Sport Inconsistent No. 8 Kentucky pulls away vs. Georgia Tech

03:43  15 december  2019
03:43  15 december  2019 Source:   latimes.com

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — A sixth straight victory and a top-10 ranking might suggest a Kentucky team settling into a groove. But Saturday’s 67-53 victory over Georgia Tech was anything but a model of consistency.

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Georgia Tech pulls away in 2nd half, defeats Nebraska 73-56. Michael Devoe scored 26 points and Georgia Tech pulled away from Nebraska in the second half for Michigan State's offense continued to sputter against Virginia Tech , sending the No. 3 Spartans to their second loss of the young season.

EJ Montgomery, who had career high for points in each of the last two games, was scoreless for the first time this season and the first time since the Elite Eight loss to Auburn last March. He missed all four of his shots.


Another mainstay, point guard Ashton Hagans, equaled the season-high six turnovers he had against Utah Valley. In UK’s last two games, Hagans had 23 assists and four turnovers.

If that wasn’t startling enough, a Kentucky team that came in averaging 24.4 free-throw attempts and 19.4 made, shot fewer than Georgia Tech in the first half. Tech came into the game ranked outside the top 250 in free throws attempted.

Kentucky, which had 16 turnovers (second-highest total of the season), still led for much of the game. Hagans led a balanced UK attack with 21 points. He also had seven assists. Immanuel Quickley added 16 points, Nick Richards 12 and Keion Brooks 10 as the Cats improved to 8-1 overall.

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Georgia Tech fell to 4-4. Moses Wright led Tech with 13 points. Bubba Parham, who scored 35 points against UK last season while playing for VMI, chipped in 10 points.

Despite not getting a point from Montgomery, Kentucky led 36-30 at halftime. That matched UK’s largest lead of the opening 20 minutes. Montgomery picked up his second foul and went to the bench with 7:24 left in the half.

Brooks picked up the slack. He scored eight points in the first half. That was more than he’d had in five of UK’s previous games and came a week after he scored a career-high 15 against Fairleigh Dickinson.

Kentucky led despite not getting to the foul line nearly as much as usual. The Cats did not shoot a free throw until Maxey went to the line with 4:48 left.

Thirty-seven seconds later, Maxey returned to the line after absorbing a hard foul from Moses Wright. A review of the sideline monitor resulted in a flagrant one technical on the Georgia Tech forward.

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Box score: No . 8 Duke 80, Georgia Tech 69. Held to single-digits the last two games in losses at St. John's The Blue Devils pulled away with a 10-0 run midway through the half, a streak punctuated by Tennessee Volunteers guard Jordan Bone (0) shoots the ball against Kentucky Wildcats guard

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With Hagans on the defensive assignment, Kentucky kept Parham in check in the first half. He did not take a shot until the 13:45 mark. His 3-pointer gave Georgia Tech its first half: 12-9.

Parham made his first three shots, and did not miss until a long 3-pointer to beat the shot clock bounced off the rim. As the ball went through the air, a mild buzz grew.

Hagans’ defense on Parham was part of an eventful first half for UK’s point guard. He led the Cats with 11 points. But he also had four turnovers.

The opening minutes of the second half defined inconsistency.

Kentucky scored the first six points to open up a 42-30 lead. Georgia Tech got only one shot to the rim in the first two-plus minutes of the second half.

Then Maxey threw a pass that Hagans wasn’t looking for, resulting in a turnover. Tech then scored the next six points to prevent Kentucky from separating itself.

Anxiety became palpable as UK went six straight possessions without scoring: Four turnovers and two missed shots.

After Georgia Tech closed within 44-41, Quickley hit a 3-pointer from the right wing. It gave UK a 47-41 lead. It also met the three-makes-from-beyond-the-arc standard for fans to cash in the “trifecta taste” promotion at local restaurants.

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Quickley’s 3-pointer interrupted a span of almost six minutes when Kentucky made one of five shots and committed five turnovers.

Kentucky stayed ahead because Georgia Tech made only two shots in eight-plus minutes.


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