An unconscious shooting performance by Jamal Murray could not save No. 4 Kentucky against Ohio State at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Saturday evening.
The freshman guard scored 27 of his 33 points in the second half — including seven three-pointers — but the Wildcats’ rally fell short in a 74-67 loss to unranked Ohio State.
Now 9-2, John Calipari’s team gets a week off before facing hated rival Louisville.
The turning point: The Wildcats clawed from 16 down to within three points at the 2:56 mark. But an intentional foul by sophomore guard Tyler Ulis gave Ohio State two free throws and possession of the ball. Kentucky never got closer than four again.
MVP: Murray. He was undeniable in the final 20 minutes, and pretty much the only reason Kentucky did not suffer a blowout loss.
Memorable moment: Freshman post Skal Labissiere showed some fight in the first half; He got tangled up with Ohio State forward Jae’Sean Tate to earn a jump ball, tripped over a teammate while wrassling and then got in Tate’s face to exchange words.
Starting lineup: Tyler Ulis, Isaiah Briscoe, Jamal Murray, Alex Poythress and Skal Labissiere
Off the bench: Marcus Lee, Charles Matthews and Mychal Mulder
Cleaning up the glass: Freshman guard Isaiah Briscoe grew up roughly 20 miles from Brooklyn in Union, N.J. He scored just three points (1-for-9) but collected seven assists and six rebounds with dozens of friends and family members in attendance … Kentucky held Ohio State scoreless for a 6:35 stretch in the first half, but only scored six points of its own in that time … The Buckeyes’ Jaquan Lyle hit a 30-footer at the first-half buzzer to put Ohio State up, 37-25.
What’s next: No. 19 Louisville at No. 4 Kentucky — Dec. 26, 12 p.m. ET (CBS)