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.”
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.