No. 14 Kentucky’s Impressive 2nd Half Lead to a 68-51 Win Over Texas A&M

By: JaQil Taylor 

LEXINGTON, KY. The 13-4 Kentucky Wildcats looked likely to repeat Saturday’s performance against Tennessee by being dominated on the boards. The 12-5 Texas A&M Aggies did a superior job decreasing the Wildcats offensive rebound rate to 25% (wildcats average 45%).

The Aggies kept Calipari’s Wildcats on their toes as well with the versatile 3-2/2-3 zone rotation forcing the young Wildcats into difficult shots and 8 turnovers in the first half. The Aggies physical play on the other hand worked in favor for the Wildcats causing the aggies to pick up seven team fouls in the first eight minutes. At halftime Kentucky led 34-27.

The second half was a complete 360 for the Wildcats and showed why they are a favorable team to be remaining April 5th at AT&T Stadium in the final four. Texas A&M lost control of the rebounding battle losing to Kentucky on the boards 42-24. The Aggies only hope of trying to reduce rebounds was switching to a man to man defense. The Wildcats were much too skilled offensively resulting in abundant runs.

The man of the hour was Alex Poythress who stepped up tremendously in the absence of Willie Cauley-Stein. (Cauley-Stein finished with a point and four fouls.) On a positive note, Poythress played like a man possessed having 9 of UK’s 12 points eight minutes into the second half. A sports center nominee dunk by Poythress over the Aggies defender Davonte Fitzgerald shifted all the momentum towards Kentucky. From that point it was all downhill for Texas A&M. Three Wildcats finished with double digits.

The Wildcat’s Poythress finished with a season high 16 points and was impressive from the free throw line shooting 89% (8-9). Julius Randle finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, once again another double-double. Randle is one of ten players averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds this season. James Young finished with 15 points.

The Aggies Alex Caruso and Davonte Fitzgerald had 12 points each. The Wildcats held the Aggies Jamal Jones to only 8 points which is notable considering he averages just less than 21 points in SEC play this season. It was a bad shooting night for the Aggies finishing only 37% from the field.

The Kentucky Wildcats will continue SEC play against the Georgia Bulldogs (9-7) Saturday, January 25, 1:30 PM at Rupp Arena. It will be televised on ESFC and ESPN3.

Recent Articles


Related Stories

Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox