UK loses a healthy Reid Travis to foul trouble in loss to UT


The Kentucky wildcats men’s basketball team walks of the court after the SEC tournament semifinals game against Tennessee on Saturday, March 16, 2019, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Kentucky lost 78-82. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

“The guys had my back and said we’re going to let you lead us and I did and made the move and he fouled out. I said some vulgar things that I should probably take back,” Tennessee’s Grant Williams said on UK’s newly-recovered Reid Travis fouling out at the end of the game. 

Can confirm that Kentucky fans also said some vulgar things, but I’m not so sure they’re willing to take them back like Williams is. 

With two and a half minutes to go, Travis headed to the bench with 11 points and six rebounds after picking up his fifth foul of the game. The Volunteers would capitalize on UK’s big-man being on the bench, going on a 13-6 run to come back and win the game. 

“I wouldn’t say anything was unraveling or falling apart. I give them a lot of credit. They made plays down the stretch, they made big threes and big shots, hitting their free throws, so give them a lot of credit and I felt like we played our game,” Travis said post-game. “We kept it close, kept it strong, they’re a great team. Obviously they made more plays than us down the stretch.”

Travis wasn’t satisfied with what happened in the last few minutes of the game and takes the blame upon himself. He said although his team has guys that can fill roles and defend, he feels he put his team in a bad position by fouling out. 

“So I was just disappointed in myself that I was putting it in the officials’ hands when I could’ve just played better defense and tried to stop them from scoring.” Travis said.  “I’ll take the blame on that, there’s no way I should’ve fouled out and leave time on the clock.”

The Kentucky defense allowed three Tennessee 3-pointers in just over two minutes, and guard Ashton Hagans says there were several other mistakes that his team made down the stretch.

“We missed a couple free throws that we needed, we missed a defensive rebound that we needed, we had two turnovers at the end, that shouldn’t have happened,” Hagans said. “But you know now it’s just time to move on and get prepared for the tournament.”

Williams, who guarded Travis a lot over the course of their three meetings with each other this season, called him a “talented guy” and thinks he does a good job of being physical and establishing a presence in the paint. 

“We respect him and when he went (to the bench) I kind of, I thought about it I was like, ‘probably should’ve done that most of the game’ but I was so wrapped up in myself and so wrapped up in whistles and all that stuff,” Williams said. 

While Tennessee moves on to the SEC championship against Auburn Sunday, Kentucky awaits to find out their seed in the NCAA tournament.