Washington and Johnson help Cats dominate pro team, 100-64


Kentucky freshman forward PJ Washington celebrates after a basket during the game against Tennessee in the SEC tournament championship on Sunday, March 11, 2018, in St. Louis, Missouri. Kentucky defeated Tennessee 77-72. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

In their most difficult (in terms of opponent skill) game yet during the four-game exhibition in the Bahamas, the UK basketball team throttled Serbian professional team Mega Bemax on Saturday, 100-64. After being tied up 7-7, the Cats went on a 14-1 run to cement their lead for the entire game.

Quade Green and Immanuel Quickley ruled the first few minutes for the Cats, as the post players found some difficulty with Stefan Fundic, Mega Bemax’s 6’7, 243-pound forward that averages seven rebounds a game in the ABA.

As the bigs got involved, led by P.J. Washington’s 20 points, the Cats took over and never looked back. At one point in the first half, the team had tripled Mega Bemax’s score, 36-12, and never had a single-digit lead after they took charge early.

Mega Bemax wasn’t a team that rolled over, either. Coming out of halftime, the team surged and brought UK’s lead down to 15, before big plays from Washington and freshman wing Keldon Johnson put the Cats back out in front.

Washington, Johnson, Tyler Herro, Nick Richards, Immanuel Quickley and Quade Green all finished scoring in double figures, while Washington’s 20 led the way. They were stroking their jumper from all over the floor, shooting over 50% from inside the arc, 50% from outside and 73% from the free throw line. Mega Bemax didn’t have nearly as much success, shooting 30% from the floor, including 15% from three and 52% from the free throw line.

Every Cat that attempted more than one three-pointer finished the game with at least one made, including Washington, who hit one near the end of the game from the left corner.

The game also saw its fair share of highlights from the Cats as well. Johnson made a habit of running in transition, slamming two lobs from Green as the team raced up the floor, outscoring Mega Bemax 17-2 in transition. Washington also put Serbian defenders on a poster in the second half, as well as finishing his own lob from Herro. Washington ended up notching a double-double for his efforts, as he hustled for 12 rebounds.

Discipline was a big question mark for the Kentucky team coming into the Bahamas tour, and it’s become an exclamation point since then. Against a pro Serbian team that’s seen more draft picks in the last five years than Kansas, the Cats only turned the ball over 10 times while dishing out 22 assists. Nine of Mega Bemax’s 14 turnovers were UK steals, that also led to 18 of their points coming off turnovers.

Next, UK will play their final game against Team Toronto on Sunday to wrap up their Bahamas trip. That game will be played at 4 p.m. EST, and will be televised on SEC Network.