UK’s three-point streak ends in win over Davidson


Kentucky head coach John Calipari motions to his team during the game against Davidson College in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Boise, Idaho. Kentucky defeated Davidson 78-73. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

UK might’ve gotten the win over Davidson in its first round game of the NCAA Tournament, but the Cats will be returning to their hotel without something they’ve been carrying with them for 30 years.

The Cats were unable to make any three-pointers in their 78-73 victory over Davidson, meaning the streak of 1,047 games with a made three-pointer came to an end.

“I don’t really know how we really didn’t knock them down, we had some really good looks tonight, but I guess they just weren’t falling,” Kevin Knox said.

The last time Kentucky went a game without making a three was on Nov. 26, 1988, when the Cats suffered a three-point loss in the Great Alaska Shootout. Two days later, the infamous streak would begin, only for it to end on March 15, 2018.

“It’s a little disappointing, I was hoping somebody would hit a shot, but I mean it’s just a streak,” Wenyen Gabriel said.

The Cats finished 0-6 from beyond the arc and didn’t take a three-point attempt in the final 8:46 of the game. Knox took the most three-point attempts for the Cats, missing all three.

Meanwhile, Davidson made 11 of its 33 attempted threes, but it wasn’t enough to propel them into the next round.

Coming into the game, Davidson’s ability to knock down the deep shot was one of their biggest threats, and the Cats worked to make sure Davidson didn’t get their way behind the three-point line.

“We worked on a day and a half on just when they caught it on the wing, make them go middle,” head coach John Calipari said. “They go baseline, that’s how they create three-point shots for themselves. They find areas to shoot.”

While trying to prevent the Wildcats from North Carolina from shooting threes, they tried to focus the basketball game in the point, where UK outscored Davidson 36-20. UK clearly had a size advantage over Davidson, and figured their best chance of winning would be to use their size to overpower Davidson. 

“We wasn’t trying to get into a three-point shootout with them, so we tried to make it more of a different type of game than that, tried to get to the rim,” Gabriel said. “… We slowed down their scoring in the paint and we out-rebounded them so I think that helped us win this game.”

Despite the streak ending, winning the game was the ultimate goal for the Cats, and they accomplished that mission. Ending the streak might sting for some time, but UK will sleep just fine on Thursday night.

“I’d rather take the streak ending and the season not ending,” Gabriel said.