No. 5 Kentucky rolls Alabama 66-55 in Tuscaloosa


Kentucky celebrates during the UK vs. Kansas basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. UK won 80-62. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Hunter Shelton

No. 5 Kentucky added another road win to its résumé on Saturday, rolling Alabama 66-55  in Tuscaloosa.  

The win is the first time the Cats have defeated the Tide inside Coleman Coliseum since 2017.  

UK’s victory improves the Cats to 19-4 (8-2 SEC) in the regular season, while dropping Alabama to 14-9 (4-6 SEC.)  

The Wildcats managed to keep Alabama at bay on the offensive end, holding the Tide to a season-low in points, shooting percentage and 3-point shooting percentage.  

Alabama struggled to get the ball in the basket all night, making just 18 of 64 shots, a 28.1 percent clip. 

Jaden Shackelford, the Tide’s leading scorer at 17.6 points per game, failed to reach his usual numbers, logging just six points on 2-11 shooting, missing all seven of his 3-point attempts.  

Shooting from beyond the arch would be a struggle for the entire Alabama team. The Tide finished a measly 3-30 from deep.  

“When you shoot that many [3-pointers,] if they go, you win, if they don’t go, you lose,” UK head coach John Calipari said.  

TyTy Washington led Kentucky with 15 points, his highest total since the Jan. 15 beatdown of Tennessee, where he dropped 28 against the Volunteers.  

6-15 shooting is a welcomed sight for the freshman, as he scored a combined 13 points in his previous three appearances. 

Washington would be just one of five Wildcats who reached double-figures in the scoring column.  

Daimion Collins provided a spark off the bench for the Wildcats, tallying 10 points and six rebounds in nine minutes.  

The freshman out of Atlanta, Texas had not played that much time on the floorsince UK’s loss to LSU on Jan. 4, where he logged nine minutes, scoring zero points.  

Collins’ jolt off the bench was a welcomed sight for Calipari.  

“Our guard play was good, but Daimion Collins was the difference maker,” he said.  

Following his stellar bench performance, Calipari feels that he now has no choice but to give Collins more minutes. 

“He now has just forced me to figure out how to play him,” Calipari said.You got to play 15 minutes a game. Now it’s on me.” 

Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe wrangled his 17th double-double of the season, nabbing 10 points while hauling in 15 rebounds.  

It wasn’t the most efficient night for the West Virginia transfer, as he shot 4-13 from the field, often struggling to get round the length of Alabama big man Charles Bediako.  

Bediako would lead the Tide in scoring, making all four of his attempts en route to a 12-point game, tying his season-high.  

After multiple scorching hot performances, Alabama would contain Kellan Grady’s output, holding the guard to just five shots, his lowest number of attempts since UK’s SEC opener against Missouri on Dec. 29. 

Despite the lower number of shots, Grady would finish with 10 points, his fifth consecutive game reaching double digits.  

Sahvir Wheeler would be the lone Wildcat to fail to enter the scoring column, as he missed all four of his attempts.  

Per usual, the Georgia transfer would garner his assists, totaling seven dimes, just three less than Alabama as a team.  

Kentucky’s starting five accumulated 45 of the team’s 66 points, providing yet another dominant performance away from home. 

After losing its first two road games of the season, Kentucky now vaunts a 4-3 record away from Rupp Arena.  

With March inching closer, Calipari and the Cats will be well-equipped and ready for postseason play, if he has any say in the matter.  

“My focus is March. It’s always been March,” Calipari said. “How do you get your team to be consistent enough that you don’t have any drop-off when you play? That’s how my whole mindset is, all the time.”  

The road to March for the Wildcats will keep things on the road heading into next week, as they will travel to Columbia, South Carolina for a date with the 13-9 (4-6 SEC) South Carolina Gamecocks.  

Tip-off is set for Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. EST inside Colonial Life Arena.