In the second half of their game, Kentucky Basketball pulled away in a 30-19 victory over Arkansas State.
It was the second time in four days the Blue Devils came out on top of the first half.
The Wildcats also won their final five contests, including their first in more than three years against a top-ranked team in the Mountain West.
Kentucky’s win was a major win for the team and the program, as well as the state of Kentucky.
“It was a huge victory for us,” said senior forward Kevin Lee, who led Kentucky with 26 points.
“We’ve been working hard to get better.
I don’t think anybody expected to win so hard, especially this week.”
Arkansas State’s Zach Collins scored 21 points and senior forward Nick Johnson had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Aggies (8-2, 5-2), who won their first game since April 25, when they were ranked No. 2 in the nation.
They were on the road for the first time since the Kentucky-LSU game, which ended with an 86-72 loss.
“The first half was a little disappointing,” Arkansas State coach Tim Frazier said.
“They had the advantage for a little bit.
They made a couple of big shots, but they got tired.
We got stops, and we’re glad we got them.” “
Their defense played well.
We got stops, and we’re glad we got them.”
The Wildcats have lost seven straight and 10 of their last 11, but have won two of their past three.
They have won 10 of 11 at home.
Arkansas State shot 52 percent from the field and finished 8 of 20 from 3-point range.
“There’s always a chance you can win in a game like that,” Frazier said of the Aggie’s early scoring.
“But we’re not a team that is going to put it all together.”
The Red Wolves shot just 34 percent from behind the arc, but still shot 47 percent overall.
They had four turnovers in the first quarter and two more in the second.
“You have to be disciplined in this league,” Frazier told the media after the game.
Arkansas was playing its third straight home game after a three-day break, where the Blue Devil’s schedule was set up so that the conference tournament was the last time the teams played each other. “
Sometimes you can, but you have to make sure you don’t over-commit and not get discouraged.”
Arkansas was playing its third straight home game after a three-day break, where the Blue Devil’s schedule was set up so that the conference tournament was the last time the teams played each other.
Kentucky, which was playing in the tournament’s first round, is 1-4 this season.
Arkansas, which is in its first season in the SEC, has lost eight straight and nine of its last 10.
This season, the Blue Hens are 9-5 in SEC play.
“This is a big game for us to come out and play a team like Arkansas State and put our program on the map,” Lee said.
Arkansas’ victory over the Wildcats marks the second consecutive season the two teams have met in the NCAA tournament.
Kentucky won the first meeting between the teams in 2015, as Lee scored 18 points to lead the Wildcats to a 59-56 victory.
Kentucky is 8-1 against Arkansas State this season and has won its last five matchups.
The last time these teams met was in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, as Kentucky won 65-59 in Lexington.
The teams last meeting was in November 2016, as the Blue Shirts beat Arkansas 59-50.
Kentucky will play host to LSU on Saturday in Baton Rouge.