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Numbers favor Cats by 12 points tonight

By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer

When the Cats hit the road a week ago for a two game swing through South Carolina and Arkansas, many believed the Cats needed to get at least one road win and hoped to get two. The Cats return to Rupp Arena tonight having split the two games, but the Cats won the game regarded as most difficult of the two and lost to the weaker opponent on that trip. When the Cats return to the Rupp floor Tuesday, they will face Georgia for the second time in two weeks, the first rematch of the 2019-20 season.

Two weeks ago, the Cats beat the Dawgs by 9, 78-69 despite trailing at the half by 6, 37-31. In the second half, the Cats clawed into a 1 point lead, 58-57, on a 3 point basket by Immanuel Quickley with 8:04 left in the game. The Cats did not relinquish the lead over the closing 8 minutes of the game.

Since that game, the Dawgs have lost 2 of their 3 games, losing at Auburn and Mississippi State and beating Tennessee in Athens. Meanwhile, the Cats have won 2 of their 3 games, losing at South Carolina and winning at Arkansas and over Alabama at Rupp. Georgia brings an 11-6, 1-3 record into Rupp, and the Cats will put their 13-4, 4-1 record on the line.

Georgia’s current ANE is an 0.093 ppp against a schedule strength of 0.051 ppp and a tempo of 73.0 possessions per game. The Cats bring an ANE of 0.204 ppp into this game having played a schedule strength of 0.049 ppp at a tempo of 70.1 possessions per game.

Based on this data for these teams, an ANE analysis indicates this game will have a tempo of 72 possessions with the Cats winning by 12 points, 78-66.

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  1. Analysis:

    UK scored its 89 points on 73 possessions (1.219 ppp) for the game, and GEORGIA scored its 79 points on 74 possessions (1.068 ppp).

    Kentucky won the battle of the boards 38-31, and Kentucky fought back in the second half on the offensive glass to tie Georgia, 12-12 which produced a 12-10 advantage on second chance points for the Cats. GEORGIA had an offensive efficiency of 0.932 ppp on its 74 first chance possessions and 0.833 ppp for its 12 second chance possessions. UK had 1.055 ppp on its 73 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp on its 12 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 38.7%of its misses as offensive rebounds while GEORGIA was able to convert 31.6% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

    UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 26-33 [78.8%]. GEORGIA made 19-23 [82.6%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 31-59 overall [52,5%] and 1-9 from long range [11.1%]. For Georgia, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 21-37 [56.8%] and from long range, GEORGIA hit 6-25 [24.0%].

    The Cats committed 11 turnovers, one for every 6.6 possessions. The Cats forced 12 GEORGIA turnovers, one for every 6.2 possessions.

    Next Game On Schedule: Saturday evening at Texas Tech in the annual SEC-Big 12 Challenge and the Cats’ nineteenth regular season game of the 2020 SEC season.

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