Quick Trigger: Immanuel puts up 30 points in Kentucky’s win


Kentucky sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley hypes up the crowd during the University of Kentucky vs. Florida men’s basketball game game on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 65-59. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Braden Ramsey

Earlier this season after a win over Alabama, Immanuel Quickley told reporters “if you touch me, you might burn.” 

You may need a fireman’s suit to be in his proximity after Tuesday night’s performance.

The newest contender – and potentially front-runner – for SEC Player of the Year continued his scorched-earth treatment of the conference, scoring 30 points on the back of eight three-pointers as Kentucky (23-5, 13-2 SEC) defeated Texas A&M 69-60.

Those eight long-range connections made him the first Wildcat since Malik Monk – who did so in his memorable 47-point game against North Carolina in the CBS Sports Classsic – to knock down that many in a game.

Quickley also became the first Kentucky player to score 30 points in just over two years. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s 30 versus Vanderbilt in January of 2018 was the most recent occurrence before tonight. 

The two teams began with a flurry, combining to make their first seven threes before the first media timeout. The Cats used a few small runs throughout the opening half to go into the locker room leading 36-27. 

The Aggies got within six after an 8-0 run early in the second half, ready to uphold the trend of Kentucky’s opponents fighting back from double-digit deficits in the last twenty minutes. But the Cats turned to Quickley, and he again answered the bell, nailing back-to-back attempts from distance to stretch the margin to twelve. A&M would not get closer than seven for the remainder of the contest. 

Wendell Mitchell (18), Savion Flagg (17) and Josh Nebo (14) each scored in double figures for A&M. The Aggies (14-13, 8-7 SEC) had won three games in a row, the second longest streak among SEC teams – behind Kentucky’s – prior to the loss. 

Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans each made solid contributions, combining for 24 points, nine rebounds and ten assists. EJ Montgomery pulled down ten rebounds for the second time this season, adding eight points. 

The victory was Kentucky’s seventh straight, marking its longest winning streak of the year.  

The Cats can clinch the SEC Tournament’s number one seed on Saturday when they take on Auburn for the second time. Tip is set for 3:45 p.m. E.T. on CBS.