UK returns to Bahamas form in dominant win over North Carolina

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CHICAGO (WKYT) -- Team Records and Series Notes

Kentucky is now 9-2 on the season and North Carolina falls to 8-3.

UK cut North Carolina’s series lead to 24-16. UK has now won three of the last four matchups.

Next for Kentucky: The Wildcats continue their stretch of five straight Saturday games, taking on rival Louisville on Dec. 29 at the KFC YUM! Center in Louisville. Game time is 2 p.m. on ESPN2

UK improved to 3-2 in the CBS Sports Classic, tied with North Carolina for the series’ best record. Ohio State and UCLA are each 2-3 after Ohio State won the first of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Kentucky’s players departed for the holidays immediately following the game. They will return Wednesday, the day after Christmas, to begin preparations for Louisville.

In the First Half

Kentucky started Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, PJ Washington and Reid Travis for the fourth time this season.

Kentucky got the first basket of the game on a Hagans steal and layup.
Travis, who had a monster first half, got going early with back-to-back three-point plays of different varieties. After an old-fashioned three-point play on a layup and foul at the 17:52 mark, he hit a 3 from the left wing to make it 11-7.

Travis scored 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting to go along with five free throws in the first half. He had two “and ones.”

After UNC closed the score to 30-27, UK went on a 10-2 run, ignited by a Travis dunk and Herro 3-pointer.

Travis was nearly unstoppable in the first half. He scored 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting to go along with five free throws.

Hagans, who turned his ankle midway through the first half, had his fingerprints all over the first half with five points, three steals, two assists and a block.

In the Second Half

Kentucky opened the second half with the same starting lineup.
UK’s largest lead was 12 at the 19:29 mark.

Team Notes

UK is now 7-3 in the United Center.
UK defeated a top-10 foe for the first time since the 83-76 win at No. 7 West Virginia on Jan. 27.
UK is now 45-23 in games in which both teams are ranked in the AP Top 25 the Calipari era. Over the course of his career, Calipari is now 76-50 in those such games.
Kentucky blocked a season-high eight shots today. UK has rejected at least four opponent shots in every game this season.
Kentucky improved to 242-5 (.980) under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points at any point in the game.

Player Notes

Ashton Hagans had eight steals, tying the UK record. Rajon Rondo eight steals against Mississippi State on Feb. 19, 2005 and Wayne Turner also had eight steals against George Washington on Nov. 24, 1997.
He grabbed a career-high four rebounds.
He blocked a shot, one shy of his career high.
He scored seven points, one off his career high.

Keldon Johnson led all scorers with 23 points to go along with a career high three assists.
Johnson tallied his fourth 20-point game of the season.
He has scored double figures in all but one game this season.

Tyler Herro scored 15 points, three shy of his season high.
He’s averaging 12.8 points over the last five.

Reid Travis turned in 20 points today, his sixth straight double-figure game.

PJ Washington posted his fourth double-double of the season with 11 points, 10 rebounds.
He came pretty close to a triple-double with a career-high eight assists.
He now has seven career double-doubles.
He blocked two shots.

Jemarl Baker played a career high 15 minutes.

Nick Richards grabbed six rebounds and blocked a shot in 10 minutes.

Calipari

Calipari is now 284-66 at UK.
Calipari has a 729-206 all-time on-court record.
He is now 13 wins away from tying Joe B. Hall for the second-most victories by a UK head coach in program history.



 
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