EditorsNote: updates with game art
No. 8 Kentucky recorded its 600th victory at Rupp Arena on Saturday with an 83-52 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson in Lexington, Ky.
The Wildcats needed just 670 games to reach the plateau, the fastest any team has ever recorded 600 wins in one facility. The arena, named for four-time NCAA champion coach Adolph Rupp, opened in 1976. During that time, four national champion coaches have led Kentucky — Joe B. Hall (1978), Rick Pitino (1996), Tubby Smith (1998) and John Calipari (2012).
In Saturday’s win, Kentucky (7-1) surged to a 20-point lead with 6:30 left in the first half, and Fairleigh Dickinson (2-6) never got closer than 16 the rest of the way. UK’s largest lead of 34 points, 83-49, came with 2:30 remaining in the game.
Kentucky pushed a 9-7 lead to 35-13 on the strength of a 26-6 run. Sophomore Immanuel Quickley paced the run with seven points and sophomore forward EJ Montgomery added six points as seven different players got in on the scoring.
Montgomery finished with a career-high 25 points. He made 12 of 16 shots and grabbed nine rebounds. Two UK players recorded a double-double — Nick Richards with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Ashton Hagans with 11 points and 11 assists. Freshman Keion Brooks Jr. came off the bench for a career-best 15 points.
UK shot 51.6 percent, but only 18.2 percent from 3-point range on 2-of-11 shooting. The Wildcats won the rebounding battle, 42-33.
It was the fifth straight win for the Wildcats since a stunning home loss to Evansville when UK was ranked No. 1. FDU fell to 0-6 on the road.
The Knights were led by senior forward Kaleb Bishop with 12 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Xzavier Malone-Key scored nine points.
FDU shot 32.3 percent, including 20.8 percent from 3-point range.
—Field Level Media