EditorsNote: Changes “form” to “from” in graf 5; other minor edits
Forward Nick Richards and guard Ashton Hagans combined for 43 points as No. 15 Kentucky posted its sixth victory in its last seven games with an 89-79 win over Georgia on Tuesday night in Lexington, Ky.
Hagans had 23 points, nine assists, five rebounds and four steals while Richards had 20 points and eight boards for the Wildcats (14-4, 5-1 SEC).
Forward Rayshaun Hammonds and guard Anthony Edwards scored 16 each to lead the Bulldogs (11-7, 1-4), who have lost four times in a five-game stretch that started with a 78-69 loss to the Wildcats in Athens, Ga., two weeks ago.
All of Edwards’ production came in the second half after he missed all five of his field-goal attempts in the first period.
The Wildcats saw their six-point halftime lead cut to just two in the first minute of the second half, but got a couple of quick baskets from Hagans and Richards to regain control.
They assumed their first double-digit lead of the game when forward E.J. Montgomery’s jumper made it 67-56 with 9:27 left to play, and forward Keion Brook Jr. followed with a fast-break dunk to make it a 13-point bulge. Kentucky’s biggest lead was 16 points, 83-67, and the Wildcats led by 10 going into the final minute.
The Wildcats held a couple of 10-point leads in the first half, the second at 20-10, before Georgia got its game going. A 9-0 run gave the Bulldogs a brief 29-28 lead with 5:34 left in the opening period, but Kentucky responded with a quick 7-0 spurt for a 35-29 margin on the way to a 41-35 lead at the break.
The Wildcats made half of their 24 field-goal attempts, but the big difference came at the free-throw line. Entering the game with more free throws made (305) than their opponents had attempted (292), the Wildcats made 16 of 18 attempts in the first half alone.
They finished the night 26 of 33 from the stripe while the Bulldogs were 19 of 23.
—Field Level Media