Kentucky rolls past Winthrop for fourth consecutive win


Kentucky sophomore forward PJ Washington shoots free throws after being fouled during the game against Winthrop University on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

The Kentucky men’s basketball team secured its fourth consecutive win this season the day before Thanksgiving by defeating Winthrop 87-74.

Kentucky put up 51 points in the first half, the most points they’ve had in a half this season, followed by 36 points in the second half to secure the win.

The Wildcats shot 56 percent from the floor in the game, which is the best percentage they’ve posted all season.

The offense was fueled by a season-high mark in assists, as Kentucky had an assist on 20 of its 31 made shots. At least five players recorded multiple assists, led by Tyler Herro’s seven dimes.

PJ Washington also helped lead the offense with his second consecutive double-double of the season. Washington finished the game with 19 points to go along with 11 rebounds and four assists, one short of his career high.

Washington secured his fourth double-double of his career with 17:24 left in the game after coming down with his 10th rebound. Washington’s defense board eventually ended in a dunk for Nick Richards, which gave Kentucky a 25-point lead. 

The largest lead Kentucky held during the game was with 12:44 remaining in the game, when the Wildcats held a 26-point lead 

Kentucky grabbed its first double-digit lead of the game at the 13:14 mark of the first half after a three-pointer from Immanuel Quickley in transition capped off a 8-2 run for the Wildcats. By that point, Kentucky had made four three-pointers, two of which came from Keldon Johnson in the first 4:27 of the game.

Kentucky knocked down seven threes in the game, which is the most they’ve made in a game all season. Herro was responsible for three of those threes, which helped him finish with 15 points to go along with his seven assists.

Winthrop was able to use three-point shooting to keep the Eagles in the game at various points. Winthrop knocked down seven threes in the first stanza, but the efficient offense from Kentucky helped the Wildcats maintain a double-digit lead for a majority of the first half. 

Kentucky led by at least 20 for most of the second half. until a 10-2 run with around five minutes remaining in the game trimmed UK’s lead to 15. Winthrop’s Kyle Zunic scored all 10 of the points for the Eagles during the run.

Kentucky’s lead would get as low as 13, which is the lead Kentucky held when the final buzzer sounded.

Kentucky will look to keep its winning streak alive the day after Thanksgiving when they host Tennessee State. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.