LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky and East Tennessee State basketball tip off at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, November 17, at Rupp Arena. Stay here for live updates, including the latest box score at each media timeout, and analysis.
Kentucky-East Tennessee State live updates, box score
FINAL: No. 7 Kentucky 78, ETSU 61
Kentucky 70, ETSU 54, 3:29 2H: Putback jam for Killeya-Jones and he’s up to 4 points, 8 rebounds (6 offensive), 2 blocks, a steal and assist in 25 minutes off the bench. Lotta nights this shots will fall — I’m high on his offensive talent — and he’ll be chasing down double-doubles. Gotta keep giving him opportunities.
Kentucky 66, ETSU 47, 6:19 2H: After a blistering game against Kansas, Knox came out ice cold against ETSU, making just 1 of 6 shots in the first half. He has since recovered. Knox is now 5 of 6 in the second half — 3 of 3 from deep. The freshman forward has 17 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists.
Kentucky 61, ETSU 46, 7:55 2H: Quade Green is having himself quite a night. The freshman point guard made his first five shots and just sank his third 3-pointer in four tries. He’s up to 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting. That’ll do. (Oddly, though, he had zero assists until the last play: a lob to Knox, who had a crazy tip-in finish as he was decked and upended, drawing an intentional foul on ETSU. Knox is up to 13 points and 9 rebounds.)
Kentucky 52, ETSU 39, 11:42 2H: Better but still not beautiful for the Wildcats. The Bucs are helping plenty by shooting 3 of 17 from the field in this half. Kentucky is barely outrebounding this team and has yet to make a free throw. And a dozen turnovers with a dozen minutes still to go. Full updated box score:
Woof, free throws: Kentucky has missed all eight of its attempts at the line tonight. Ugly. but Killeya-Jones corralled the last miss — his fourth offensive board of the night — and Washington cleaned it up.
Kentucky 45, ETSU 30, 16:06 2H: The Buccaneers still haven’t scored this half. The Wildcats have scored nine unanswered and opened up a comfortable lead. It only took Calipari 29 seconds of Nick Richards in the second half to swap out Killeya-Jones for him — and SKJ went block, offensive rebound, strong take inside, defensive rebound in rapid succession. Kevin Knox is off his skid, too, having hit a tough shot in the lane and a corner three already this half. SKJ is up to 2 points, 5 rebounds (3 offensive), 1 block, 1 steal and 1 assist. He continues to be (easily) Kentucky’s best big man. He should be starting.
HALFTIME: Kentucky 36, ETSU 30
Calipari looks like he might blow his top in this game. He’s screaming at any and everyone on the sideline — players, assistants, managers (we assume).
Remember when Kevin Knox looked like a star in the making just three days ago against Kansas? When he was swishing shots from all over the floor of the United Center and dropping 20 points on the Jayhawks? His start against ETSU: 3 points, 4 turnovers, 1 for 6 from the field and 0 for 2 from the free-throw line. (We did have a monster putback dunk by PJ Washington just before intermission, and he’s been a little better tonight than in Chicago.)
Here’s your full halftime box score — first both teams and then an extended UK box.
Kentucky 32, ETSU 30, 3:07 1H: The Wildcats surged ahead for their first lead with five minutes to go in the half on two Wenyen Gabriel buckets — one in the paint, one 3-pointer — and two Hamidou Diallo finishes at the rim. They led 29-25. But the Bucs heaved in another 3-pointer to quickly take it back. Knox answered with a banked-in three of his own. Coming off his big game against Kansas, Knox has mostly struggled early in this one. And ETSU has now attempted seventeen 3-pointers in this half, making six. Full box score so far:
ETUS 23, Kentucky 20, 8:14 1H: Kentucky made its first real move: Green corner three, Killeya-Jones long baseline jumper, SKJ steal, Green baseline J, Green three from the top of the key in rapid succession. That was a 10-3 run. And Green kept it going, swishing a pull-up jumper from the elbow to make it four consecutive made shots and 10 points in just 2:24 of game clock. That’ll do. Green is 5 of 5 shooting with a dozen points for the game.
ETSU 18, Kentucky 8, 11:57 1H: No, that’s not a typo. The Bucs have attempted 10 3-pointers in 8 minutes and just sank their fourth. With the way the Wildcats are playing offensively — 30.8 percent shooting, Kevin Knox 0 for 4, and 5 turnovers — that’s a real problem for Kentucky.
ETSU 15, Kentucky 8, 12:54 1H: Well then. The Bucs chucked in another three — they’re now 3 of 8 from deep — and threw down a nasty dunk off a lob in transition and John Calipari wants to talk it over. This is ragged stuff from the Cats, who are now 4 of 13 from the field.
ETSU 8, Kentucky 6, 15:47 1H: The Buccaneers opened with a 3-pointer and just kept firing. They’ve uncorked six in the first four minutes, making a pair, and show no signs of stopping. PJ Washington, who struggled against Kansas, is an early bright spot for Kentucky: he already has an offensive rebound and power slam and a nice attack and finish in traffic. The first subs for the Cats were Gilgeous-Alexander for Green, Gabriel for Washington and Killeya-Jones for Richards. Full box so far:
Eye on the future: Kentucky hosts Virginia Tech on Dec. 16, so it’s worth noting that the Hokies have made 14 of 20 3-pointers and lead Washington 100-76 late in the game tonight.
Starting Five: Kentucky is going with Quade Green, Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, PJ Washington and Nick Richards for the third straight game. Sacha Killeya-Jones and Wenyen Gabriel, two sophomores who’ve been playing well, will have to wait for a shot at starting. Five freshmen again for the Cats.
Kentucky-ETSU game time, information
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Date: Friday, November 17, 2017
Location: Rupp Arena (23,000), Lexington, Ky.
Vegas line: Kentucky by 19 1/2
- Might 6-10 sophomore forward Sacha Killeya-Jones be worthy of starting for Kentucky after he delivered 8 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 assists against Kansas? “I’ve just got to keep watching, because he was really good,” Calipari said. “He broke [defensively] some and did some stuff, but every one of them did some stuff. What I liked was his energy. He tried. He was in the gym after we got back [at 3 a.m.]. I got in and opened the window and he was in there shooting free throws. So he is more committed than he has ever been in his life.”
- The evil, out-to-get Kentucky media wasn’t alone in thinking the Wildcats might take a blowout loss Tuesday night. “I kind of thought we were going to get smashed up there,” Calipari said. “And at the beginning of the game, a lot of people thought we were going to get smashed up there. And these kids fought. We still don’t know what we’re doing [but] I don’t want to give them too much, because I’m more concerned about their fight and their aggressiveness and their attacking mode.”
- Calipari is not a fan of games away from home tipping off at 10 p.m. ET. He was impressed that all of his players attended class the next day — “I wouldn’t have,” the coach said — but he wondered aloud: “Why are we playing games this late?”
- ETSU (1-1) will be at a significant size disadvantage. The Buccaneers start players who are 5-foot-11, 6-3, 6-4, 6-6 and 6-10. Against Kansas, Kentucky started guys who are 6 feet, 6-5, 6-7, 6-9 and 7 feet.
- The visitors’ leading scorer is Devontavius Payne, a 6-2 senior guard who averaged 16.5 points against Northern Kentucky and Savannah State. Desonta Bradford, a 6-4 senior guard, leads the team in rebounding (8.5) and assists (4.0) per game.