By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today
LEXINGTON — Kentucky forward Nate Sestina wasn’t surprised by Evansville’s performance in its 67-64 win over Kentucky Tuesday night and wasn’t caught off-guard by the Purple Aces. He said coach Walter McCarty’s squad “played with energy for 40 minutes.”
“It’s everybody’s championship game when they play here and play us,” Sestina, a graduate transfer from Bucknell, said after the loss. “I’ve been in that position. You have a big target on your back and we have a really huge target on our back every game and they came in with that kind of confidence and they were excited to play us. It was like their championship game.”
Kentucky freshman guard Tyrese Maxey said the loss can be more directed at the Wildcats as opposed to Evansville.
“It was more us,” Maxey said of the loss. “I feel like didn’t contain the bounce. They got to the rim, made layups and we really didn’t compete like we should have been competing out there and we’ve got to fix it.”
As Maxey knows, its a long season and the Wildcats have time to correct the issues that plagued them in the first loss of the season.
“We can’t look at it and dwell on it,” Maxey, who had 15 points and three rebounds, said. “We have to build on it. Look at it and move forward.
“We can’t dwell on the past. It happened and we didn’t want that to happen, but hey, we have a long season ahead of us and we’re just trying to get back to the grind and move forward.”
* * *
Gametracker: Utah Valley at Kentucky, Monday, 7 p.m. TV/Radio: ESPN2, UK Radio Network.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at email@example.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.