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Kentucky Tops Virginia Tech, 93-86

Entering the 2017-2018 season, one question mark surrounding Calipari’s Wildcats was whether or not they could knock down enough outside shots. That was not an issue today, as the Wildcats shot 50 percent from behind the arc in a 93-86 victory at Rupp Arena.

 

Freshmen Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo led the Wildcats offensively. Knox posted a game-high 21 points with 15 of them coming in the second half. The freshman knocked down 7-of-15 shots.

 

Diallo was close behind Knox, pouring in 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting, including an impressive 4-of-7 from three-point range. With UK leading 85-83 with less than a minute to play, Diallo buried a corner three to extend the Wildcats lead to 88-83.

 

With a week in between games, Calipari was able to implement some new things, including a full-court press that helped turn Virginia Tech over 19 times. Kentucky cashed in on those 19 turnovers, turning them into 36 points. Additionally, Kentucky totaled 18 second-chance points on 14 offensive rebounds.

 

Joining Knox and Diallo in double figures was Quade Green. Due to an eye injury suffered vs. Monmouth, Green was forced to wear protective glasses but it was not a problem. Green did what Calipari asks him to do, which is score the basketball. The freshman guard shot 50 percent from the floor for 17 points and added five assists while only turning the ball over once.

 

Additionally, PJ Washington rebounded from a rough start to reach double figures with 11 points. The freshman forward also chipped in with five rebounds and five assists while only turning the ball over twice.

 

Rounding out the scoring for Kentucky was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (9), Nick Richards (8), and Wenyen Gabriel added 7 points.

 

The win improves Kentucky to 9-1 on the season. Next up for Kentucky is a trip to New Orleans to battle with UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic next Saturday, December 23rd.

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