|GAME 9: Utah (4-4) at #19/18 Kentucky (7-2)|
|WHERE: Lexington, Ky. (Rupp Arena)|
|WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018|
|TIP-OFF: 5 p.m. ET|
|TELEVISION: ESPN2 / WatchESPN (Tom Hart and Jimmy Dykes)|
|RADIO: ESPN700 / Utah Radio Sports Network (Bill Riley and Jimmy Soto)|
|Utah Game Notes|
• Utah hits the road for the final time in non-conference play this week as the Utes head to Lexington, Ky., to face the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena this Saturday.
• Utah and Kentucky will meet up for just the 12th time overall, but it will mark the first meeting since 2005.
• The Utes and Wildcats will be playing in a regular-season contest for just the fourth time in 12 meetings overall and for the first time since 1999.
• This marks Utah’s first visit to Rupp Arena since the 1999-2000 season.
• Both Utah and Kentucky are coming off losses from this past Saturday and will not have another game before the two teams meet. Kentucky fell to Seton Hall in overtime (84-83), while Utah dropped a neutral court contest to BYU (74-59).
COVERING THE RUNNIN’ UTES
The game will be televised on ESNP2 with Tom Hart calling the action and Jimmy Dykes providing color commentary.
The Wildcats are 7-2 overall and coming off an overtime loss to Seton Hall, 84-83, this past Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. Prior to the loss, Kentucky had won seven straight, overcoming a season-opening loss to Duke back on Nov. 6. The Wildcats are 7-0 at home this season, with its last win coming against UNC-Greensboro, 78-61, back on Dec. 1. UK has won 10 straight home games dating back to last season, with its last loss coming to Tennessee (61-59) back on Feb. 6, 2018.
Kentucky has four players averaging double-digits on the season, but are led by Keldon Johnson’s 15.2 points per game average. Former Stanford player, Reid Travis, is next with 14.4 points per game and PJ Washington has tallied 14.0 points per contest. Tyler Herro rounds out the double-digit scorers with 11.6 points per game. The Wildcats are averaging 84.2 points per game, which currently ranks 25th in the nation.
Washington leads the squad with 8.9 rebounds per game, while Johnson (6.0) and Travis (6.8) are both averaging six-plus boards per game. As a team, Kentucky pulls down 41.3 rebounds per game, while limiting the opposition to just 26.0 boards. Their +15.2 rebounding margin leads the nation, heading into this week.
The Wildcats are among the best teams in the nation getting to the foul line, ranking sixth in the nation in free throw attempts (272) and second in the nation in free throws made (206). UK has three players shooting .800 or better from the charity stripe, led by Quade Green’s .895 free throw percentage and Herro’s .889 conversion rate from the foul line. Immanuel Quickley has tallied a .839 percentage from the free throw line.
The Wildcats are shooting .488 from the field overall, which includes making .340 percent from downtown. UK is giving up .400 percent to opposing teams from the three-point line, which ranks 340th in the nation.
UTAH vs. KENTUCKY SERIES HISTORY
Kentucky leads the all-time series 9-2, but the Utes and Wildcats have not faced each other since 2005. Saturday’s contest will mark just the fourth time the two teams have played in the regular season and the first regular-season meeting since 1999. Utah and Kentucky have met in the NCAA Tournament six different times, which includes the last two times the teams have met (2003, 2005).
Utah is 1-2 all-time when facing the Wildcats in Lexington, with its lone win coming back in 1976. The last time Utah and Kentucky met at Rupp Arena, the Wildcats won 56-48 back on Nov. 19, 1999.
LAST TIME OUT
Utah fell to BYU in the Beehive Classic this past Saturday, falling 744-59 to the Cougars at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
Sedrick Barefield led the way with 16 points and Timmy Allen tied a season-high with 13 points. Utah was limited to a season-low .365 field goal percentage in the game. The Utes limited BYU to just 37 percent shooting in the first half, and trailed by just four points at the half, but the Cougars opened the second half with a 13-0 run and shot 56.7 percent in the final 20 minutes of play to earn the neutral court victory.