No. 16 Kentucky blows out Louisville 90-61 in rivalry game

December 29, 2017

Kentucky head coach John Calipari instructs Hamidou Diallo during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander came off the bench to score a career-high 24 points, PJ Washington added 16 and No. 16 Kentucky used several runs to blow out rival Louisville 90-61 on Friday in the annual showdown for Bluegrass supremacy.

Seeking to regroup after last week’s 83-75 loss to unranked UCLA, the Wildcats (10-2) used a 20-6 run to close the first half. Their 24-11 surge over 8:41 built a 67-38 lead that eventually reached 32, a gap helped by 57 percent second-half shooting.

Gilgeous-Alexander finished 9 of 16 from the field to top his previous best of 15 points against Monmouth this month. Washington helped with 10 points down the stretch in the first half for a 41-27 lead that expanded as Kentucky earned its biggest series win since a 76-46 rout in the 1999-2000 season.

Playing its first rivalry game in 16 seasons without coach Rick Pitino, who was fired in October amid a federal bribery investigation of college basketball, Louisville (10-3) couldn’t keep up after the early minutes. The Cardinals shot just 35 percent and had their six-game winning streak stopped. Deng Adel had 13 points.


Louisville: The Cardinals starting with promise, making 5 of 10 shots. They closed the first half missing 11 of 12 and went scoreless for the first 3:05 of the second. Two fouls by 7-footer Anas Mahmoud within 30 seconds forced him to the bench and created a void that Kentucky exploited. He fouled out with 8 minutes left.

Kentucky: The Wildcats were energetic even when shots weren’t falling in the first half, allowing them to rally for a lead they didn’t relinquish. They outrebounded Louisville 44-37 and got 35 bench points. Hamidou Diallo had 14 points and Quade Green 13.


Louisville: Hosts Pittsburgh on Tuesday in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener.

Kentucky: Opens Southeastern Conference play Sunday against Georgia, seeking its fourth consecutive regular season title.


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