By Lukas Witt (11 years old)
December 22, 2019
The West was Wild and Vegas wasn’t good to the Kentucky Wildcats. The Cats got the week under way going up against the University of Utah in the Neon Hoops Showcase. Nate Sestina was back in the lineup after a wrist injury had him sidelined since just before Thanksgiving. EJ Montgomery finished the night with 8 points and 10 rebounds, Nick Richards again found himself in foul trouble and finished with just 5 points and 4 rebounds. Immanuel Quickley who has been hot lately had a quiet night and finished with just 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists. Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagan combined for 34 of the Cats 66 total points. Maxey finished with 18 points and Hagans added 16 points, 8 assists and 2 steals. The Cats shot only 2-17 from behind the arch for 11.8%, Cal always says you don’t have to make them all but you can’t miss them all, in this case they were close. The Wildcats could never get things going and fall to the Utes 69-66 taking them to 8-2 on the season. They didn’t have time to think about this loss as they had a quick turnaround to get ready for the #5 Ohio State Buckeyes in the CBS Sports Classic on Saturday, December 21st back at T-Mobile Arena.
The Wildcats were coming off a late night loss to Utah and looked to rebound against the #5 Buckeyes in another Vegas showdown. The Cats came out much more intense than they have in past games and it didn’t take Nate Sestina long to get hot, he finished with a team high 17 points going 5-8 from the 3 point line. Tyrese Maxey had another good outing and finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists before fouling out. Ashton Hagan continues being a threat on the floor as he had 14 points and 9 assists. Nick Richards got in early foul trouble and spent much of the game watching from the sideline. The Cats pulled within a point late in the 2nd half but couldn’t keep the momentum as the Buckeyes pulled away and took down the #6 Wildcats 71-65 taking them to 8-3 on the season. Just a reminder to Big Blue Nation March > December. The Wildcats play host to in state rival the Louisville Cardinals on Dec. 28. Game time is 3:45 p.m. and the game will be televised on CBS.