Cats pull off an 86-64 win over IUP


Graduate student forward Reid Travis hangs on the rim following a dunk during the game against Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

After a game in which Kentucky shot just 7.7 percent from the three, the Cats made a turnaround in their 86-64 win over Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

PJ Washington won the tip for the Cats which enabled freshman Tyler Herro to pull up and drain a three to start out the game.

A jumper and a UK turnover which led to an IUP dunk gave the Crimson Hawks their only lead of the game, but the Cats responded quickly with a PJ Washington three-pointer.

Mid-way through the first half the Cats took 30-13 lead thanks to a 14-0 run, which began with a pair of Travis free throws and two consecutive threes made by Keldon Johnson and Travis. Two more emphatic dunks by Richards and Johnson, followed by a Travis layup gave the Cats a big jump halfway through the first.

IUP was down by as much as 17 and cut Kentucky’s lead down a little bit to make the score 43-34 at the half. Herro and Travis led the team in points in the first period with 12 and 15 points, respectively. The freshman went 4-5 from the three while Travis went 6-9 from the field.

Although the Cats were in the lead coming out of the half, turnovers and defensive struggles gave Kentucky a few problems. Kentucky had six turnovers in a little over 10 minutes, which resulted in five extra points for the Crimson Hawks. 

Despite their turnovers, the Cats maintained a steady lead, due in part to Washington who scored 13 points in the second half from five-of-five field goal shooting. The sophomore totaled 20 points in the game. 

A big factor for Kentucky was its highly effective free-throw shooting– the Cats went 19-21 from the line for 89.5 percent shooting. 

The Cats hit the 20-point margin with 2:02 left in the game after a huge dunk from Richards off of a missed three-pointer. One possession after, Kentucky hit its largest lead of the game with 24 after Herro sunk his fifth three of the game. 

With Travis and Washington leading with their respective 22 and 20 points, Kentucky pulled off the victory. 

Kentucky returns to the court on Tuesday to open up their season in Indianapolis against the Duke Blue Devils at 9 p.m. in the State Farm Champions Classic.