Kentucky Women overcome early drought to beat MTSU

Amanda Paschal drives to the basket (photo credit: Kentucky Women’s Basketball)

By Lukas Witt

The Kentucky Women’s Basketball team headed to the Murphy Center to take on Middle Tennessee State University in their road opener. Both teams got off to a sloppy start and found it difficult to put the ball in the basket. Kentucky went on more than a 5-minute drought before they found their rhythm on the offensive end of the floor. The Blue Raiders pushed the pace in the first half with full court pressure. The Cats gained the advantage late in the first half and took a 22-18 lead to the locker room. Coming out of the half Kentucky’s full court pressure known as 40 minutes of dread began to take a toll on the Blue Raiders as they quickly jumped out to a 20-point lead and outscoring the opponent 31-18 in the 3rd quarter. Three Cats finish in double figures and are led by redshirt senior Amanda Paschal with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Arizona State transfer Sabrina Haines added 12 points along with Ogechi Anyagaligbo’s 10 points and 7 rebounds off the bench. KeKe McKinney had a strong showing on the boards with 6 rebounds. Final score in the Kentucky win 67-52 taking the Cats to 2-0. Turnovers (16) and fouls (21) were both a problem for the Cats and they will look to clean those up as Stetson comes to Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday, November 13th @ 7 pm.

Kentucky takes down Eastern Kentucky in home opener.

The Eruption Zone is ready for home opener

By Lukas Witt

Kentucky took care of business in their home opener against Eastern Kentucky University 91-49. Nick Richards looked to be healthy as he finished with a double-double, 21 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks. Nate Sestina is settling in nicely at Kentucky as he had another big night finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds, he continues to be the voice on the floor. Keion Brooks Jr. saw more playing time tonight and added 11 points and 8 rebounds in 21 minutes. Ashton Hagans shows why he is on the Wooden Award watch list, and continues to be a match-up problem and creates crafty moves to get to the hoop, he finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Immanuel Quickley’s early season play shows just how much work he has put in this offseason and continues to be a contributor offensively and defensively, his confidence is at a whole new level, tonight he had 16 points and 5 assists. We saw a little of the explosive Khalil Whitney as he had a monster jam at the end of the game. EJ Montgomery was a no go tonight with a reported ankle injury, it is said he should be good to return early next week as the Cats take on Evansville at home on Tuesday, November 12 @7 pm, it can be seen on SEC Network.

Kentucky tops #1 Michigan State in season opener

EJ Montgomery fights for a rebound (photo credit Teresa Fraley)

By Lukas Witt

Opening night of college basketball kicks off at the Historic Madison Square Garden for the State Farm Champions Classic between the #1 Michigan State Spartans and #2 Kentucky Wildcats. Both teams got off to a slow start but that didn’t last long as Kentucky’s veteran Ashton Hagans made some key shots to get things rolling finishing the night with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley finished in double digits again with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. EJ Montgomery looked more comfortable on both ends of the floor finishing with 6 points and 2 rebounds but made an impact you won’t see in the box score. Nick Richards came off the bench tonight after rolling an ankle in the last exhibition game and finished with 5 points and 5 rebounds before fouling out late in the 2nd half. Holly Rowe asked Coach Cal in pre-game where he could find a shot if needed, his response was that he didn’t know because it was early in the season. After tonight it’s clear that Coach Cal has an idea where shots can be found when needed. Freshman guard Tyrese Maxey had a breakout college debut finishing with 26 points, including 3 deep bombs from behind the arch, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Kentucky will take on Eastern Kentucky University at Rupp on Friday, November 8 at 7pm it can be seen on the SEC Network.

Kentucky closes out exhibition play against Kentucky State

Sestia coaching from the floor

By Lukas Witt

Kentucky finished the exhibition part of the season as they took on the Thorobreds of Kentucky State at Rupp on Friday night. The Cats got off to a slow start, but Freshman Khalil Whitney got things going with a put back and the foul to go to the line where he finished off a 3 point play. On the night Whitney finished with 15 points, 7/13 from the field, 5 rebounds, 3 assists. Another Freshman Keion Brooks Jr. had a good showing tonight as he finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds with strong play around the rim. Immanuel Quickley again proved his shooting ability as he finished the night with 15 points and adding 2 rebounds and 2 assists and was MVP of the first half. Johnny Juzang lit it up from behind the arch in the second half hitting back to back 3 pointers and finished 3/5 from 3 point range. Graduate transfer Nate Sestina played a key role always talking on both ends of the floor at one time he was even coaching from the bench. He finished the night with 13 points, 6/8 shooting from the field, 8 rebounds and 2 assists in 30 minutes of play. Final score 83-51. Kentucky is back in action Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden as they take on Michigan State in the Champions Classic, game time is set for 9:30 pm on ESPN.

Kentucky Women’s Basketball has strong showing in exhibition

pre-game huddle

By Lukas Witt

The Kentucky Women played an incredible game at historic Memorial Coliseum as they took on University of Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles. The outcome was was a big win for Kentucky 80-44. All-American Rhyne Howard started slow scoring only 3 points in the first half but came out of the locker room and turned it on scoring 17 in the second half and finishes with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 assists. In her college debut Kentucky naitive Emma King finished with 12 points and 4-6 from behind the arch, one from way downtown. Jaida Roper came off the bench to give the Cats a big lift finishing with just 6 points but added 2 rebounds and 6 assists to keep the offense rolling. KeKe McKinney showed out for her Birthday with 6 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks, she seemed to swat away anything that came her way last night. Tatyana Wyatt also got to the glass for 6 rebounds as Kentucky out rebounded the Screaming Eagles 42-32. But the Player of the Game was Sabrina Haines in her debut after transferring from Arizona State and rehabbing from a knee injury she finished with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and was all over the floor at key moments during the game. This up and down full court pace is going to be fun to watch this season in addition to their smothering full court pressure. Watch for Blair Green to make an impact on both ends of the court this season.

Catch Kentucky in their season opener Tuesday November 5th as they take on Mount St. Mary’s at Memorial Coliseum. Gametime is 7pm and can be watched on SEC Network+ or on the Radio at UK Sports Network 98.5FM

Kentucky has strong showing against Georgetown College

Team huddled up in pregame warmups

By Lukas Witt

Kentucky Men’s Basketball hosted Georgetown College in the first of two exhibition games for the preseason at Rupp Arena on Sunday afternoon. The eight-time champs got off to a fast pace as Immanuel Quickley started for Kentucky with a wing three, Quickley finished the game with 16 points 3 assists and 0 turnovers. The Cats continued with strong play from Nate Sestina who made a very nice impact in controlling the team by talking and making key threes for the Cats in the first half and finished with a double double. Keion Brooks Jr. played strong and finished with eight points a block and a rebound. Ashton Hagans made a huge impact on the defensive side of the ball with four steals. Nick Richards had a good outing but left early in the second half with a lower leg injury, however, Ashton Hagans said, “It should not be serious”. Kentucky came out on top 80-53, the Cats are playing strong but need to improve on both ends of the floor.  Up next they have the Kentucky State Thorobreds Friday, November 1 at 7 P.M.