gach of the Utes , the first a three-pointer, cause Calipari to call timeout with 15:50 left and Kentucky up by 14. The 6-7 freshman has 17 points on seven-of-nine shooting, including three-of-five from beyond the arc.
Don’t forget we’ll have Calipari press conference after the game
It will be streamed on the Kentucky.com Facebook page.
The 1992-93 team being honored at halftime
The 1992-93 team, which reached the Final Four that season, is having a reunion this weekend and is being recognized at halftime.
Halftime: Kentucky 41, Utah 27
Cats shot 53.1 percent in the first half. Utah shot 41.4 percent. Keldon Johnson lead the way for Kentucky with 15 points. Tyler Herro, who drilled a three-pointer at the first half buzzer, scored 10 points. Utah was led by Both Gach with 12 points. Gach was five-of-seven from the floor.
Utah did outrebound UK 18-13 in the first half. But Kentucky scored 17 points off turnovers, compared to just four points by the visitors.
Kentucky lead 32-21 with 3:36 left in first half
Cats are 13-of-24 from the floor for 54.2 percent. Keldon Johnson is five-of-six from three. Rest of the team is oh-for-four. Utah is nine-of-23 from the floor for 39.1 percent. Utes are three-of-10 from three-point range. The taller visitors have a 15-9 advantage on the boards. Utah has 7 offensive rebounds to just six defensive rebounds for UK.
Keldon Johnson is on fire
The freshman is now five-of-five from three-point range for 15 points and the Cats lead Utah 30-10 with 7:50 left in the first. Kentucky came into the game shooting 34 percent from three-point range. At this point, the Cats are five-of-eight. All five belong to Johnson.
Kentucky up 17-16 with 11:04 left in the 1H
The Cats are up 8-2 on points off turnovers. UK has made 7 of 15 shots. Utah has made 7 of 14 shots. Keldon Johnson has drilled a pair of three-pointers. Meanwhile, members of the UK football team who made All-American, plus SEC Coach of the Year Mark Stoops are being introduced during the timeout.
Utah off to a quick start and lead
The visiting Utes jumped to a 10-2 lead. Both Gach, a 6-foot-7 freshman from the Senegal scored Utah’s first eight points. When center Jayce Johnson scored off a rebound the Utes were up by eight with 16:56 left. Kentucky made a spurt with Keldon Johnson sinking a three-pointer and Tyler Herro executing a steal-and-score. Utah leads 12-7 at the 15:20 1H TV time.
Kentucky’s starters are Ashton Hagans, Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro, Reid Travis and PJ Washington. Utah is starting Sedrick Barefield, Donnie Tillman, Both Gach, Riley Battin and Jayce Johnson.
Officials for UK-Utah
Doug Shows, Randy McCall and Chuck Jones comprise the officiating crew for the game.
Kentucky is 7-2 after last Saturday’s 84-83 overtime loss to Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden in New York. PJ Washington scored a career-high 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, but the Cats saw their seven-game winning steak snapped.
Utah is 4-4 after last Saturday’s 74-59 loss to arch-rival BYU in Salt Lake City. Coach Larry Krystkowiak’s team trailed just 32-28 at the half before BYU opened the second half with a 13-0 run. Senior guard Sedrick Barefield led the Utes with 16 points.
Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency stats has Kentucky currently ranked 17th. UK is 13rd in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Cats are 48th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Utah is 129th in overall efficiency. The Utes rank 74th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 198th in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Kentucky’s next two games are against North Carolina in Chicago and Louisville at the Yum Center. North Carolina is ranked seventh by Pomeroy. (The Tar Heels play Gonzaga on Saturday.) Louisville is ranked 40th.
Saturday will be Kentucky’s first game without Quade Green. The sophomore guard announced this week he intends to transfer and was granted his release. With Green’s absence, we may see more of redshirt freshman Jemarl Baker, who made his first appearance as a Wildcat last Saturday. Baker missed all of last season and the first games of this season with a knee injury.
Here are the top nine players for each team with points per game/rebounds per game/assists per game:
- 2-Sedrick Barefield, 6-2, Sr., 14.0/1.4/3.1
- 3-Donnie Tillman, 6-7, So., 11.4/6.8/1.5
- 21-Riley Battin, 6-9, Fr., 8.5/2.8/1.6
- 11-Both Gach, 6-7, Fr., 8.1/2.6/2.0
- 20-Timmy Allen, 6-6, Fr., 7.9/3.8/2.3
- 5-Parker Van Dyke, 6-3, Sr., 5.6/1.3/1.9
- 13-Novak Topalovic, 7-0, Sr., 5.6/4.3/0.4
- 34-Jayce Johnson, 7-0, Jr., 5.3/5.6/0.4
- 1-Charles Jones, 6-2, Jr., 1.8/0.6/0.4
- 3-Keldon Johnson, 6-6, Fr., 15.2/6.0/1.4
- 22-Reid Travis, 6-8, Sr., 14.4/6.8/1.1
- 25-PJ Washington, 6-8, So., 14.0/8.8/1.8
- 14-Tyler Herro, 6-5, Fr., 11.6/4.1/2.2
- 5-Immanuel Quickley, 6-3, Fr., 7.1/2.0/1.9
- 23-EJ Montgomery, 6-10, Fr., 6.1/4.7/0.6
- 4-Nick Richards, 6-11, So., 4.1/3.8/0.1
- 2-Ashton Hagans, 6-3, Fr., 3.7/1.2/2.7
- 13-Jemarl Baker, 6-4, Fr., 0.0/0.0/0.0