Share this:

Washington, Travis help Kentucky overpower Kansas 71-63

Reid Travis (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky figured to need PJ Washington and Reid Travis to play big against Kansas — and they did.

Washington had 20 points and 13 rebounds while Travis had 18 points and 12 rebounds in UK’s 71-63 win over No. 9 Kansas in front of a raucous Rupp Arena crowd of 24,387 fans. Maybe it was only fitting that he blocked a shot by Dedric Lawson to end the game, his second block of the game.

“I cherish even more playing against PJ Washington. He is like a little brother to me,” Lawson said. “Travis is more of a back to the basket and wants to be physical. PJ is more finesse. I knew he loved to jab. But both of them are great players.

“Definitely tough playing against two bigs like that. They threw a lot of bodies at me and they shrunk the floor. We play a small ball lineup. It is something you have to step up to the plate and not make excuses and get it done.”

It was No. 8 UK’s third straight win over a ranked opponent and sixth straight win overall. It was also the fourth time in the last five games Kentucky held an opponent under 40 percent shooting (23 of 63).

Kentucky dominated scoring in the paint (38-20) despite Dedric Lawson having 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Jayhawks. Kentucky had 17 offensive rebounds, including seven by Lawson.

Keldon Johnson also had a big second half for Kentucky. After going 2-for-6 from the field with only four points in the first half, he finished the game with 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting and had a double-double with 10 rebounds himself. He made three 3-pointers in the second half after UK went 0-for-8 from 3-point range in the first half.

It was the first time UK had three players with a double-double since 2010 when John Wall, Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins pulled off that feat.

Point guard Ashton Hagans was close to a double-double, too, with 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting and seven assists. He also had another game with three steals.

“We made shots the second half and it made a big difference,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “PJ was unbelievable. He’s one of the best in the country. I thought Reid fought like crazy.”

Kentucky was actually fortunate to just be down 33-30 at halftime with Johnson and Tyler Herro a combined 3-for-12 from the field, especially since the Cats were down by 10 points at one time after a 12-0 Kansas run.

Travis had 11 points — including seven straight at one point — and six rebounds and Washington had six points and nine rebounds as Kentucky outscored Kansas 26-14 in the paint in the first half. Lawson had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Kansas.

18 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. Great win to be sure and especially with the help of good D and rebounding. Herro did not have a good game but wasn’t for lack of trying and playing hard. Nick and EJ had zero points and 3 bounds between them, but Nick did have 5 blocks. Think EJ still needs to find his manhood….agree with Cal blasting him on the bench. Still need to find out what’s up with Quicks. Hope we start Vandy game stronger than we did tonite…might be trap game. Oh, and Cal said he thought EJ had a great game..huh? I saw a good pass and 2 boards but great?

  2. Dedrick Lawson is a stud…glad PJ and Reid came to play. Both should have scored 30 each but we still can’t make a post pass. A lot of rah rahs will crow about this game, but it was an ugly win. A win is a win but we still have work to do to be ready to take on Tennessee.

  3. We beat a top ten team and covered the Vegas line with 3 doubles and no bench scoring and still some find a reason to WHINE. Cal addressed it in his post game show again tonight. If you have issues with what we do “you are not with us”. We are in the same position year end year out. We usually get better as the season goes on. This team can be special and is developing that day. If they were a stock they would be a solid buy. They are truly on the rise. If you don’t see that or your personal agenda prevents you from acknowledging that ok. I see that every day. But it doesn’t make you right. Nor does it make me. But I just don’t know how or why you nit pick a game and win like this. But it;s just me.

    1. Rah Rah Rah

  4. I was really impressed with Reid Travis.
    He played pissed and it fits him well.
    PJ seems to really be coming into his own.
    Overall, it was a good game and a great win.
    GO BIG BLUE !!!

  5. Catmandoo…..Not sure I would go as far as to say an ugly win but actually not that far from it. If they had their 2 bigs, it might have been a different outcome. We are a good team but certainly not a great team. When you miss as many in -close shots (problem all year) as we do and have 2 bigs that continue to be “no shows” it is concerning. We have had some good luck along the way.

    1. Let’s be real Mike. If Kansas had their 2 missing big guys, this would have been the Duke fiasco all over again.

  6. Great win for UK, and way overdue against the Jayhawks. Best medicine for E J is more bench time until he starts producing, not belittled by his coach on national T V. Get on his A$$ at practice, not before a packed house on a ESPN Game Day broadcast. I don’t think that instills any confidence in the young man at all. Calipari has a big mouth at times, I think he wants to come across as a real tough guy when he is wired, JMO.

    1. Pup, you are right on all points.

  7. CAL scares the players at times and I think that’s why Richard and E j are playing too tenative. CAL needs to back off and let them play loose.

    1. You’re right 79. When you can’t coach, you yell and scream. Hopefully the team will learn that Cal’s bark is a lot worse than his bite.

      1. Can’t coach ???????? Cal has won three (3) Naismith College Coach of the year awards. His lifetime stats show a win percentage of. Just north of 0.770 His SEC win percentage is something like 77% He is only one of six active coaches enshrined in the CBB Hall of Fame. He can’t coach ???? You’ve been listening to the “but” boy, Couch coach Mikey have you not or are you another elite basement coach ? I suspect the latter based on your ” rah, rah, rah” comment.

    2. Cal needs to stay in their faces or polish his boots..too late in the season for softball.

  8. Mike, I have no problem CAL screaming or yelling but he does it constantly every game. If they don’t get it take it to a different approach. I like what Richard has coming along but we need Montgomery to playing more to his talent and I think he will in time he’s shown flashes of it

  9. PK….You continue to slide into irrelevancy.

  10. And you Mikey continue to have no other life except for that which VV provides for your disgusting ” opinions”. Keep it up ! You do provide some degree of comic relief with your stupidity !!

  11. PK….I really enjoy the ride because I am able to get your attention and that pushes you into irrelevance. That makes it all worth it.

  12. Cats79…..Nick has come along on the defensive side with the minutes he is given. He still does nothing on offense and that is why his minutes limited. He used to be able to hit a jumper with some consistency but not as of late.

Leave a Reply