By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today
LEXINGTON — Kentucky reached a milestone and remained unbeaten in the Southeastern Conference Saturday.
The No. 14 Wildcats scored six unanswered points in the final 1:12 and held on for a 76-67 triumph over Alabama. The hosts led by 15 in the second half and overcame the Tide’s late surge down the stretch to get the win, which was the team’s 1.000th regular-season victory in the SEC.
Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley sank a 3-pointer and made two free throws in the closing minute that sent the Wildcats (12-3, 3-0) to their fourth consecutive victory and eighth in a row at home over the Crimson Tide.
Quickley led the Wildcats with 19 points and made five of the team’s nine shots from long range. He added three assists and five rebounds, all on the defensive end of the floor. In the past four games, the sophomore guard is averaging 18.8 points per game and has made 14 3-pointers during that stretch.
“It feels a lot like high school,” he said. “Honestly, it feels a lot like pick-up, feels like I’m back in my gym at home and I’m just shooting every shot and the rim’s like a wide-open ocean right now.
“That’s all credit to my teammates and coaches. I’m not really sure what’s going on right now, I think we’re just getting more comfortable.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari said Quickley’s confidence is soaring.
“He’s a confident kid, and what he does, he spends so much time in the gym, he expects to make them,” he said.
“If you know you’re not 100 percent, you’re not spending the time you can, you still look in the mirror. And if you’re giving 80 percent and then you get in the game and it doesn’t play out for you … the kid lives in the gym. He’s kind of like Tyler (Herro), he’s like Shai (Gilgeous) Alexander, those guys. He’s just like them.”