November 23, 2019 / 2:33 AM / 18 days ago

No. 9 Kentucky pulls away from Mount St. Mary's

EditorsNote: minor edits

Nov 22, 2019; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Tyrese Maxey (3) takes the ball to the basket against the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers in the first half at Rupp Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Ninth-ranked Kentucky continued its rebound from an early-season stunning loss to Evansville with an 82-62 rout of visiting Mount St. Mary’s on Friday night at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

The Wildcats’ 20-margin of victory was the second largest of the season.

Junior forward Nick Richards led Kentucky (4-1) with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go with six rebounds. Ashton Hagans added 16 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. Immanuel Quickley, in his first game back from a chest injury, added 13 points and Tyrese Maxey scored 11.

As a team, Kentucky made 30 of 55 field goals for 54.5 percent.

Sophomore guard Damian Chong Qui topped Mount St. Mary’s (1-5) with 11 points. Malik Jefferson, Omar Habwe and Brandon Leftwich added 10 points each.

The Mountaineers shot just 36.1 percent, including 5 of 24 from 3-point range.

UK put the game away with a 26-7 run to open the second half after owning just a 39-34 lead at intermission.

Quickley scored seven of the 26 points, six coming via 3-pointers. Kahlil Whitney added five and Richards had four. Mount St. Mary’s never got closer than 15 points the rest of the way.

One challenge for Kentucky in the early going has been injuries to key players, but both Quickley and sophomore forward EJ Montgomery returned to the lineup on Friday. Montgomery had missed the three previous games with an ankle injury, Quickley just the one.

Kentucky came into the game not only looking to win, but to shore up a major area of concern — 3-point shooting.

Through its first four games, UK ranked 346th out of 350 Division I teams at 21.3 percent. The Wildcats were 13 of 61 from beyond the arc, including just 1 of 12 against Utah Valley in their last game.

On Friday, Kentucky made 6 of 15 from deep, good for 40 percent.

Despite the easy win in the end, Kentucky failed to put away the Mountaineers early.

UK shot 51.9 percent in the first half, but only made 1 of 5 from 3-point range. Hagans was tops with 11 points. Maxey and Richards scored nine each. Chong Qui paced Mount St. Mary’s with eight as the Mountaineers shot just 34.5 percent in the first 20 minutes.

—Field Level Media

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