UK BASKETBALL | Big Blue Shines In The Big Apple

12/09/2017 06:36 PM

The #7/8 Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team (8-1) defeated the Monmouth Hawks (3-7) Saturday 93-76. The two met for the first time in program history in the Citi Hoops Classic in Madison Square Garden in New York City in front of a crowd of over 10,000.

Under Head Coach John Calipari, the Cats are 7-1 in New York City and 4-0 in Madison Square Garden.

Kentucky went with a starting line-up of Quade Green, Hamidou Diallo, P.J. Washington, Kevin Knox and Nick Richards.

In the first half, freshman guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander knocked down a three-point shot to extend UK’s streak of games with a three-pointer to 1,022-consecutive games.

UK outscored Monmouth 54-31 in the first half, and freshman forward P.J. Washington scored a team-high 16 first-half points. He was 4/4 from the field, 7/7 from the free-throw line.

Redshirt freshman guard Hamidou Diallo, a Queens native, had a career-high 23 points in his homecoming. He added four rebounds (three defensive) and an assist and two steals in 30 minutes.

Washington also scored a career-high 20 points, going 100% from the charity stripe and 5/8 from the floor. His nine made free throws are the most of any player this season and the most since De’Aaron Fox made 13 against UCLA on March 24, 2017 in the Sweet 16. Washington matched his career-high of blocked shots (set against Kansas) with four.n He finished with six boards (four defensive) and one assist in 32 minutes on the court. He also made his first collegiate three-pointer in the first half.

It was a career night for several of the young Cats. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a career-high 15 points, reaching double-digit scoring in four-straight games. He also had a career-high six rebounds to go along with nine assists and a steal.

Nick Richards, who was in foul trouble early, wound up with ten points and eight boards (four on each end).

Kentucky, though they were outscored 45-39 in the second half, was able to win the battle in the paint for the game, outscoring Monmouth 38-26. They won the fast-break battle as well, 15-11.

The Cats shot 53.4% from the field, and 36.8% from the three.

Monmouth had two players score in double-figures, lead by Deion Hammond with 19. Hammond also had an assist and three rebounds in his 24 minutes.

Monmouth won the second-chance points battle, 13-12, and their bench out-scored Kentucky’s 38-27. Kentucky turned the ball over 19 times, to Monmouth’s 15.

Sophomore Forward Sacha Killeya-Jones was sidelined due to an ankle sprain and is considered day-to-day, per UK Athletics Media Relations.

Game highlights:

Head Coach John Calipari’s opening statement:

The Cats are back in action at Rupp Arena on Dec. 16 against Virginia Tech. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. eastern.

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