NASHVILLE — Arrows were flying all over Bridgestone Arena on Friday night as Kentucky defeated Alabama, 85-59, in the SEC tournament quarterfinals.
The first shot fired came from Wildcats guard Jamal Murray, who reprised his “bow and arrow” celebration from this past Saturday.
The second one was a surprise.
Senior forward Alex Poythress unleashed his own first-half arrow after hitting his second 3-pointer of the night. A stunned Murray looked on from the bench as his usually reserved teammate soaked up the “home” crowd atmosphere in Nashville.
From there, the rout was on. Kentucky led by 10 at halftime and never looked back. For more in-depth coverage of the game, check out our Kentucky-Alabama game rewind.
MVP: Poythress. The senior forward is playing in his final SEC tournament, and he came out firing. Poythress hit his first four shots — including three from 3-point range — en route to a 20-point, 7-rebound night against the Crimson Tide. In all, he shot 7-for-8 from the field (4-for-5 from behind the arc) and showcased an all-around effort that could help carry Kentucky deep into the NCAA tournament.
Starting lineup: Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray, Isaiah Briscoe, Alex Poythress and Skal Labissiere
Off the bench: Marcus Lee, Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis, Mychal Mulder (late), Isaac Humphries (late) and Charles Matthews (late)
Cleaning up the glass: Alabama still has not defeated Kentucky in the SEC tournament since 1983 … Kentucky finished 13-for-22 (.591) from 3-point range … Alabama’s Arthur Edwards led the Crimson Tide with 20 points.
What’s next: SEC tournament semifinal game vs. Georgia/South Carolina (Saturday, 3:30-4 p.m. ET, ESPN)