Cats go 0-2 on Vegas trip after loss to Ohio State


Kentucky sophomore forward EJ Montgomery and Kentucky graduate student forward Nate Sestina talk during a timeout during the game against Lamar on Sunday, November 24, 2019 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 81-56. Photo by Chase Phillips | Staff

The Kentucky Wildcats took on the Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday evening in the CBS Sports Classic in their second and final game in Las Vegas and will head back to Lexington with two more losses than they left with. UK was defeated by OSU 71-65 and move to 8-3 on the season. Here’s some quick takeaways and stats from the Wildcat loss:

1. Hagans, Maxey, Sestina came to play

In his second game back from injury, graduate transfer Nate Sestina found his role again. The 6-foot-9 forward nailed Kentucky’s first five three-pointers of the game, finishing with 17 points and four rebounds. UK’s second leading scorer was freshman Tyrese Maxey, who went 5-of-13 from the floor and made one of two of Kentucky’s non-Sestina three-pointers. Maxey scored UK’s first six points of the game and also finished as the Cats’ leading rebounder with six, and added a steal. With sophomore guard Ashton Hagans’ 14 points, the trio combined for 46 of Kentucky’s 65 points. Hagans also totaled nine assists and three steals.

2. Foul trouble an issue against the Buckeyes

The Cats were in foul trouble from the jump—big man Nick Richards had two fouls in just the first 20 seconds of the game, and by the 15-minute mark, EJ Montgomery also had two. By halftime, five of the Wildcats had two fouls. The Cats didn’t get to the foul line themselves as much as they usually do, but it was their worst free throw shooting game of the season nonetheless. Kentucky went 8-of-13 from the line for 61 percent, while Ohio state went 21-of-27. 

3. Kentucky has another rough shooting night

A common theme this season for the Cats, especially lately, has been poor shooting. Outside of Sestina’s five treys against the Buckeyes, the Cats went 2-of-15, those two coming from Maxey and sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley. Kentucky also went 25-of-59 for 42 percent. Last game against Utah UK made zero of its seven three-point attempts and shot 41 percent from the field.

Stat leaders

Points: Sestina, 17

Rebounds: Sestina, 4

Assists: Hagans, 9

Steals: Hagans, 3

Blocks: Keion Brooks, 2