EditorsNote: updates with Kentucky clinching SEC regular season title outright; Edit 1: Tweaks throughout.
Sophomore Immanuel Quickley recorded his second career double-double with 18 points and a career-high 12 rebounds as No. 8 Kentucky held on to beat No. 15 Auburn 73-66 Saturday afternoon in Lexington, Ky., to clinch its 49th Southeastern Conference regular-season championship.
Quickley had only three field goals but was 11 of 11 on free throws as the No. 8 Wildcats (24-5, 14-2 SEC) cashed in on 27 of 33 free throw attempts to notch their eighth consecutive victory. Auburn was 13 of 22 from the stripe.
Tyrese Maxey added 17 points, Nick Richards 14, and Nate Sestina 11 for Kentucky.
J’Von McCormick scored 13 points, all in the second half, to lead the Tigers (24-5, 11-5), who struggled with 28.1 percent shooting in the second half. Senior Austin Wiley posted his 13th double-double of the season and 15th of his career with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
After starting the game with only three field goals on their first 10 attempts, the Wildcats went 11 of 19 over the last 12:33 of the first half for a 40-37 lead at the break.
The Tigers had an 0-for-6 shooting stretch at one point but recovered to hit five of their last eight attempts.
Auburn used a 10-0 run for an early 20-11 lead, but Kentucky sandwiched runs of 8-0 and 12-0 around Jamal Johnson’s 3-pointer for a 31-23 lead at the 6:05 mark of the period.
The Wildcats enjoyed a 24-12 advantage in points in the paint in the first half and made only a single turnover to six for the Tigers in the period. For the game, Kentucky had a 34-24 advantage in points in the paint and seven turnovers to Auburn’s 10.
—Field Level Media