FINAL: Kentucky 93, Monmouth 76: recap, analysis, box score (December 9, 2017)

Eighth-ranked Kentucky basketball plays Monmouth at Madison Square Garden at noon Saturday, December 9, 2017.  Follow along below for the score, live updates and stats from the game.

Kentucky-Monmouth score, live updates, stats

FINAL: Kentucky 93, Monmouth 76

The eighth-ranked Wildcats (8-1) led by 28 points with five minutes to go and dominated from the start. Hamidou Diallo (23) and PJ Washington (20) set new career highs for points. Diallo is now averaging 20.3 points and shooting 57.5 percent over the last three games. A good, solid trip to New York for the Cats, who now get a string of challenges: Virginia Tech at home, UCLA in New Orleans and Louisville at home. Each team’s final box score:

Hamidou Hot Streak: How about Hami the last three games: 19 points, 19 points and now 21 points. All career highs at the time. He’s 7 of 12 from the field today and shooting 56 percent the last three games. Kentucky leads 85-59 with 3:11 to go and PJ Washington also has a career high with 20 points.

Quade Green out: The freshman point guard took a shot to the face in the second half and ESPNU showed him on the bench with his right eye apparently swollen shut. He will not return to this one. Green gave the Cats 12 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and only 1 turnover.

Kentucky 68, Monmouth 41, 11:04 2H: Calipari always says players struggle when the come home to play for the first time, but Diallo is not having that problem in New York. He’s up to 17 points now, while PJ Washington has 18 and 5 — although he finally missed a shot. Kentucky has doubled up the Hawks on the boards, 40 rebounds to 20. Team box scores so far:

Kentucky 61, Monmouth 38, 15:40 2H: Crazy, ball-on-a-string drive and finish by Hamidou Diallo, through and around three defenders, into the lane for a layup. He has 15 points and the Cats are following John Calipari’s recent order to become more of a 3-point shooting team. UK is 6 of 12 from deep. The only individual downer in this game is Kevin Knox’s 0-for-6 shooting and 5 turnovers.

HALFTIME: Kentucky 54, Monmouth 31

Yep, PJ Washington is now in the midst of a major breakthrough game. He had 3 points, 5 rebounds the last time out and he’s had 5 or fewer points five times already this freshman season — but today in New York, he’s 4 of 4 from the field, 7 of 7 from the free-throw line and has 16 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block and 1 assists in the  first half. That’ll do.

John Calipari told ESPNU that Washington has lost 15 pounds in the last 17 days and “you’re seeing now what he’ll become — and by the end, he will be one of the best players.” Full team box scores:

Kentucky 45, Monmouth 22, 2:58 1H: Quade Green, quiet lately, has come roaring back. He’s 5 of 6 from the field, 2 of 3 from 3-point range, and has 12 points, 3 assists and 0 turnovers in the first half. Also a potential breakthrough game for PJ Washington: 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 1 assist. He’s 2 of 2 from the field, 1 of 1 from three, 4 of 4 at the line. Kid needed that.

Kentucky 30, Monmouth 12, 9:21 1H: That was a big bucket for freshman PJ Washington, his first career 3-pointer. Wrote this week about his dad, Paul, a high-level high school coach, keeping the proper perspective as Washington has struggled to start his college career.

Kentucky 24, Monmouth 10, 11:44 1H: The Wildcats are crushing the Hawks on the glass — 15 rebounds to 4 — but racking up fouls (now 7 in 8 minutes). Nick Richards is on the bench in quick foul trouble again, and with Sacha Killeya-Jones (sprained ankle) sidelined today, Tai Wynyard is getting a lot of run. He’s holding his own with 4 points and 2 rebounds. Diallo has 5 points and 3 rebounds.

Kentucky 20, Monmouth 8, 13:02 1H: Goodness, gracious, Hamidou Diallo keeps trying these insane, violent dunks and  just missing. At some point, he won’t miss, and it’ll be on a loop forevermore. Kentucky launched a 9-0 run, with some nifty play by Kevin Knox and capable scoring by Green (now 7 points).

Kentucky 9, Monmouth 7, 15:35 1H: The Cats are turning it over at a high rate early — four quick ones already — but 5 points for Quade Green (who has been quiet lately) and 3 points, 2 offensive, and a block for Nick Richards. The box score, such as it is (no official stat site today), so far:

New York, New York: The two UK freshmen making homecomings for this game started off the game with big plays. Lob to Hamidou Diallo, block on the other end by 7-footer Nick Richards.

STARTING FIVE: It’s the same five for the Cats to start — Green, Diallo, Knox, Washington and Richards. And there is some star power showing up at The Garden to watch them.

BREAKING: Sacha Killeya-Jones out today. The sophomore big man who has given UK great minutes off the bench this season is out for the Monmouth game with a sprained left ankle, per a team spokesman.  Our Wildcat Country podcast host, Curtis Burch, had the early scoop on that development.

Curtis is the man on the scene for SEC Country in New York as beat writer Kyle Tucker is monitoring the game from Lexington due to some family obligations. Curtis noticed that SKJ was not participating in warm-ups with the team at Madison Square Garden, prompting our question to Kentucky about his status. Thanks for the heads up, Curtis! ( Follow him on Twitter.)

Curtis is also live-streaming some of the team warm-ups on our UK Facebook page and will carry the postgame news conference for us there live as well.

Kentucky-Monmouth game time, details

  • Time: Noon ET
  • Date: Saturday, December 9, 2017
  • Location: Madison Square Garden (20,789), New York
  • Records: Kentucky 7-1, Monmouth 3-6
  • Vegas line: Kentucky by 16

What TV channel is Kentucky-Monmouth on? 

You can watch Kentucky vs. Monmouth on ESPNU. Doug Sherman, LaPhonso Ellis and Jill Montgomery will be on the call.

How can I watch Kentucky-Monmouth   online?

Stream Kentucky vs. Monmouth on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app.

How can I listen to Kentucky-Monmouth  on the radio? 

Kentucky and Monmouth will be broadcast on the UK Sports Network. That’s 630-AM on Lexington radio and can be streamed at iHeart Radio. You can also listen on XM channel 190 and Sirius channel 137.

Kentucky-Harvard preview

  • Two UK freshmen, guard Hamidou Diallo and center Nick Richards, are making their New York homecomings Saturday. “It’s going to be great. I haven’t played there in a long time,” Diallo said. “I’ve got a lot of family coming that haven’t seen me play in person in a long time. I’ve never played in the Garden. It’s every kid’s dream who’s from New York to play there.”
  • Marcus McClary, a freshman guard for Monmouth, is a former high school teammate of Richards. “You’re friends off the court and after the game and right before the game, but we’re going to compete as basketball players during the game,” said Richards, who is also excited about playing in front of people who supported his dreams for years. “This is one way of me giving back to that community, just showing out for them.”

LISTEN: UK legend Kenny ‘Sky’ Walker joins the podcast

  • Kentucky freshman Kevin Knox is averaging 35.3 minutes per game and no one else on the roster is averaging more than 27.8. “Too many. Too many,” coach John Calipari admitted this week. “He’s in the one position that’s kind of — we don’t have enough. I wish I had two of those (6-foot-9 small forwards) but I don’t. We have one. I can play Wenyen [Gabriel] some there and PJ [Washington] some there, I can go smaller with Hami, but we haven’t done it in practice, so I hate to do stuff in a game that I haven’t worked on … but yeah, he’s playing too many minutes.”
  • Keep an eye on Kentucky’s zone defense. According to Synergy Sports, the Cats have used zone on 11.1 percent of their defensive possessions this season — easily the most in the Calipari era. Meanwhile, on the offensive end, only 21.2 percent of UK’s field-goal attempts so far have been 3-pointers — the lowest rate in the Calipari era.
  • The Hawks are better than their ugly record. They lost a four-overtime game against Penn, an overtime game against Connecticut and by one point on Wednesday night against Hofstra. Coached by former North Carolina star King Rice — who had 13 assists in a game against Kentucky as a player — Monmouth is coming off 28- and 27-win seasons and consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles. The last two seasons, the Hawks have beaten UCLA, USC, Notre Dame, Georgetown and Memphis.
  • Beware junior guard Micah Seaborn, who poured in 27 points against UConn and 23 against Hofstra in the last week and now has 16 career games of 20-plus. He’s made 11 of 17 3-pointers in three games since returning from a minor injury.

The post FINAL: Kentucky 93, Monmouth 76: recap, analysis, box score (December 9, 2017) appeared first on SEC Country.

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