No. 16 Kentucky survives Georgia, 66-61

12/31/2017 09:43 PM

Kentucky had a chance to end 2017 with a conference victory and it did just that. Primed for a letdown after a blowout of in-state rival Louisville, the Wildcats almost gave away a win but found footing late to beat the Bulldogs, 66-61.

Conference play started off slow for Kentucky, with freshmen Nick Richards and P.J. Washington each picking up two quick fouls to start the game. The scoring responsibility was then shifted to the guards in the first half — specifically freshman Quade Green, who scored 13 of the team’s 26 first-half points. Freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander again led the Wildcats in scoring with 21 points off the bench. Head Coach John Calipari called Gilgeous-Alexander the team’s best player for the second straight game and it showed as he provided another spark that propelled Kentucky to a victory. Sophomore Wenyen Gabriel, who grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, also hit a 3-pointer with 1:08 left that put Kentucky up by 6, pretty much putting the game out of reach for Georgia.

The Bulldogs didn’t seem to care too much about Kentucky beating Louisville by 29 points on Friday. Georgia came into Rupp Arena feeling like a victory was possible and it showed. Senior Yante Maten was a force inside pacing the Bulldogs with 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Georgia, however, struggled outside of Maten, shooting a combined 2-21 from 3-point range. The team might have walked away with a victory, if that stat was a little better for the away team.

Kentucky will have its first true road game on Jan. 3 as it heads to Baton Rouge to take on LSU.

Be sure to watch Sports Night and KSTV on Monday for more coverage on tonight’s win and a look ahead to the next game against the Tigers.

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