Improved defense leads Kentucky past Alabama, 67-58

02/11/2017 03:33 PM

It wasn’t pretty, but Kentucky hung on to beat Alabama 67 to 58 in Tuscaloosa this afternoon.

Kentucky’s defense came to play, especially in the first half. The Wildcats held Alabama to only 20 first-half points on 32 percent shooting from the floor. UK forced Alabama to commit 16 turnovers. The Wildcats converted 14 points off of those turnovers.

The Wildcats led by as many as 18 points twice in the second half before Alabama would go on a 13-2 run to cut Kentucky’s lead to seven points with 4:49 left in the game. Isaiah Briscoe responded with five quick points to give Kentucky the momentum back. He finished the game with a double-double, scoring 11 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and adding four assists.

Bam Adebayo was having a dominant game before he fouled out with six minutes left in the game. Adebayo left the game with 14 points and seven rebounds.

Malik Monk once again led Kentucky in scoring. He had 17 points on 6-15 shooting. He hit Kentucky’s first three of the game, which extended the Wildcats streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer to 1,000. Kentucky is the first school to ever do that.

Kentucky edged Alabama on the boards, 41-38.

Alabama’s Achilles’ heel was its free throw shooting. The Crimson Tide shot an abysmal 9-26 from the charity stripe.

Kentucky improves to 20-5 (10-2) on the season and is tied for first in the SEC with Florida.

Next up for the Wildcat is a rematch with Tennessee on Tuesday at Rupp Arena at 7 pm. Tennessee handed Kentucky its first SEC loss earlier this season.

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