Life with Lukas: By Lukas Witt (11 years old)
#15 Wildcats come up big on the road in the Big 12/SEC Challenge against #18 Texas Tech. It was a home coming for Tyrese Maxey as he is the only player on the Kentucky roster who hails from the state of Texas. This game did not disappoint, it was a back and forth game from the start. There were 8 lead changes and the score was tied 9 times throughout the game but Kentucky held off the Red Raiders 76-74 in an overtime thriller.
Let’s look at the stats, lots of career nights for some guys. Playing a career-high 42 minutes, Immanuel Quickley had 21 points and 6 rebounds, and went 4 of 8 on 3-point shots, in the last 8 games IQ is averaging nearly 18 points per game. Let’s not forget that half court shot he sank at the buzzer to end the first half. Also playing a career-high-tying 43 minutes, Ashton Hagans had 6 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals. Nate Sestina seems to be getting back in the groove of things since that Utah game, he finished with just 8 points before fouling out, but hit 2 clutch 3 points down the stretch. The man of the game was none other than Nick Richards playing a career-high 39 minutes, Richards finished tying a career high 25 points and 14 rebounds, his eighth double-double in 19 games. He had one double-double in 74 games prior to this season. He shot 7 of 10 from the field, 11 of 14 free throws, including 5 of 5 in the overtime.
Even though this was a back and forth battle Kentucky never trailed in the second half. The Cats had 20 turnovers, that is something they will need to clean up as the season rolls on. Next up: Kentucky returns to Southeastern Conference action Wednesday at home vs. Vanderbilt. Game time is 6:30 p.m. and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.