Hawkins realizes childhood dream, leads Kentucky past Louisville

12/27/2015 07:14 PM

LEXINGTON — With Isaiah Briscoe sidelined with a pregame ankle injury and Jamal Murray struggling to find his shot, a seldom-used Kentucky boy fulfilled his childhood dream of leading the Wildcats to victory over archrival Louisville.

Junior guard Dominique Hawkins scored a career-high 13 points, including a trio a huge three-pointers and two clutch free throws in the final minute to help No. 11 Kentucky hold off No. 15 Louisville, 75-73, on Saturday afternoon at Rupp Arena.

  • “I’m so glad I was able to get the opportunity to play in this game today,” Hawkins said after UK’s fourth consecutive victory over the Cardinals. “I’m blessed. This was a huge rivalry game, and I know what it means to Kentucky folks, so I think everyone is pretty happy today.”

A photo posted by Dominique Hawkins (@dhawk_25) on

The former 2013 Kentucky Mr. Basketball from Madison Central logged a season-high 26 minutes off the bench for UK and did not shy away from taking — and making — the big shots in big moments.

  • “Never changed his emotion the whole time,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said of Hawkins after the game. “He defended. He’ll fight like crazy. He’s got a great temperament, a great demeanor — one of the great kids of all time. I mean, literally, one of the great kids.”
  • “I had a good warmup. Plus, this was a big game,” Hawkins said. “I feel like I play better on bigger stages as well. I was also very confident today. Every shot I threw up, I thought it was going to go in.”

Next Up: Hawkins and the Wildcats open SEC play against Ole Miss on Saturday, January 2, at Rupp Arena.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET with broadcast available on the SEC Network, WatchESPN.com and via the WatchESPN app.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest KSTV Sports info delivered to your inbox.

TWEETS ABOUT KSTV and #BBN