John Calipari: “They are cheering each other’s success.”

Immanuel Quickley (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

Immanuel Quickley picked up where he left off and turned in another impressive performance for Kentucky Tuesday night as he scored 30 points in a 69-60 win at Texas A&M.

“He shot the ball,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “… He had 30 it’s big and I love it. He made shots. He passed up (a shot for) Nate Sestina at halftime, but other than that (he played great). …

“Here’s what (is) great about this team. When he went into the locker room, they went nuts because he was doing TV after (the game).  That’s the thing about this group. When Nick has come up big, they go crazy. EJ has come up big and they go crazy. They are cheering each other’s successes.”

Quickley connected on eight 3-pointers, also a career-high and dished out two assists.

“He was super hot and fiery,” Kentucky sophomore EJ Montgomery said. “We trust him and he’s going to get better. He’s playing so well and I’m just proud of him. Thirty (points), that’s crazy.”

Kentucky (23-5, 13-2 Southeastern Conference) remained two games ahead of Auburn and LSU in the conference standings with three games remaining in the regular season. The Wildcats have won seven straight games and 15 of their past 17 contests.

Behind the hot hand of Quickley, the Wildcats made 11 3-pointers on 22 attempts against the Aggies.

Tyrese Maxey followed Quickley with 13 points, while Ashton Hagans added 11 for Kentucky. Hagans returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench as a precaution against Florida last weekend. EJ Montgomery just missed a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds.

“They were trapping Nick (Richards) and I know I had to step it up because he’s a big (part) of our team and they were trying to stop him and focus on him and so, I had to step it up,” Montgomery said.

“EJ as outstanding,” Calipari added. “That’s as good as I’ve seen EJ play in a while. He really played good.”

Overall, Calipari said the contest “was a great win and a great win for these kids.”

* * *

Gametracker: Auburn at Kentucky, 3:45 p.m. Saturday. TV/Radio: CBS, UK Radio Network.

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.

Leave a Reply