Game breakdown from UK’s win over Georgia


Kentucky guard, Malik Monk celebrates after sinking a 3 point shot during the game against Georgia at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. on Tuesday, January 31, 2017. Photo by Josh Mott | Staff.

Phillip Hawkins

Following back to back losses, No. 8 UK got back into its winning ways Tuesday night at Rupp Arena after defeating SEC opponent Georgia 90-81.  The Cats battled hard at home after being down as many as 14 points, but they clawed back into the game to get the tough win.

UK seemed to struggle getting shots to fall in the first half, only shooting 29 percent from the field as a team.  A large run to end the half helped the Cats make up for their slow start as they tied the game going into halftime.  The 29 point first half was a season low for UK so far this year.

Malik Monk, a candidate for the Jerry West shooting guard award, came out firing to start the second half hitting three, three point shots in the first five minutes of the half helping give the Cats their first lead of the game. 

Sophomore guard Isaiah Briscoe and Monk would go on to lead the Cats to victory as they both had big games.  Their ability to take over and dominate the game helped the Cats put away Georgia.  UK moves to 8-1 in conference play this season as they prepare to travel to Gainesville to battle the No. 24 Florida Gators on Saturday.

MVP:  Malik Monk

After a slow first half for the freshman, Monk came out in the second half with a hot hand shooting 5-5 from three point land in the first eight minutes for the Cats.  His shooting played a crucial role in the second half and overtime comeback for UK. 

Monk would go on to finish the game scoring a game high 37 points while shooting 21 shots from the field on the game.  This was Monk’s seventh 25 point outing on the year that is also the most by any freshman at UK in the Calipari-Era. 

Turning Point: 13-3 run in final 5:25 of 1st half

After falling victim of a 12-0 start of the game the Cats made up for their lack luster play to start the game stringing together a nice run to end the half.  The run was started by an Isaac Humphries layup that was followed with back to back buckets from Wenyen Gabriel. 

Those seven points going along with six made free throws made by Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe would help bring the Cats back into the game, tying the score up.  This run was huge for helping save the game from being a disaster.

Trending Up:  Isaiah Briscoe

Coming off past games this season when he has struggled, the sophomore guard made his presence felt filling up the stat sheet.  Briscoe went on to score 23 points to go along with 11 rebounds and eight assists.  He also didn’t come off the floor the entire game, and his play was crucial in this win.

His leadership was needed more than ever after the Cats were without starting point guard and Wooden Watch list candidate De’Aaron Fox due to illness.  Briscoe’s ability to be a leader for this young team showed, and he helped bring UK back into the game and his play against Georgia backed it up.

Trending Down:  Defensive Discipline

Early on in the game the Cats seemed to struggle on the defensive side of the ball as they let the Bulldogs shoot almost 50 percent from the field in the first half.  It was also a very foul filled game for the Cats as five of their players would finish the game with three or more fouls.

One of those players who was neutralized throughout the entire game due to foul trouble was UK big man Bam Adebayo.  Adebayo would go on and finish the game with 4 fouls committing two in the first half, as he would only play five minutes in the half.  He would go on to play 23 minutes the whole game, and finished with 12 points and five rebounds.  The Cats are a different team when he is in foul trouble as well as the rest of their bigs.