Wildcats Turn up heat, shut down Tide

Briscoe rushes the ball up the court against Alabama - Photo by Mike Cyrus
Briscoe rushes the ball up the court against Alabama – Photo by Mike Cyrus

UK traveled to Alabama today in hopes of righting their ship and get out of their mini slump. Despite their win over LSU earlier in the week, they still allowed LSU to score at will in the second half, so defense is a real concern. Alabama is coming off an overtime win against South Carolina and were primed to upset the troubled Cats.

The first half appeared to have Kentucky back on track attacking the rim. UK however would run in to early foul trouble with Alabama being in the bonus as early as the 13 minute mark. The Cats are still shooting poorly after going 12-29 in the first half and only 2 of 8 from down town.  Monk and Adebayo had 8 each at the break with the Cats having 7 assists and 6 turnovers at the half. Alabama on the other hand was 8 for 25 and 1 of 7 from distance. The Crimson Tide had 3 assists and  8 turnovers. The Cats had a 29-20 lead at the break.

Final Stats UK vs Alabama - 2-11-17
Final Stats UK vs Alabama – 2-11-17

UK would come out in the second half and widen their lead to 16 with 12 minutes to go. Neither team could seem to get in a rhytm early on with each committing turnovers and fouls seemingly every trip down the court.  UK’s defense has definitely gotten better as they had held Alabama to 35 points at the under 8:00 minute timeout for a 48-35 lead.

UK struggled to hang on late in the game as fouls continued to mount with Adebayo being the first to fall to waste side with 5 fouls. The Cats had 4 other players with 4 fouls. In his press conference, Alabama Coach Avery Johnson said he thought thiw was a very winnable game for his team and after digging the hole in the first half, may have cost his team the game. Kentucky’s defense wa ready to go, but like Coach Cal said, his offense suffered for it and it was time to put it all together.