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Kentucky Basketball

Kentucky Defeats North Dakota - Recap/Highlights

November 14, 2018

Kentucky hosted North Dakota tonight looking for their first impressive outing of the season. The Fighting Hawks were picked to finish 7th this year in the Summit League, so this was a nice opportunity for the Cats to have a feel-good game. Coach Cal kept the same starting lineup he used just a few days earlier against Southern Illinois.

  • Reid Travis
  • PJ Washington
  • Keldon Johnson
  • Tyler Herro
  • Immanuel Quickley

North Dakota showed early they would be able to be patient on offense, reverse the ball, and had multiple capable shooters. Ten minutes into the game, they were 4/7 (57%) from 3 and had 5 different scorers. Although they were able to hang tight for the first few minutes, there was a full-court scramble that started on the Cats’ end and ended up with Herro smacking the ball out of bounds away from a Hawk on the other end which seemed to get Kentucky going. That play, where multiple guys chose to sprint and hustle just to get a deflection, appeared to get them fired up.

The Cats poured on a 15-2 run over about a 6-minute span, shooting 11/16 (69%) from the field total for the game, including 3/3 from downtown, building a 32-16 lead. We finally saw Kentucky impose its athleticism on a team and clamp down on defense. As North Dakota began to go through their rotation, things became increasingly more difficult for them. Over the last 13 minutes of the first half, they were only able to put another 9 points on the board on 3/15 shooting. 46-25 UK at the half.

With Kentucky up 21 coming into the second half, the question would be if Kentucky would play a complete game and grow their lead or lose their energy. North Dakota’s starting group came out and outscored the Cats 7-4 early on by hitting their first 3 shots. The Cats would respond with a 16-4 run to push the lead to 30.


Big Blue Nation should feel a little better. Sure, this wasn’t crazy competition, but Kentucky looked like they could play basketball again and like they WANTED to. Turnovers were manageable at 13. The outside shooting was much better, 6/13 (46%) from 3. PJ showed up with a game-high (and new career high) 25 points - 4/5 from deep! what?! Herro snagged 5 steals, knocked down a 3, and added 18 points. 24/30 (80%) as a team from the free throw line was nice. 45-15 rebounding edge, hustle.

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