UK looking to bounce back from first conference loss of season


Kentucky Wildcats guard Quade Green shoots a jump shot during the second half of the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday, January 7, 2017 in Knoxville, TN. Photo by Addison Coffey | Staff.

Cody Ryan

The Kentucky basketball team (12-3, 2-1) will look to bounce back after its first conference loss of the season on Tuesday night as Texas A&M (11-4, 0-3) comes to Lexington in a top SEC matchup.

The Cats are coming off an 11-point loss to Tennessee, which ended their three-game winning streak. P.J. Washington scored 13 points despite missing most of the second half due to a left thigh cramp.

Quade Green scored 14 points to lead the Cats while Wenyen Gabriel went 3-4 from three-point range in the loss to UT.

Read: UK loses in Knoxville for third straight season

Since Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012, the Cats have won six of the eight games between the two teams. Four of the eight games were decided in overtime.

Texas A&M’s head coach Billy Kennedy was named SEC Coach of the Year two years ago when he took the Aggies to the Sweet 16.

In Texas A&M’s first game of the season, the Aggies knocked off then No. 11 West Virginia 88-65 to give West Virginia its only loss of the season. UK plays West Virginia on Jan. 27.

After losing one game in non-conference play, the Aggies have lost their first three SEC matches. Texas A&M’s leading scorer D.J. Hogg was suspended for the final non-conference game and the first two SEC games for a violation of university policy. Hogg is averaging 14.4 points per game.

Even with Hogg back, LSU beat the Aggies by one point on a last-second three by LSU’s Tremont Waters. Texas A&M’s Tyler Davis finished with 19 points.

Davis is averaging 14.1 points per game and leads the SEC in field goal percentage at a 59.3 percent clip. He also averages just over eight rebounds per game, which might be a factor in Tuesday’s game since Texas A&M averages five more rebounds a game than UK.

Guards Admon Gilder and Duane Wilson have been sidelined with injuries most of SEC play, and forward Robert Williams missed last game with an illness. Wilson, who suffered a collision with his teammate last week against Alabama, is averaging over 12.1 points and nearly five assists a game.

Read: UK falls outside of the top 20 in AP Poll

As if the game won’t be good enough, UK is planning a couple special events to excite the crowd. UK is wanting to organize each half of the arena to wear a certain color. Fans sitting on the side of the arena where the players’ and coaches’ benches are located are encouraged to wear blue, while fans facing the benches should wear white.

At halftime, the 22-time national champion UK cheerleading team will display its national’s routine.

Tipoff for UK versus Texas A&M in Rupp Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.