The Missouri Tigers came into Rupp Arena and a crowd of 20,396 to face #17 Kentucky. The Cats have had a week off since that huge rivalry win against the Louisville Cardinals back on December 28th. The Tigers jumped out to a 17-9 lead before the Kentucky got things rolling as Nick Richards scored the first 14/16 points for the Cats. Richards has come to play the past two games and we are beginning to see him take a new role on the floor coaching up his teammates during breaks in play. Today he finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 4 big blocks before fouling out late in the 2nd half. Ashton Hagans had another solid outing dishing out a game high 7 assists and adding 7 points and 5 rebounds. We heard about his improvement all summer and his has lived up to the hype, Immanuel Quickley finished the day with 23 points, 4/8 from behind the arch and 3 rebounds. The big take away from the game today was free throw shooting with 27/30 and Quickley on a 24 made streak. The road to March doesn’t get any easier as the Cats have a quick turnaround Tuesday game as they travel to Georgia, game time is 9 pm EST and can be seen on ESPN.
#19 Kentucky wins the Battle of the Bluegrass with a victory over rival #3 Louisville from 75 miles up the road 78-70 in OT. The game was back and forth for 40 minutes in front of a season-high 20,437 fans but at the end of regulation the game was tied. In overtime the Cats played to win with key shots and great defense. In the final seconds Nick Richards took a hard foul and players briefly came together before heading to their benches. Tyrese Maxey finished the night with 27 points, and 7 huge rebounds and a great defensive effort. Nick Richard’s confidence rose this game as he finished with key buckets in overtime as he left the game with a double-double 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 1 block. Aston Hagans had another all-around game and a huge steal and block in overtime to put the nail in the casket with 8 points, 2 steals, 8 assist, 5 rebounds, and 1 block. EJ Montgomery had a huge defensive game grabbing key rebounds and a couple huge blocks as he had only 4 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Immanuel Quickley was a free throw monster late in the game finishing 8 of 8 for the line as he had 18 points, 1 assist, and 3 rebounds. The Cats look to be back on track from their Vegas skid. Kentucky’s next game is SEC opener at home against Missouri Saturday January 4th and can be watch on the SECNetwork as the Cats look to go on a 2-game win streak and to 10-3 on the season.
Now that Christmas has come and gone, I only have one last wish. I wish that Big Blue Nation would REALLY be True Blue. Here is what I mean. Get behind your players and get behind your team (men and women), good or bad. These players are kids just like me. When someone makes fun of me or yells at me it makes me feel bad and I don’t do my best cause I don’t think I am good enough. My Mom says bullying is mistreating someone else, so really when you are being mean to the players and coaches you are being a bully. They aren’t going to win every game, they aren’t going to play a perfect game but they are good people and that’s more important in the end cause it’s bigger than basketball.
You want to know what you can do to help them? It’s really easy. CHEER THEM ON!! I see lots of people at games that never stand up, that never clap their hands, some that never watch the game. If you go to Rupp Arena or Memorial Coliseum stand up, clap your hands, cheer and show them how much you support them and how excited that you are there. It’s really sad that sometimes when I am standing and cheering people tell me to sit down. Say what? I mean why else do you go to the game, right?
So Big Blue Nation, stand up, yell loud, be proud and show the rest of the world why we are THE GREATEST TRADITION IN ALL OF COLLEGE BASKETBALL. Oh yeah and do it at EVERY single game not just when we play big teams and rivals. So with that said…
#14 Kentucky Women headed out to Cali to take on the Golden Bears and Rhyne Howard would spoil their holidays with a game winner giving the Cats a 63-61 victory. That win takes the Cats to 11-1 headed into Christmas Break. We got our first look at transfer guard Chasity Patterson who finished with 9 points and 4 rebounds. Jaida Roper had 6 points and 3 rebounds before fouling out of the game along with Tatyana Wyatt who finished with just 4 points but a game high 8 rebounds. Rhyne Howard stole the show, if you remember she missed that last second shot against Louisville nearly one week ago, she got a second chance against the Golden Bears and this time came up big with a mid-range with the clock winding down. Howard finished the night with a game high 29 points and 5 rebounds. The Cats forced 22 turnovers to their 11, taking care of the basketball will be huge as they head into SEC play after the holidays. Kentucky returns to action on Jan. 2, facing South Carolina in Columbia. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.
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.
The Montgomery County Indians traveled to Morehead this weekend to compete in the Kentucky Bank Challenge. Friday night the Indians faced off in the opening game against Lewis County where they dominated from the start. We got our first look at big man Zach Benton and he went to work early and finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. Senior Trey Ishmael came off the bench with lots of intensity to provide 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Rickey Lovette continues to put up consistent numbers each outing and fished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Another solid defensive performance from Austin Eichenberger as he finished with just 8 points but added 8 steals to his stat line. Hagan Harrison went to work early on and never looked back as he finished with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals as the Indians picked up a victory 77-62 over Lewis County. The Indians struggle from the charity stripe and will need to get that cleaned up as they move into mid-season, their defensive effort continues to make things happen as they got 19 steals. This team continues to be one to watch as we head into the holidays but not before another back to back game this time against Marion County.
The afternoon match-up against the Marion County Knights was a back and forth from the beginning. The Indians bench didn’t produce like they have in recent games, foul trouble and a 50% free throw percentage hurt down the stretch. Brandon Dyer finished the afternoon with 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, Hagan Harrison added 16 points and 5 rebounds. Zach Benton has 8 points and 8 rebounds all on the defensive end of the floor and fouled out late in the game. Rickey Lovette also fouled out before putting up 13 points and grabbing 11 boards in a losing effort 57-60 taking their record to 6-3 on the season. The Indians get a few days off before plays kicks off at home in the Gateway Holiday Classic on Friday, December 27th at 6:00 pm against Dixie Heights.
The Montgomery County Indians Boys’ Basketball team faced Region powerhouse Bourbon County Colonels at the Arena in an early season match up. This was a back and forth game most of the night, the Indians were headed to the locker room down 5 before Senior Trey Ishmael hit a buzzer beater to cut the lead to just 2 points. It took both teams some time to get things going coming out of the half. The Colonel went on a run midway through the 3rd quarter before the Indians fought their way back and made a run of their own. Caleb Webb came off the bench to give the Indians a lift and finished with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Austin Eichenberger didn’t have a great night offensively finishing with only 6 points, but he made up for it with 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 assists. Rickey Lovette had a quite 17 points and 7 rebounds while the back court had dominate play from Hagan Harrison for the second straight game and finishing with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. The Indians came up short down the stretch falling 67-62 and will have to regroup for a back to back game 2 hours down the road against Trimble County. Keep an eye on the Indians as the season moves forward, they will end up surprising some people come tournament time.
The Montgomery County Lady Indians are very young team who start all underclassman except for their Center Savannah Parker who is a junior, 9/15 player on their roster are in middle school. All but one of their first six games was decided by 10 points or less, which proves this team has lots of potential. They have been able to battle back into each game so far this season but have fallen short in 5 of their first six games. Last night against Bourbon County Lady Colonels the Lady Indians fell at home 46-41 with some late game turnovers. Freshman Shaelynn Harris finished with 16 points and 5 rebounds, while 8th grader Allie Dillon finished with 14 points and 3 rebounds. 8th grade guard Hayden Barrier added 7 points and 7 rebounds. The Lady Indians look to snap a 5 game losing streak Friday as they travel to North Bullitt to take on Western Hills in the Wesbanco Bank Holiday Classic.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets come to Rupp to take on #8 Kentucky Wildcats with 20,111 in attendance. The Wildcats and Yellow Jackets went back and forth in the first half with the Cats up 36-30 going into the break. The Cats remained focused on the leading scorer for the Yellow Jackets, Michael Devoe who finished with only 5 points and 2/11 from the field. Ashton Hagans finished the night with 21 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds and 2 steals and also ended the night 80% from the field. Guard Immanuel Quickley got the start and ended the game with another strong performance of 16 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. The man in middle Nick Richards continues to battle each game and finished with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 5/6 from the field. Freshman Tyrese Maxey had a solid outing and contributed many things not seen in the stats, he finished with 6 points, 6 assists and 7 rebounds. The Cats have a big road test coming up as they head out West to Las Vegas to take on University of Utah on Wednesday, December 18th in the Neon Hoops Showcase, the game can be seen on ESPN2 at 11 pm EST. they then take on Ohio State Saturday, December 21st in the CBS Sports Classic, that game can be seen on CBS at 5:15 pm EST.
The #14 Kentucky Women’s Basketball team takes a loss 67-66 to #7 Louisville at Rupp Arena. Kentucky fought but they couldn’t come away with the win at home as Louisville got key rebounds and steals on the defensive end of the floor. Rhyne Howard had another outstanding game with 26 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Sabrina Haines had 12 points, 4 assists, and 1 rebound. Jaida Roper brought the intensity off the bench and made clutch plays on defensive end down the stretch. Tatyana Wyatt finished with 12 points, and 5 rebounds in a mis-match down low most of the night. Kentucky’s 10 game win streak comes to an end, but heading into their next game we will see a new face on the floor as Junior Guard Chasity Patterson becomes eligible and will be another offensive threat. The Cats head West to take on University of California on Saturday, December 21st at 7 pm EST, broadcast schedule is TBD.
Montgomery County Indians went on a 10-0 run at Paris and never looked back as they pick up an important District win on the road 82-46 taking their record to 3-1. Four Indians finished in double figures. Austin Eichenberger got off to a hot start going 3-3 from behind the arch and finishing with 14 points and 3 rebounds. Hagan Harrison finished the night with 16 points and 4 rebounds and was the floor general for much of the night. Brandon Dyer had another solid outing with 10 points but much of what he added won’t be found on the stat sheet. The Player of the Game was Rickey Lovette as he owned the paint defensively finishing with a game high 23 points, several of those being dunks, he also had 14 rebounds giving him a double-double on the night. The highlight of the night was career win #700 for Coach Steve Wright, putting him second on the list of active career wins. The Indians will travel to West Jessamine Friday, December 13th to take on the Colts at 7:45 pm and are back home at the Arena Tuesday, December 17th to battle the Bourbon County Colonels at 7:30pm