#18 Kentucky Women stun #6 Mississippi State

Patients from UK Children’s Hospital join the team for pre-game introductions
(photo credit Tonia Witt – SVA)

By 11 year old Lukas Witt

#18 Kentucky Women’s Basketball upset the #6 Mississippi State Bulldogs at Memorial Coliseum taking their record to 19-5 (8-4 SEC) on hand for the game were special guests from UK Children’s Hospital who were able to be introduced with the Kentucky starting lineup and enjoy the Cats 73-62 win. The Bulldogs went down 6-0 before Kentucky’s Coach Mitchell called a timeout to re-group, after that it didn’t take long for the Cats to get on track and they would go on to lead the game for 36:21. Kentucky kicked off Sophomore Guard Rhyne Howard’s National Player of the Year campaign this week and she did not disappoint finishing with 26 points and surpassing her 1,000th point of her career, getting there 2nd quickest in program history. Howard also added 10 rebounds getting her fifth double-double this season. Chasity Patterson added 15 points and 3 rebounds in just 19 minutes of play and Jaida Roper added 14 points and 5 assists. Ogechi Anyagaligbo added 4 points and 3 rebounds, Sabrina Haines had 3 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals late in the game, KeKe McKinney did not score but had 4 assists and 2 rebounds, Tatyana Wyatt added 8 points and 6 rebounds, and Amanda Paschal added 3 points. Blair Greene and Nae Nae Cole both played but did not score. Kentucky returns to action on Thursday, visiting Oxford to take on Ole Miss. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus.

Richards comes up clutch in OT thriller in Lubbock

just another day in the office – Nick Richards (photo credit Kentucky MBB)

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.

The Big Man's Heart carries Kentucky past Missouri

Richards in control from start (photo credit Mike Cyrus)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

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.

The Cats own the Bluegrass

Nick Richards seals the deal (photo credit Mike Cyrus)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

#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.   

Montgomery County dominates at Paris High to go 3-1 on season

Coach Wright coaching to #700 (photo credit Mike Hanson)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

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

Kentucky Women put smackdown on Winthrop at Rupp

Jaida Roper owned Rupp Arena tonight (photo credit Teresa Fraley)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

It didn’t take the Winthrop Eagles long to realize who’s house they were in as Kentucky rolled to a 91-36 victory taking them to 10-0 on the season. Kentucky outscored the Eagles 32-14 after 1 quarter and never looked back. Kentucky played 9 players and they all got into the scoring column, 5 hitting the double-digit mark. Rhyne Howard finished with just 12 points after her career high of 30 in her last outing. Tatyana Wyatt had a big night finishing with 10 points and 6 rebounds, while Sabrina Haines added 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Blair Green continues to improve as the season moves on and finished with 13 points and 4 rebounds. But tonight, belonged to Senior Jaida Roper who finished with a career high 30 points and 4 assists, it looked like Roper’s night was over at the 25 point mark but a late game injury by Haines forced her back into the game to reach that milestone. Winthrop had 35 turnovers and 12 bench points to just 15 turnovers and 50 bench points for Kentucky. Now that this game is in the books it’s time to look to instate matchup against Louisville on Sunday, December 15th at Rupp Arena, game time is 1pm and can be seen on ESPN.

Kentucky Women cruise to victory on Ugly Sweater Day

Rhyne Howard drives to the basket (photo credit Michael Boggs Photography)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

#15 Kentucky shuts down Samford 79-49 at Memorial Coliseum to take them to 9-0 on the season. Kentucky fans and coaches arrived at Memorial with their favorite ugly sweater on today to cheer on the Cats and the festive atmosphere seemed to work. Kentucky went on a 9-0 run to start the game but then Samford’s Paige Serup gives Kentucky a taste their own medicine with 2 straight threes to put an end to the run. Rhyne Howard had a career high 30 points, 3 steals, 3 assist, and 6 rebounds on a 5-8 shooting from behind the arch. Sabrina Haines finished the game with 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals but only shot 3 of 10 from the field. Amanda Paschal had a great passing afternoon with 5 assists, 9 points, and 4 rebounds. Tatyana Wyatt got into early foul trouble which limited her time on the floor. Ogechi Anyagaligbo had another solid outing and we continue to see streaks of tough play, once she put a full game together the Cats are going to be hard to stop inside. Kentucky’s next game will be a change of scenery as they will play in the great Rupp Arena and face Winthrop Wednesday, December 11th at 7 pm it can also be seen on the SECNetwork as the Cats look to go 10-0 before playing rival Louisville in Rupp.

EJ Montgomery has career night as the Cats win #600 at Rupp

EJ Montgomery is finding his groove (photo credit Michael Huang – KSR)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

Kentucky takes a satisfying win against Fairleigh Dickinson 83-52 at home and improves to 7-1 on the season. The Cats reached a milestone of 600 wins in Rupp Arena tonight getting to that mark in a single venue quicker than any other team taking their Rupp record to 600-70. Kentucky missed their first two shots before they began to take control of the game. The front court duo of EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards showed up in a big way tonight as they combined for 37 points and 19 rebounds. Montgomery finished with 25 points, 9 rebounds, one short of a double-double, and went 12 of 16 from the field, including 5 dunks. Richards lead the team in rebounds with 10 and had 12 points, and 2 blocks, securing yet another double-double, his fourth of the season. Ashton Hagans had a good outing as he led the team in assist with 11 and 11 points with 2 turnovers. The surprise breakout player of the night was Keion Brooks Jr. who finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 blocked shot. Kentucky has a tough stretch of games coming up, having the week off will give Coach Calipari some extra practice time to get everyone healthy and recovered (note: walk-on Ben Jordan was missing from the bench tonight with a reported head injury suffered at practice this week and Dontaie Allen is suffering from knee soreness after 2 days of practice). The best part of the night was seeing the team come back out onto the floor after the game to take pictures and exchange high fives with some special needs fans with the Special Olympics. Kentucky’s next game will be on Saturday, December 14th as they take on Georgia Tech at 5 pm in Rupp Arena and can be found on ESPN.

Kentucky blows out Austin Peay at home

Ogechi Anyagaligbo drives to the basket (photo credit Kentucky WBB)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

Kentucky comes up big winning 81-52 with balanced scoring against Austin Peay at Memorial Coliseum taking them to 7-0. The Cats played with confidence and were locked in on the 40-minutes of dread defense. Rhyne Howard finished with 14 points, 2 steals, 3 blocks, 3 assist, and 4 rebounds and had several defensive stops and deflections. KeKe McKinney had another solid game with 12 points and going 5-7 from the field, 2 assists, and 4 rebounds. Sabrina Haines leadership on the court continues to show up each game, she finishes with 10 points, 3 steals, 3 assist, and 9 rebounds. Ogechi Anyagaligbo had a big game and finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 block as she got the start over Tatyana Wyatt who we did not see in action. Jaida Roper came off the bench to provide solid guard play and had 10 points, 4 assists, and 1 rebound. All 5 players finished in double figures and Kentucky was in control from the tip. There won’t be much time to celebrate, Kentucky will be back in action against the Charlotte 49ers on December 4th at 11:00 am and can be found on the SECNetwork.

EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards duo took control over UAB

EJ Montgomery in control from the start against UAB (photo credit Kentucky MBB)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

Kentucky takes it to UAB at Rupp getting the win with a final of 69-58 taking them to a 6-1 record on the season. The Cat’s big men get off to a great start while Nate Sestina watched from the bench due to a hand injury at practice this week and will likely be out 3-4 weeks. It was Joe B. Hall and Nick Richard’s Birthday and the fans celebrated as those in attendance sang Happy Birthday. EJ Montgomery had a big night and finished with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Nick Richards had also 16 points, 9 rebounds and finished 7-7 from the field. One area to keep an eye on is late game foul trouble by both Montgomery and Richards, with Sestina out Cal will rely on extended minutes by the duo. Aston Hagans had 9 points, 12 assist, and 3 rebounds in a team high 34 minutes of play. Keion Brooks Jr. had a solid game as he finished with 5 points and 4 rebounds. Every player that entered the game for Kentucky made it into the scoring column. Up next Kentucky will face Fairleigh Dickson Saturday, December 7th at 4 p.m. and can be found on the SECNetwork.