Eighth-ranked Kentucky basketball plays Virginia Tech at Rupp Arena at 2 p.m. ET Saturday, December 16, 2017. Follow along below for the score, live updates and stats from the game.
Kentucky-Virginia Tech score, live updates, stats
FINAL: Kentucky 93, Virginia Tech 86
Kentucky led by 8 with 3:06 to go … but then by just 2 with 1:17 remaining, after the Hokies’ ninth made 3-pointer. How would the Wildcats answer? Why, with Hamidou Diallo — the shaky jump shooter — burying his fourth 3-pointer of the afternoon from the left corner, then a monster block by PJ Washington on the other end to send Rupp Arena into a frenzy. What a four-game stretch for Diallo. He had 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists. The full box score:
Kentucky 78, Virginia Tech 71, 4:43 2H: Who saw this coming? The Cats are beating the Hokies at their own 3-point-shooting game. Kentucky has attempted a season-high 21 3s and made a season-high 10. Hamidou Diallo buried the last one to give him 16 points (3 of 6 from 3-point land), 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists. His fourth straight great game (he scored 19, 19 and 23 in the previous three). The updated box score:
Kentucky 67, Virginia Tech 66, 7:45 2H: Are you ready for the Free Throw Fest? The Hokies have eight fouls, the Cats six, and there’s a lot of time left for some fairly bad officials to blow their whistles until we all want to glue our ears shut. This fun game has gotten a bit mucked up. But it should be a photo finish, and that’ll be fun.
Kentucky 62, Virginia Tech 60, 11:36 2H: Calipari has been singing Wenyen Gabriel’s praises and he’s delivering off the bench today. Back-to-back buckets, including a big put-back dunk, have given the Cats back the lead. We’re up to 11 lead changes and 8 ties already. Also notable: UK has been in the bonus since the 14-minute mark. Box score so far:
Kentucky 54, Virginia Tech 51, 15:48 2H: The Hokies grew their lead to 7 with 18:35 to go … and then the Wildcats went off. They’re riding a 10-0 run thanks mostly to Kevin Knox, who opened the half with a 3-point play, 3-pointer and 3-point play. He scored 11 of his 17 points in the first four minutes after intermission. A steal and Diallo lob to Washington for a big slam sent Rupp Arena into an uproar — maybe the loudest this place has been all season.
HALFTIME: Virginia Tech 47, Kentucky 41
Virginia Tech used a 15-2 run — including 10 unanswered points — to surge ahead 47-39 with a minute to go in the first half. The Hokies are on fire, per usual, hitting 7 of 12 3-pointers and shooting 62 percent from the field. Kentucky could use a defensive adjustment or six at halftime. Here’s your box score so far:
Virginia Tech 42, Kentucky 39, 2:12 1H: Already eight lead changes and four ties in what is, as we all hoped, a really fun back-and-forth, high-energy college basketball game. The Hokies, who came in ranked second nationally in 3-point percentage and averaging 10.3 makes per game, are now 6 of 11 from deep. That is the difference. But tip of the cap to Quade Green, who is up to 10 points, 3 assists and 0 turnovers playing in protective shades.
Kentucky 37, Virginia Tech 32, 5:07 1H: Just as quickly as the Hokies surged in front again, the Cats answered with back-to-back 3s from Knox and Diallo. Knox had been 1 for 9 shooting last game and 1 for 4 to start Saturday (that’s 2 for 13 if you’re adding it at home), so that was a big bucket for him. Diallo had started 1 for 5 but has now sunk 2 of 3 from deep.
Kentucky 27, Virginia Tech 25, 7:50 1H: This is fun, huh? Back and forth they go. The Hokies have led by four or five points a few times already, but the Wildcats have roared back with some big plays (and 3-pointers) from Wenyen Gabriel and Quade Green. Calipari has lately been saying Gabriel is playing like Derek Willis — a spark plug for the Cats the last two years — and he has in this game. Green is delivering a helluva game for a guy in sunglasses: 5 points, 3 assists, 1 rebound, 0 turnovers in 8 minutes off the bench. Your box score so far:
Oh, just Santa on the T-shirt howitzer. pic.twitter.com/oi6Ldt1Rtl
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) December 16, 2017
Kentucky 14, Virginia Tech 13, 12:57 1H: Perhaps sensing that his guys need rest in what could be a shootout, Calipari went with a mass sub — Richards, Washington and Diallo out; Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Gabriel and Sacha Killeya-Jones in — and SGA promptly swished a 3-pointer. But the Hokies and their top-scoring offense in the country, keep answering. They’ve already swished 3 3-pointers and look up to the task of staying with Kentucky.
Kentucky 9, Virginia Tech 5, 15:27 1H: The Hokies scored the game’s first five points (including their first 3-pointer) and it took just 90 seconds for Calipari to sub in Green (and his awesome protective glasses). The Wildcats stabilized with a Knox lob to Richards for a big dunk, Knox steal, Green driving layup, Diallo 3-pointer and Green lob to Knox. Nine straight points got Rupp Arena rocking. That little burst of action and sound was about as electric as this building has been so far this season.
STARTERS: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is starting in place of Quade Green today. The rest of the starters are the same: Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, PJ Washington and Nick Richards.
Green, Killeya-Jones warming up: Quade Green, who got poked in the eye last game, is warming up in protective glasses — and swishing shots. Sacha Killeya-Jones (ankle) is also warming up.
Just watched Quade swish three long jumpers in a row wearing these things. pic.twitter.com/soI7ZkWFbv
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) December 16, 2017
Kentucky-Virginia Tech game time, details
- Time: 2 p.m. ET
- Date: Saturday, December 16, 2017
- Location: Rupp Arena (23,000), Lexington, Ky.
- Records: Kentucky 8-1, Virginia Tech 9-1
What TV channel is Kentucky-Virginia Tech on?
You can watch Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech on ESPN2. Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale will be on the call.
How can I watch Kentucky-Virginia Tech online?
Stream Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app.
How can I listen to Kentucky-Virginia Tech on the radio?
Kentucky and Virginia Tech will be broadcast on the UK Sports Network. That’s 630-AM on Lexington radio and can be streamed at iHeart Radio. You can also listen on XM channel 191 and Sirius channel 137.
Kentucky-Virginia Tech preview
- This is UK’s first real test in a month, and it could be a big one as the Hokies lead the nation in scoring and effective field-goal percentage and rank second in 3-point percentage. After six straight snoozers against sub-100 teams, “This is plugged into our schedule at a time where we need to learn about us, and we will,” coach John Calipari said. “This team is a tough, grind it, fly up and down, shoot threes, get to the rim, come at you, try to be the aggressor — and we’ll see. We’ll know after the game where we are.”
- Wildcats star Kevin Knox made just 1 of 9 shots and turned it over seven times last week against Monmouth. Calipari said he’s reminded him of those numbers about 15 times this week while pushing him in practice. It won’t be a surprise to see Knox, who has otherwise been a good-to-great scorer for Kentucky this season, bounce back in a big
- Wildcats freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will face off with his cousin and former high school teammate, Hokies freshman Nickeil Alexander-Walker. Both are Canadian natives who played together at Hamilton Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn. SGA is averaging 10.1 points, 4.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals, while NAW is averaging 14.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Both are shooting better than 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range.
- Alexander-Walker is one of three Hokies averaging at least 14 points and shooting 47 percent or better from beyond the arc. He, Justin Bibbs (6-5, 220-pound senior) and Ahmed Hill (6-5, 205-pound junior) have all made at least 20 threes. Bibbs is averaging 17.4 points and shooting 60 percent from the field, 95 percent at the free-throw line.
- Is 5-star freshman forward Jarred Vanderbilt close to making his return? Calipari said he’s gone through some individual workouts with assistant Kenny Payne — and now Vanderbilt has posted a cryptic but seemingly very optimistic message on Instagram.