UK rolls past the Dawgs 69-49 on the road


Freshman guard Immanuel Quickley and Freshman guard Ashton Hagans celebrate after Hagans scores a three pointer. University of Kentucky men’s basketball team defeated Vanderbilt University 56-47 at Rupp Arena on Saturday, January 12, 2019, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

The Wildcats took a trip down to Athens, Georgia to take on the Georgia Bulldogs in UK’s second SEC road game of the season Tuesday night. Despite another slow start, Kentucky came out on top 69-49 for the win. 

UK came out of the gate struggling against the Dawgs, showing early misses, turnovers and giving up points in the paint. UGA went up 11-6 on Kentucky early, and the Cats couldn’t find their rhythm until eight minutes in when Jemarl Baker hit a go-ahead three-pointer, giving his team a 13-11 lead. Georgia answered with a three for themselves, but Kentucky’s PJ Washington nailed a shot from beyond the arc and the Cats took the lead once again. 

The Dawgs wouldn’t go on to lead for the rest of the game, however, UGA would keep the game tight as they tied it two times in the remaining minutes of the first half.

Perhaps Kentucky’s most valuable player in the first 20 minutes (and the second half, as well) was freshman Ashton Hagans, who had eight points in the first half, contributing to his team’s 35-31 lead heading into halftime.  

Speaking of Hagans, the former Georgia commit came out of the locker room all hands-on deck, and solely led a 7-0 run to begin the second half, beginning with a three-pointer. His freshman counterpart EJ Montgomery (with an assist from Hagans) added a layup and extended UK’s run at the start of the second half to 9-0.  

Baker entered into the game and within 33 seconds drained his second three-piece of the game, taking UK to a 47-36 lead. 

With the help of freshmen Tyler Herro and Hagans, the Cats were able to earn their biggest lead of the game at the 2:39 mark when a pair of Herro free throws propelled UK 20 points ahead of the Dawgs, which is how many Kentucky led by at the buzzer. 

In his homecoming, leading scorer of the night Hagans notched a career-high 23 points, adding five rebounds, four assists and four steals in the Wildcats’ road win. Trailing behind him in points was Herro with 12 while also grabbing seven rebounds, four assists and one steal. 

The Cats’ next match-up is also on the road, this time at Auburn. UK takes on the Tigers on Saturday at 4 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN. 

Correction: Due to a statistical change after the game, a steal that was originally awarded to Herro has been correctly changed to Hagans, giving him four steals for the game.