Sidelines with John Clay

Liveblog: Kentucky 82, Auburn 80

John Calipari’s 12th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats face Bruce Pearl’s 14th-ranked Auburn Tigers in a key SEC college basketball matchup on Saturday. ESPN has the telecast starting at 4 p.m.

We are live at Auburn Arena bringing you updates and analysis. Interact with us on Twitter @johnclayiv, @jerrytipton, @alexslitzphoto and @kentuckysports. Scroll down for a dedicated Twitter feed.

Final: Kentucky 82, Auburn 80

Cats hold on for a huge road win.

Final box

2H 0:24.1 - Kentucky 80, Auburn 80

Harper three gave Auburn 80-79 lead. Herro at line. Makes first. Auburn calls timeout.

2H 2:04 - Kentucky 78, Auburn 73

McLemore just fouled out for Auburn. Brown has 26 points for the Tigers. Johnson 19, Herro 18, Travis 17 for Cats.

2H 2:59 - Kentucky 76, Auburn 72

Heck of a game headed to heck of a finish. Cats led by 17, but Auburn has cut it to three on a couple of occassions. Can UK’s ballhandling hold up under the Tigers’ pressure in front of a rabid crowd?

2H 7:35 - Kentucky 66, Auburn 57

Crowd here at Auburn Arena doing its best to rally Tigers back into it. Auburn just got the ball on a tunover and will have possession when we come out of the TV time. Reid Travis up to 15 points for the Cats.

2H 10:56 - Kentucky 59, Auburn 49

Cats’ lead holding steady. UK shooting 55.3 percent for the game. Auburn shooting 42.3 percent. Cats up 26-19 on the boards. Auburn is 8-of-21 from three-point range. Keldon Johnson leads UK with 17 points. PJ Washington has 12. Tyler Herro has chipped in 10.

2H 14:34 - Kentucky 53, Auburn 42

UK pushed the lead all the way to 17 points. Then Auburn quickly cut it to eight points. Cats up 11 at the TV time. Big basket by PJ Washington and bigger three by Keldon Johnson, who now has 17 in the game. UK shooting 52.8 percent. Auburn shooting 42.9.

2H 17:29 - Kentucky 45, Auburn 29

Cats on fire. Score on first four possessions. Keldon Johnson now up to 14 points. Ashton Hagans pair of early assists in second half. Bruce Pearl calls time out.

Word of warning

In 2016, UK led Auburn 35-30 at the half only to lose 75-70. FYI.

Halftime - Kentucky 35, Auburn 27

Cats ended first half on a 9-0 run. Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro drained back-to-back three-pointers to finish it off. Johnson, who did not score in win at Georgia on Tuesday, scored 11 points the first half. Cats shot 44.4 percent the first half. Auburn shot just 33.3. Bruce Pearl’s team was just five-of-16 from three-point range. Pearl may have to change his suit at halftime. He was up and down the sidelines the entire 20 minutes. Was told by officials to back off at least once.

Halftime box

1H - 3:58 - Kentucky 27, Auburn 27

Auburn’s Horace Spencer was just called for his third walking violation. Kentucky is 1-of-7 from three-point range.

1H - 8:00 - Kentucky 18, Auburn 17

Without Austin Wiley, Auburn struggling on the boards. Kentucky has a 16-9 edge on the glass. Reid Travis with 7 points and 5 rebounds in 8 minutes on the floor.

1H 12:09 - Kentucky 12, Auburn 9

Auburn’s cold shooting continues. Tigers just 3-of-11 from the floor, including 1-of-6 from three-point range. Bryce Brown, who scored 20 points in first half against Texas A&M on Tuesday, has not scored for the Tigers. John Calipari played EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards together in that segment. Cats have turned it four times. Auburn one turnover.

1H 15:06 - Kentucky 8, Auburn 4

Strong start from UK’s Reid Travis, who has five points and three rebounds already. Travis jammed off a nice Tyler Herro assist to put UK up 8-4. PJ Washington hit a three-pointer from the top of the key before that. Auburn off to a slow shooting start. The Tigers are two-of-eight from the floor, including oh-for-four from three-point range. Point guard Jared Harper has all four of Auburn’s points.


Officials for today’s game are Don Daily, Michael Roberts and Lee Cassell.

Austin Wiley out for Auburn

Auburn starting center Austin Wiley will not play in today’s game because of a lower leg injury, according to the school. Wiley is averaging 10.8 points and 6.1 rebounds a game for the Tigers. A school spokesman said he is expected to miss a couple of weeks.

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