SEC Tournament Semifinals: No. 16 UK vs. Georgia Game Breakdown


Photos during the first half of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at the SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN, on Saturday, March 12, 2016. Georgia leads Kentucky 49-44. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff.

While it wasn’t the game that many expected, the shootout UK had with Georgia Saturday was full of excitement.

After falling behind early because of hot shooting from Georgia, it would be an uphill battle most of the way for UK. The Cats offense would eventually becoming to much for Georgia to handle, and UK would go on to win by a comfortable 93-80 margin.

With the win, UK advances to the SEC Championship Finals to face Texas A&M.

MVP: Tyler Ulis

The 5’9” point guard came up huge in the comeback win against Georgia running UK’s offense to match and eventually outlast the Bulldogs hot shooting. Tyler Ulis posted 25 points and 5 assists in the win and also knocked down four threes.  

Game Defining Moment: 7-0 UK run to take back the lead

After fighting back from an early deficit for most of the second half, UK was finally able to take the lead back from the Bulldogs thanks to a Briscoe layup near the eight-minute mark.

After that, two Murray free throws capped off a 7-0 run by the Cats and gave UK its biggest lead of the game to that point in the game. The Cats offense was humming in their attempt to come back, but their defense kept allowing Georgia to keep the lead.

Defense was key in the 7-0 run with a highlight being a Derek Willis block that led to a run out that ended with Murray getting fouled.

Trending Up: Charles Matthews Play off the bench

Freshman Isaiah Briscoe struggled against the Bulldogs with decision making and taking care of the ball as he turned it over three times. As the team’s best perimeter defender, it is hard for Calipari to take him out for extended minutes, especially with Georgia’s guards, J.J. Frazier and William Jackson, going off.

That time with Briscoe on the bench is made easier when Charles Matthews plays like he did today. The guard gave UK some nice length on the perimeter and used it to tip passes and help pull down some rebounds.

Trending Down: Frontcourt Production

It seems like even in the post-season, UK’s bad habit of it frontcourt players disappearing would continue.

The team looked great Friday, firing on all cylinders in the win over Alabama with the bigs playing big roles. Alex Poythress was showing a great inside-out game by adding in some three pointers, Skal Labissiere was hitting shots and rebounding, and Marcus Lee was making athletic plays all over the court.

That changed against Georgia as Labissiere and Poythress would get in foul trouble in the first half and Lee would be almost non-existent with zero points and rebounds in the first half while allowing the Bulldogs’ bigs to score easily inside.

Poythress was able to bounce back in the second half to be a big contributor in taking back the lead, but Labissiere stayed on the bench with foul trouble and Lee’s impact was still minimal.

Stat of the Game: 22 Second Chance Points 

While it may have seemed like it was UK slowly beating itself by allowing second chances for Georgia, it was actually the other way around. UK outscored the Bulldogs 22-13 in second chance points and the extra opportunities for the Cats offense were key to the comeback in the second half.