Cats look to build momentum against Arkansas


Kentucky head coach John Calipari coaches freshman guard Hamidou Diallo during the game against Alabama on Saturday, February 17, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 71-81. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

AJ Harris

On Saturday, the UK men’s basketball team defeated Alabama in Rupp Arena 81-71 to snap their first 4-game losing streak since the 2008-09 season. The Cats (18-9, 7-7 conf.) will look to keep rolling as they travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to face the Razorbacks (19-8, 7-7 conf.) on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 9 p.m.

Saturday was a much-needed team win as the Cats dominated both the offensive and defensive glass, outrebounding the Crimson Tide 44-27. Five Cats scored double-digits, and P.J. Washington led all scoring with 16 points on the night.

Kevin Knox had a huge second half as he would score all 13 of his points to aid UK in the win. Quade Green (12 points) and Jared Vanderbilt (11 points, 9 rebounds) also had key contributions in the win. 

Arkansas will be looking to improve a one-game win streak after defeating No.21 Texas A&M in their last matchup, 94-75. Senior Jaylen Barford had 21 points in the win. Senior Daryl Macon had 20 points followed by freshman Daniel Gafford, who tallied 18 to assist in the Razorbacks win to knock off the Aggies in convincing fashion.

Looking ahead to the matchup versus Kentucky, Arkansas will rely heavily on senior leadership in that of Barford and Macon. Barford is the team’s leading scorer and averages 18.6 points per game. Macon is the team’s second leading scorer, averaging 17.0 points per.

Kentucky will lean heavily on team play. P.J. Washington seems to be emerging as one of the leaders of the team as of late as his play has kept the Cats in some closely contested matchups.

They will also need big games from players like Wenyen Gabriel and Nick Richards. UK seems to play its best basketball when the Cats are playing as a team. Last season, the Wildcats defeated the Razorbacks in both matchups, 97-71 and 82-65.