Cats pull away from Morehead State to win another exhibition game


Kentucky freshman forward Kevin Knox passes the ball to sophomore forward Wenyen Gabriel during the Kentucky Cares Classic charity game against Morehead State at Rupp Arena on Monday, October 30, 2017 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Chris Leach

14,138 fans came out to Rupp Arena on Monday night for the Kentucky Cares Classic exhibition game, where the Cats were able to pickup their second exhibition win of the season by defeating the Eagles 92-67.

$448,220 was raised off of ticket sales, which will all be donated to Team Rubicon. The money will be used to help the victims from the disasters that took place in Puerto Rico, Florida and California.

UK was led by the trio of Quade Green, Hamidou Diallo and Kevin Knox in the first half, as the group scored 27 of UK’s 39 first-half points. Diallo and Knox got the scoring started by contributing 16 of the Cats’ first 18 points. 

However, halfway through the first half, Morehead State only trailed by two after Djimon Henson hit a three. This was when Green would make his presence known, by scoring eight of UK’s next 11 points, which gave the Cats a 13-point lead. 

UK was able to open up their lead by taking advantage of Morehead State’s mistakes. The Eagles turned the ball over 17 times in the first half, which the Cats turned into 21 points. 

The Cats took an 11 point lead into halftime, but saw that lead shrink to six to start the second half. The Eagles were able to hang around for most of the game, as they shot 45 percent from the floor in the second half.

The Eagles were able to get within two points of UK’s lead after they hit their seventh three-pointer of the game at the 12:34 mark of the second half. From here, the Cats noticeably picked up the intensity and urgency, as the upset alarms were ringing. 

With UK only led by three, the Cats would go on a 12-0 run that lasted until 7:52 remained in the second half. From here the Cats would coast with a double-digit lead to pickup the win.

The Cats would get a boost from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the second half, as he had 11 points in the second half to help the Cats pull away. Gilgeous-Alexander would end up being the team’s third leading scorer with 17 points, while also tallying four assists and two steals.

Diallo, Knox and Green would all finish with double-digit points, as Diallo led the Cats with 22 points off 8-12 shooting.

The Cats will now have three days of practice before playing in their next exhibition game on Nov. 3. They’ll face Centre College and tipoff is at 7 p.m.